Stigma And Mental Illness

1146 Words 5 Pages
‘A large survey of mental health service clients conducted by The Mental Health Foundation found that 56% reported experiencing stigma within their own family, 51% from their friends and 47% reported having been harrassed/abused in public’ (Twardzicki 2004, p.68). This essay will be addressing how individuals with mental illnesses are stigmatized, the different forms of stigmatization, and how stigma effects individuals with mental illness.
Stigma exists today; it especially exists around people with mental health issues. In the beyondblue (2015) article, World Health Organisation has defined stigma as society disgracing, shaming or disapproving a person which inflicts the person to not being accepted, segregated and excluded from society.
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Stigma varies in many ways, such as: personal stigma, which is a person’s negative label based on an opinion and attitude against another individuals; perceived stigma, which is a person’s opinion about the negative mark and label some people have against others; self-stigma, which is an opinion of the negative mark and label a person has against themselves; and structural stigma, which is the restrictions of people with mental illness’ and their opportunities that are placed by policies from governments and privately owned institutions (Beyondblue 2015, p. 2). Stigma has a negative impact on people with mental illness’ which can be seen to effect their whole …show more content…
Stigma and labelling can effect an individual with a mental illness decision in choosing to use health services as the person may feel embarrassed and ashamed about their condition. An individual that suffers from a mental illness has explained that they did not seek help from professionals because of the stigma on mental illness and they were afraid of losing their job due to the stigma (Beyondblue 2015, p. 6). They lost their job because they did not seek help when it was needed, and the illness got significantly worse (Beyondblue 2015, p. 6). If this patient got help when they needed it, their illness may not have become worse and it is probable to assume that they would have not lost their job. Another person sought medical help from their General Practitioner (GP) for a physical condition that is not related to their mental illness. Once the GP read about their mental illness on their file, the physical condition was not considered and the GP treated them as a hypochondriac (Beyondblue 2015, p. 6). This meant their physical condition was not investigated, due to the stigma of mental health, which can lead to serious issues with their physical health if these patients are not being treated. This is also an example how employment can be effected by individuals with mental health. Their employment can also be effected as mental illness can make an individual feel ashamed because the symptoms

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