Damage done by Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness


Student Paul Linsley

Student 00045971


StudentMentor Erik Nystrom

Hitherto,mental illness is a multifaceted issue, which involves a variety ofthe identification, treatment plans, and services. Practicallyspeaking, individuals with severe mental illness are faced with twoproblems. First, they fight with the indications and the inabilitiesthat instigate a result of the disease. Secondly, these individualare affected by the pigeon-holes and the prejudgment that originatesfrom the misapprehension about mental illness. These circumstancestend to rob of the occasions that people with mental illness shouldhave that outline excellent life. Nevertheless, many researchers havegone further to acknowledge the impact of the disease. Stigma hasremained to be a fascinating damage that affects individual withmental illness. According to Rusch et al. (2014), both public stigmaand self-stigma results into stereotypes, judgment, preconception,and sometimes leads to suicidality. Unlike any other diseases, stigmaresults in social segregation and moderated social networks when amember of the public distance themselves from people who are mentallyill. Consequently, various treatments have been developed and testedto successfully reduce the symptoms and the disabilities of manymental illnesses. It is entirely unsuccessful that mentally illpersons’ do not seek out management services. One major factor thatprevents care seeking and reduces the services system is the mentalillness stigma as maintained by Corrigan et al. (2014). Therefore,stigma is a complex construct that lets in public, self, andstructural components. This research, therefore, investigates, 1) thefact that stigma surrounding mental illness is often more damagingwhen compared to any other disease 2) people with mental illnessface both public and self-stigma that originates from the perceptionof the public 3) and lastly, the public cannot understand the factthat mental illness is not associated with morality.

Many studies and works have been written about stigma and how itis relevant to the individual with severe mental illness. Perhaps thebest definition of shame is an unnoticeable or visiblecharacteristic, which is deeply suspecting and mostly resulting invarious forms of discernments (Corrigan et al., 2014). Similarly, itsaid that stigma is connected to severe social condemnation due towhispered or actual individual attributes, behaviors, and beliefsagainst the norms. Stigma towards people with mental illness is acompound issue in the sense that is pigeon-holed by a lack of enoughknowledge about the status of mental health, fear, predispositionthat originates from the public discernments and refinements. Also,stigma robs all façades of a person’s life, for instance, theoccasions of suitable housing and employment, real education, obtaininsurance, and fair treatment and medical services. To summarize, thestigma surrounding mental disorders robes of important life occasionsimportant to achieving the life goals.

Looking at the origin of stigma towards individual with themental disorder. Normally, is stems from different participants inthe community and sometimes it can be demonstrated differentlydepending on the perceptions from the public and self-stigmatization(Corbiere et al., 2014). On the other hand, stigma as asocietal-level condition, cultural norms, and organizationalpractices that limit chances and wellbeing for mentally ill persons.Public stigma affects families of the mentally ill individuals andclose friends in the sense that they experience a high level of shameand embarrassment. The damage caused by co-opted stigma affects theindividual’s self-perceptions and can likely influence theaccomplishment or failure in life occasions (Pecosolido et al.,2013). This is connected to the undesirable typecasts and socialinclusions that are related to extreme mental illnesses. Hence,self-stigma contributes to people who are suffering from mentaldisease and their families to acquire characteristics of self-abhorring and self-blaming, leading in the sense of powerlessness anddesperateness (Corbiere et al., 2014). In a nutshell, both self andpublic stigma can uncompromisingly and devastatingly damage thoseindividual with mental disorders, their families, and self-providersin many ways than any other disease.

Mukoloet al. (2010), argue that mental illness among children areendangered to exceptional denouncing contexts that have not been wellintellectualized. However, damage of stigma in adult mental health isassociated with social extraction and clandestineness. In this case,stigma is an overall hypothesis, is a changeable chronic andaesthetically formed environmental stressor. Damage done by thestigma surrounding mental disorder may pledge a changeover fromformerly light nonstandard symptoms to full psychiatric. This aspectis partly conjured by the patient’s disorders perception andoff-putting from disclosing its symptoms to others. Separately, mostpeople with mental disorder have the problem with motivation andbehavior. According to Corrigan et al. (2014), this issue can beobserved through lethargic and a motivated behavior when, and theindividual is depressed, compared with high engagement in the riskybehavior when manic.

The stigma surrounding mental illness causes severe damagescompared to any other diseases. This is true because suicide andviolence are among the most dangerous magnitudes of mental illness.According to the research conducted by Corrigan et al., almost fourpercent of people in the total population report generation suicidalideation, one percent says a plan for suicide, and 0.5 percentreports part attempts (2014). Rusch et al. (2014), note that peoplewho are mentally ill are associated with suicidality and withhumiliation. They further exclaimed that stigma has verities ofconsequences, which includes social isolation, desperateness orstress, redundancy, and discernment, which are the most importantaspects or risk factors for suicidality. Shedding further light onthe damages caused by the stigma surrounding mental illness. Rusch etal. (2014), identifies three main types of stigma that can bedifferentiated and may lead to suicidality.

The first one is the public stigma that happens when members ofthe general public sought-after for undesirable typecasts anddiscriminate against the individual who is mentally ill (Parcesepe,and Cabassa, 2013). The main consequences of public stigma as laiddown by Rusch et al. (2014) include social isolation and diminishedpublic systems when people space themselves from mentally illpersons. Other consequences of public stigma include unemployment,whereby an employee allow negative stereotypes in workplaces and canimpact other various domains like proper housing and education(Parcesepe, and Cabassa, 2013 Rusch et al., 2014). Ghai et al.(2013), on the other hand, assert that several stereotypes are linkedto mental illness and can cause social isolation for the members ofthe public. One of the conventional pigeonholes that are connectedto mental illness is dangerousness and violence. This stereotypetends to make people segregate themselves from psychologically illpersons. Dangerousness and violence are regarded as objectionable andrecluses (Ghai et al., 2013). Similarly, other factors that connectstigma surrounding mental illness to have internal consequences suchas reduction in self-esteem and decrease in shame, anxiety, andcircumvention. Consequently, precise results include discernment,elimination, predisposition, social distance, and pigeon-holing fromothers (Ghai et al., 2013 Ke et al., 2015).

The second type of stigma is self-stigma that refers to thoseindividuals who are mentally ill and have assumed undesirablepigeonholes leading to social extraction, shame, and discouragement.To this effect, individual with self-stigma feels that they are notwell-intentioned or able to achieve their life goals (Rusch et al.,2014). The main consequences that are associated with this type ofstigma are the feeling that one’s condition will not progress(hopelessness). Ahmedani (2011), posits that the persistent pursuitof public shame can encourage an individual to feel guilty andinsufficient about his or her condition. Also, the collectivedemonstrations of the meaning in the community including sharedvalues, beliefs, norms, and the acquaintance that stigma is availablewithin the community, have affected individual with mental illnessand have robbed them from essential life occasions. These factors canlead to a deleterious effect on a person’s self-esteem and self-efficaciousness that may change performances of the behavior(Ahmedani, 2011). An additional issue that some individuals withmental illness recommend denouncing attitudes regarding psychiatricincapacity, that they tend to believe that should also be treated insuch manner. In this case, the coopted stigma will affect theindividual’s self-perception and can hypothetically change theaccomplishment or disappointment in life occasions (Corbiere et al.,2012).

The last type of stigma that is related to mental illness isperhaps the societal norms and regulations, which can systematicallydisadvantage persons with mental illness. This kind of stigma iscalled structural discrimination (Rusch et al., 2014). Looking atthis scenario, lack of enough funding of mental health services willlead to poor quality of care and reduced access to mental health careservices. Separately, structural discrimination is associated withprofessional health stigma in the sense that social workers, mentalhealth practitioners distance themselves and sometimes are lesswilling to provide medication and counseling (Ahmedani, 2011). Fromthe previous paragraphs, many damages surrounding mental illness as aresult of stigma and discrimination are factors that are connected tosuicidality. As per the literature, suicidality may occur as aconsequence of a combination of perceived social isolation, orthwarted belongingness, and perceived burdensomeness. This iscoherent with stigma in the sense that both public and self-stigmalead to solitary confinement (Rusch et al., 2014).

Mukolo et al. (2010), suggest that general approaches towardsmentally ill children suggest the likelihood of sophisticatedstigmatization of children than in adults. This is because familieswith mentally ill children tend to have less apprehension about theiroffspring and the possibility of their children coming intointeraction with them is minimal. Attitude impacts specialists andpersonal behavior. However, stigma toward mentally ill adults do notonly originate from the general public, but also from the cerebralhealth professionals. In this case, many mental health care providersare not invulnerable to social prejudices and astoundingly share thegeneral public’s attitude attributed to individuals who arementally ill. This brings into focus the idea that that thewide-ranging public and mental health care providers do notunderstand the fact that mental illness is not associated withmorality. Ghai et al. (2013), note that mental health professionalsare less positive about prediction and less optimistic about thelikely consequence when compared to the general public. This reasonalone shows that mentally ill individuals have less access betterhealthcare services. Similarly, nurses are disposed to the samemisapprehensions as for the public, and that mentally ill persons’are ferocious, antagonistic, and are likely to damage them (Ghai etal., 2013). This perceptions and misapprehensions endangered the factthat mental illness is not connected to morality.

Separately, current studies have found that the public stigma ofnegative pigeon-holes towards child mental illness includepredilections such as social distance from the child, impugning thechild’s family for the child’s problems, and preferences forsevere cure modalities. Lack of enough information on the effect ofmental illness will eventually lead to severe damage of thoseindividual with mental illness. Consequently, the outcome of publicstigma towards mentally ill persons may result in unfriendliness,discernment, and social isolation. However, public stigma can bediminished. When pigeon-holes start to form and amalgamate throughchildhood improvement, various education-based programs should beeffective in the role of anti-stigmatization (Ke et al., 2015).

Looking at the impact of the stereotypes, prejudice, anddiscernment, these aspects varies from the different perspective.Also, stigma affects care to pursue at personal, provider, andsystems levels. These three models tend to participate intellectualdiscernments for instance, how people come to a decision ofcommencement and remaining in care, together with communal compasses,relational, matrimonial, and cultural factors that advance incommunicating manner. Corrigan et al. (2014), argue thatdiscrimination, for instance, to the persona who is mentally ill willfeel not worthy of life chances and when it comes to the structuralstigma dimension, discrimination leads to intended and unintendedloss of opportunities. The fact that stigma is a social creation, itprejudiced by significant social classifications like ethnicity andculture. Minority sets that are morally and ethnically-based aredisposed to healthcare disproportions. Healthcare disparitiesinspected as a restriction on available services or culturallyineffectiveness and it reduces the access to mental health careservices by individuals who are mentally ill (Corrigan et al., 2014).

According to Ke et al. (2010), the outcomes of stigma or damagewas done by the stigma surrounding mental illness is substantialbecause of the internalization of the public stigma through differenttypecasts that result into self-esteem decrement and eventuallysocial extractions and confidentiality. Also, all the types of stigma(Public stigma, Self-stigma, and Structural discrimination),instigates from the discernment of the public. In this case, shameoriginates from the social associations, arrogances, beliefs, andinteractive temperaments that people has on an individual who ismentally ill (Pescosolido, 2013). To reduce these outcomes of stigma,many comprehensive care and convalescences of patients with mentalillness should be based upon the viewpoint of regularization anddeinstitutionalization as argued by Ghai et al. (2013). The influenceof the comprehensive support system and enlightening programs willenable the individual with mental illness to experience all rightslike other without any discriminations. Some of the generalapproaches and strategies that have been put in place to counterpillorying arrogances and discriminating behaviors that areaccompanying with mental illness include education, contact, protest(Corbiere et al., 2012 Ghai et al., 2013 Rusch et al., 2014).

Thefirst approach to address stigma comes from the belief that stigma isassociated with poor accurate information about a mental complaintand that the general public is unable to understand the fact thatmental illness is not related to morality. Mental health professionalstigma and the public stigma stereotypes should replace inaccurateassumptions and false stereotypes of mental illness with facts andaccurate conceptions about the bipolar disorders (Corbiere et al.,2012). This intervention should be connected other applicablecontexts that stigma towards individuals are different regardingrace, gender, and sexual orientation. Therefore, it is significant toprovide education and the meaning of mental illness that incorporatesuse drug complaints so that the association of stigma can beunderstood (Ahmedani, 2011). Ahmedani (2011), further explains theconnotation of mental illness as a clinically meaningful behavioralor psychological condition that happens in an individual and isassociated with contemporary suffering or disability with knowinglyincreased risk factor of death, suffering, pain, disability or ratherlack of freedom.

The second strategy aims at curbing the negative attitudes towardsthe mentally ill through direct connotations with the affectedpersons. Face to face communications are the example of contactintrusions. It reduces stigma in a more talented manner in the sensethat it allows people to have equal standing and when individuals whoare working together in an accommodating rather than aggressivebehavior (Corbiere et al., 2012). This strategy will ensure diminishsocial isolation and both mentally ill individual, and the generalpublic can subordinate with one another. Nevertheless, the attempt ofcurbing stigma through contact is cost-effective and time-consuming.Besides, the program appears to primarily depend on the context andthe nature of contact or association with the affected individual.

The third intervention can be achieved through the passing of themessage to account and believe reported undesirable and erroneousillustrations of mental illness. Institutional policies, advocacyactivities, and patient empowerments groups are some of the examplesof this strategy. Corbiere et al. (2012) maintain that this system issignificant in diminishing negative attitudes or negative stereotypesby the general public about mental illness, however, it fails toencourage more active arrogances maintained by pieces of evidence.

In conclusion, the stigma of mental illness is connected acrossvarious constructions that damage health and wellbeing. Unlike anyother disease, Rusch et al. (2014), maintain that stigma surroundingmental illness is associated with suicide. Also, in contrast to anyother illness, stigma, and discrimination whether shadowed at thestandard level or individual level remains to be the chief modifiablefactors that lead to suicide. To address these difficulties ofstigma, a comprehensive approach to strategies that sheds light onvarious spheres must to taken into account. Anti-stigma efforts,encouragement, and political engagement should be employed.Similarly, given our conduct and assertiveness as general publictoward mentally ill individuals and working together with theaffected families and paying close consideration to the policies,approaches, and measures in various workplaces. Also, the use of thefirst language will assist in identifying potential educationalstigmatization and also sensitize on the everyday experiences ofstereotypes, prejudice, and discriminations.


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