Stigma In Mental Health Essay

Living With the Stigma of Mental Illness Essay examples

1285 Words6 Pages

Life with a serious mental disorder such as schizophrenia and others, usually never falls within the boundaries of what could be considered ‘easy.’ Long treatment regiments, intense medications and sometimes debilitating symptoms are just a few headlines in the laundry list of hardships that befall those diagnosed with a serious mental disorder. Even with all this, they then must face society and its uncanny ability to stigmatize and isolate these people. While certainly not anything new to this group of individuals, stigma has shifted and changed shape to conform to the current standards of society, and what is ‘normal.’ Is the distancing of mainstream society away from the mentally ill due to ignorance on their (society’s) part or…show more content…

But what could attribute to this stigma? Approximately seventy-five percent of the population views people with a mental illness as dangerous (Corrigan et. al—2). Such a high percentage indicates that the majority of the population holds a negative connotation both about the prospect of mental illness, and towards the individuals who were unfortunate enough to contract the illness. A reasonable person would object to this, claiming that those people were making uneducated assumptions of the mentally ill population, which an informed person would be able to make the clear distinction between a dangerous individual and one who is not. A 2004 study performed by P.Corrigan, A. Watson, A.Warpinsku and G.Garcia, collected data from 161 people from a community college who were randomly assigned to one of three conditions concerning the education of mental illness; education about violence, education about stigma and a control where either mental illness or physical disability issues were taught or discussed. The results of this study found that those who were in the group “concerning education about violence were more consistent in their demonstration of negative attitudes towards people with mental illness” (Corrigan et al—2). This directly challenges the practices by some community groups that insist that education of people about mental illness should focus on the dangers of not getting treatment, which often includes depicting a violent picture of

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Imagine society blamed people for being diagnosed with illnesses such as cancer? Claiming that it was their choices in life that led to such an awful disease. To make them feel guilty of a situation that was in no way deserved by them. This happens all the time to victims of mental illness, but with the added burden of shame. Considering the shocking statistic that one in four will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year in the UK , why is it that we hardly hear of people suffering from mental illness? Why is it a cloud of judgment and misunderstanding still surrounds the subject? People with a mental disorder or with a history of mental health issues are continually ostracized by society. This results in it…show more content…

Many myths and misconceptions contribute to stigma. A common one—sometimes perpetuated by the media—is that people with mental illnesses are typically violent. In truth, those living with mental illness are much more likely to be victimized by acts of crime, hate and discrimination than to perpetrate them.
Mental illnesses are some of the most misunderstood afflictions in today’s society. Too many people think of mental illness as a “weakness”. Like most illnesses, biological, psychological, and environmental factors are taken into consideration in diagnosis. The more severe mental illnesses are primarily diseases of the brain that cause distorted thinking, feelings, or behavior. In the cases of certain illnesses such as schizophrenia, a person’s actions are completely justified to themselves. Their distorted perception of reality allows them to experience extremely paranoid thoughts. These victims of such illness should not be subject to the added torture of judgment from the people surrounding them or the passive derogatory label of ‘schit’. People should be more aware and careful in the way mentally ill patients are treated, especially when you consider the statistics of the chances of knowing a person that is in some way affected by a mental illness. It is disheartening to think of the possibility that one of our close companions could be suffering in silence out of fear for discrimination.
One of the most infuriating forms of


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