Mental Health Stigma

1435 Words 6 Pages
The Stigma of Mental Illness: Negative Effects Mental illness is defined as “the spectrum of cognitions, emotions, and behaviors that interfere with interpersonal relationships as well as functions required for work, at home, and in school” (Overton). Mental illness is a topic that is often avoided, because it is uncomfortable to discuss, which often leads to the misunderstanding that it is abnormal and shameful. However, according to Overton, one in four people will experience a mental illness at some point in their lifetime (Overton). Despite the commonality of mental illness and the availability of treatment, mental illness remains undertreated (Sirey). The wide spread negative stigma surrounding mental illness could be debilitating to …show more content…
Negative stigma is rooted in ignorance, which leads to stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. The internalization of public stigma could easily deter an individual from seeking the support services that they desperately need, resulting in undesirable clinical outcomes. Though it may be an uncomfortable topic for some, breaking the communication barrier within the community allows the public to learn the truth about mental illness and helps abolish stereotypes that threaten the wellbeing of the mentally ill. Educating the public helps eliminate fear within the stigmatized group. It allows individuals to feel better understood and ultimately makes it easier for them to seek treatment without fear of …show more content…
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