Stigma And Discrimination : An Identifiable Collection Of Abnormal Behaviors And Thoughts

1687 Words Oct 8th, 2016 7 Pages
A mental illness is a an identifiable collection of abnormal behaviours and thoughts considered to be reflections of extreme versions of what is thought to be normal. A 2007 national survey by the Australian Government has revealed that approximately 45.5% of Australians have experienced a mental illness in their lifetime ("Prevalence of mental disorders", 2007). Following on from this, it can be seen that nearly nine out of ten individuals with a mental health disorder claim that some variety of discrimination has had a negative effect on their lives ("Stigma and discrimination", 2015). Stigma is defined as a negative characteristic or symbol of shame regarding an individual to be worthless and disgraceful. Stigma can take many forms however emphasis will be focused towards personal and social stigma, both which can create a culture that intensifies their illness and act as a barrier for them seeking help. Fortunately, education is one particular strategy that can be used to minimise stigma. It can improve the levels of successful treatments by educating suffers about stigma and how to cope with it, whilst introducing public campaigns to reduce the widespread social stigma about mental health problems.

Stigma and discrimination associated with mental illnesses can be broken down into two distinct categories, personal and social stigma. Personal stigma occurs from an individual’s own internalized negative perceptions, consequently suffering from decreased self-worth…

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