Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Amazing Essays
Stigma, coming from the Latin stem stigmat- means to mark or brand, especially a slave (Definition of STIGMA, 2016). Although stigma in modern society may not be as clear as a physical marker, it is still as prevalent and degrading. Even in progressive modern society, stigma persists surrounding mental illness, especially Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, more commonly known as OCD. The question, then, becomes why does this stigma persist? The answer however is neither simple nor succinct as the stigma has taken multiple complex facets as it has become ingrained in modern culture.
Background
What is OCD?
The first step in understanding the stigma that surrounds OCD is to understand Obsessive Compulsive Disorder itself. The disorder itself is
…show more content…
This means that OCD sufferers face stigma from misconceptions about OCD and from misconceptions about the broader umbrella of mental illness. The stigma behind mental illness is strong and is reiterated in society daily through a combination of conversational language and the media. Simply listening to the language people use every day reveals quite a bit about society’s views on mental illness. Walking down the street one may hear, “she’s such a lunatic” or “are you out of your mind!” Perhaps worse, is society’s idea that “murderers are “psycho killers” … and facilities for those with mental illnesses are “looney bins” or “nut houses’” (Hinshaw, 2007). These phrases reveal how society ridicules those suffering from mental illness and equate such an illness with inherent danger and fear. Furthermore, the fact that such phrases have become so engrained and normalized in modern society illustrates how deep-rooted the stigma behind mental illness is. However, language is not the only way that mental illness stigma is spread, media is also a key contributor. Data complied over the years has shown that “72% of prime-time portrayals of people with mental disorders featured violent tendencies; nearly one-fourth of adults with mental disorders were depicted as killers” (Hinshaw, 2007). While one may argue that such portrayals have little impact on people’s …show more content…
Disease trivialization has three main components: oversimplification of symptoms, skepticism of the severity, and levity (Pavelko, 2015). The first facet of disease trivialization, the oversimplification of symptoms, is easily applicable to OCD. For example, few people outside of the medical community are aware that OCD has many sub-types. However, due to media coverage focusing heavily on compulsive OCD over purely obsessive OCD many people only associate the disorder with organizing or hand-washing (Allen, 2013). Unfortunately, this disparity in knowledge excludes many of the subtypes in OCD and in turn excludes many of the symptoms that are specific to these subtypes. The next part of OCD trivialization is skepticism of the severity, which is reflected in the media portrayals of OCD characters as more childlike and silly. Specifically, in “Monk,” the show about a detective with obsessive-compulsive disorder portrays the serious physiological condition as a mere quirk, with the detective being silly, funny, and childlike (Fawcett, 2015). Such portrayals present the disease as less severe than it is and in turn raise doubting the audience’s mind about the real severity of the illness. Thus, the audience becomes skeptical of the severity of OCD, completing the second step of disease trivialization. Finally, levity comes into play. Not only do the

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Media Stigma

    • 1632 Words
    • 7 Pages

    There is more stigma created towards that issue, especially that of mental illness. Extensive media coverage of acts of violence being attributed to mental illness perpetuates the stigma towards mental illness. However, mentally ill people are more likely to be victims than perpetrators of crime. People with mental illnesses are largely misunderstood, and as a result, they are harmed by stigma. This self-perpetuating stigma has glaring consequences.…

    • 1632 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Mixed-Blessings Model

    • 908 Words
    • 4 Pages

    I know what they are talking about, it 's just put into a more scientific perspective. I am not surprised that people think of the mentally ill as dangerous due to the murders and things that go around everyday, and the media portrays them as being severely mentally ill and should have been treated earlier. Therefore, normal people stereotype those with mental illnesses about what they could be capable of, when in fact most people just want help. I really enjoyed reading this article as it pertains to the field i want to go into. I think its scary how many mentally ill people need help, especially adults, and a lot of the therapists out there don 't really care.…

    • 908 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Mental illness has been a part of human society for as long as we have existed, affecting countless individuals, families, and communities. Yet, even with its prevalence and major advancements in treatments and knowledge, people still treat it with prejudice and stigma. A recent issue that has arisen with the easier accessibility to information has been that the way the media chooses to portray mental illness greatly affects the public’s opinion of people with these illnesses. The problem with this is that the mass media generally depicts mental illnesses in a negative light, using mental disorders as attention grabbing gimmicks and concentrating mainly on the mental illness aspect of violent acts, leading the public to believe that all persons…

    • 1300 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    General Public Attitude

    • 1626 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Effect of the General Public’s Attitude on Individuals with Mental Illnesses Mental illness has been on the media a lot in the past years. With the raise in anxiety and depression rates and crimes that are being blamed on it has been on everyone minds lately. But how does this media coverage affect those who suffer from mental illnesses. In the book Descartes’ Error the author Antonio Damasio speaks for a bit about the difference between diseases of the brain and of the mind. He states “the distinction between diseases of “brain” and “mind” between “neurological” problems and “psychological” ones, is an unfortunate cultural inheritance that permeates society and medicine.…

    • 1626 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Not only are they suffering from severe repercussions of the illness but they have to cope with societies stigma. The stigma of mental illness hinders people’s ability to obtain high paid jobs, have stable relationships, and have high self-esteem. Stigma has been known to exist since the sixteen and seventeen hundreds. In the past people took advantage of these vulnerabilities in order to oppress specific groups of people. For example slaves and Jewish groups were typically marked permanently to show society they were an outcast.…

    • 1327 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Mental Illness has been a common theme when violence is observed. One common mental illnesses, Schizophrenia, has multiple studies performed to see why violence either has happened to themselves, or why this mental illness is blamed for the cause of their own violence acts. Perpetrators who commit violence acts such as rape, emotional/behavior abuse, physical abuse are looked to see if they have any form of mental illness. According to Nederlof (2013) “Since the 19th century, it has been widely acknowledged that people with a mental illness are more often involved in violent crimes as compared to healthy populations. Nowadays the majority of the community still expect the mentally ill to be at a heightened risk for engaging in violent acts…

    • 755 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Many even living in denial because of the stigma that comes along with mental illness. In their article “Student filmmakers ' attitudes towards mental illness and its cinematic representation” the authors explain that, “Population surveys have showed that negative opinions about mental illness are widely held, particularly in relation to schizophrenia, addiction and alcoholism”(Bradburn et. al.). Too many people in society pair having a mental illness with being a psychotic killer of some sort. This could be due to the manner in which some directors portray one who lives with an otherwise harmless disorder such as schizophrenia.…

    • 1402 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Marginalization of individuals leads to an increased risk of relapsing, even if the offender is enrolled in rehabilitative programing (Drug Policy Alliance, 2009). The issue itself is the sanctions courts impose on those who battle with substance abuse. Even a short sentence can hinder one’s ability to prosper, thus falling into relapse (Drug Policy Alliance, 2009). From the social justice perspective, this moves us further away from achievement. This ideology the public has of offenders had vastly lead to these outcomes; therefore, individuals who are going through the justice system on continue to be exposed to vast inequalities, due to these policies and procedures.…

    • 1908 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Insanity Of Addiction

    • 1122 Words
    • 5 Pages

    There are few greater medical mysteries than why addicts are so often resistant to recovery, especially when reaping the negative attributes of addiction, such as physical health problems, mental health problems, and legal problems. If a physician tells someone he or she has a life-threatening illness that can be treated effectively, most everyone would eagerly pursue treatment. Not the addict. The reasons addicts give for not accepting treatment are complex and not fully understood. Here are a few of the more prominent reasons: The Insanity of Addiction Not surprisingly, addicts think and behave irrationally.…

    • 1122 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Psychopaths are misunderstood in societies across the world, which is perhaps why so many of them end up in prisons, or worse, as our corporate leaders. Media portrayal clashes with psychologists’ efforts to dispel misconceptions and restrains stakeholders, like parole officers or colleagues of psychopathic leaders, from understanding how to prevent the destruction that psychopaths can potentially cause. However, the first step in effectively improving how we interact with psychopaths is properly identifying them. Many people either do not know what a psychopath actually is, or have skewed interpretations of them. When we can accurately identify a psychopath, we become one step closer to preventing these people from receding into aggressive…

    • 1903 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays