Stigma Of Mental Illness Essay

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The power of stigmatizing mental illness
Stigma within mental illness is a multifaceted issue that is debilitating, not only for the mentally ill, but to society as well. Stigmatizing those with mental illness is prevalent and potent; it does not build a society, but separates it. Misunderstandings about mental illness reinforce stigma and causes disassociation between society and the mentally ill. By creating social gaps, society makes it difficult for people with a mental illness to accept the illness, as well as integrating within society. Not only is the person with the mental illness coping with the symptoms of the illness, but with stigma as well, this inhibits progress (Angermyer, Corrigan, & Rüsch ,2005).Mental illness stigma is a debilitating
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Stigmatizing degrades self-confidence to go out and interact within the community (Angermyer, Corrigan, & Rüsch, 2005). By limiting social interactions with others, people are more likely to develop an additional mental illness. This makes it more difficult to seek out treatment. For those who receive psychiatric treatment other obstacle arises and that is the label of the disease itself. Society tends to substitute the person with the mental illness with the disease; in return those with a mental illness allow the label of the disease define them and begin to mold into societies perception of mental illness. By a person defining theirself with the disorder it reinforces societies opinion on mental illness. Those who break away from the label of the disease ,in many cases, they will disassociate themselves from the label of the disease to avoid stigmatization (Wahl 2012)
For people who experience stigma relapse in therapy is greater , discouraging the continuation with treatment(Martin & Penn
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By eliminating stigma towards people with a mental illness, there is no “barrier to recovery”. First, educating society indirectly helps de-stigmatize mental illness, by informing society and people with a mental illness, the truth about mental illness and what it encompasses,(Angermyer, Corrigan, & Rüsch ,2005). This helps diminish stereotypes and fear. Education alone will not suffice but by interacting with people with a mental illness the community decreases stigma dramatically. (Martin & Penn, 2013). Interactions help debunk stigma by showing society, people with a mental illness are not dangerous or unpredictable, but a functioning person in society. Interpersonal encounters between mentally ill patients and the community help patients become more confident in therapy , leading to a more promising outlook in recovery.(Angermyer, Corrigan, & Rüsch,2005). Several programs around the world such as NAMI and BASTA support those with mental illness and will protest against the stigma. (Angermyer, Corrigan, & Rüsch, 2005). Protesting gains societies attention and by that people are more likely to listen to both sides of the spectrum. Protests are directed towards the misconceptions media shares with society (Angermyer, Corrigan, & Rüsch,2005) and suppress stereotypes by creating a more accurate picture of mental illness (Angermyer, Corrigan, & Rüsch,2005)

Mental illness stigma has damaging effects on society as well

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