Essay The Stigma Of Mental Illness

1435 Words Dec 1st, 2016 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 a mentally ill individual. It could be a significant factor in the course of their illness by deterring them from seeking help from fear of a negative label. Often times, stigma stems from a lack of understanding. Openly discussing mental illness is not viewed as socially acceptable. Lack of discussion leads to lack of understanding, which in turn, leads to public stigma (Corrigan). Because mental illness cannot be seen, it is often viewed as a moral flaw or a mental and emotional weakness. Many people do not see mental illness as an illness at all, rather, they see it as merely an attitude that is chosen and controllable. The mentally ill are often blamed for their illness as if they choose to think the way that they do and to be…

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