We have a tendency of shadowing out individuals who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Despite our human nature of caring, we place those individuals in prisons or understaffed psychiatric facilities, leaving them to be the burden of others. People with mental illness may not be able to hold employment and may not have that family support. This public perception (stigma) “limits opportunities for individuals with mental illnesses and often prevents them from seeking appropriate help”. (Jeglic, 2015) How is it that the public perception is so strong when most people do not have expertise within the field of abnormal psychology?This perception is influenced by the media. “Information presented in the media can be
Corrigan, P. J., Morris, S. B., Michaels, P. W., Rafacz, J. D., & Rüsch, N. (october 01, 2012). Challenging the Public Stigma of Mental Illness: A Meta-Analysis of Outcome Studies. Psychiatric Services, 63(10), 963-973. Retrieved October 15, 2017, from http://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ps.201100529
This paper is an analysis of mental health and the stigma that is associated with mental illness. The reputation accompanying mental illness causes detrimental effects on those with a psychiatric disorder, such as discrimination, poor health outcomes and social suffering. This is partly due to a lack of public education on the matter, along with attributions of violence related to mental illness caused by news reports. A multi-faceted campaign to increase the public’s knowledge about mental health is critical to assuage the negative attachments affiliated with mental illness.
Although stigmatizing attitudes are not only relatable to mental illness, the public attitudes towards mental illness tend to be more disapproving than towards people with physical illnesses (Piner and Kahle, 1984; Socall and Holtgraves, 1992; Weiner, Perry and Magnusson, 1988). Those with mental illnesses are viewed as being more likely to be responsible for their mental illness (Corrigan et al., 2000; 105). This assumptions is more towards those who suffer from substance additions and eating disorders rather than those who suffer from conditions such as schizophrenia (Angermeyer and Matschinger, 2004). Such attitudes as these therefore lead to discrimination. People in society are less likely to employ (Bordieri and Drehmer, 1986) and rent apartments (Page, 1977) to those suffering from mental illness, citizens are also more likely to direct false accusations of violence to the mentally ill. (Explaining the increased arrest rate among mental patients: a cautionary note, 1980; Steadman, 1981)
Misinformation and misperception about mental illness can lead to the stigmatization of ourselves, our parents, our children, our spouses and others that we care about. The consequences of stigma range from social isolation to poverty to barriers to quality treatment and care. Stigma perpetrated on a grand scale can result in a system that reinforces the idea that people diagnosed with mental illnesses are unimportant and therefore are unworthy of access to quality and affordable care. Some media outlets (films and television) serve to perpetuate negative stereotypes and reinforce stigma. Although relatively few people with mental illness act out in
While stigma may not necessarily be a cause of a person’s mental disorder, it can certainly contribute to the complication and perpetuation of their illness. The effect of stigma goes well beyond just the patient and provides a commentary on society’s overall level of intolerance of those who are considered different from the majority. By recognizing the level of stigma that exists, perhaps we can alter that behavior and gravitate towards a more productive attitude towards mental illness.
People suffering from mental illnesses are isolated and viewed as strangers in society. They are viewed as dangerous or aggressive, which increases the likelihood of being discriminated against. These two factors will lead to social distancing, which is the greatest contributor of the stigmatization of mental illness. Without creating awareness of mental illnesses, the stigmatization is likely to remain the same and there will always be a separation between those with a mental illness and those
Individuals with serious mental illness are doubly affected by their disease; not only do they experience the often debilitating symptoms of their condition, but they must also endure mundane mental health stigmas and prejudices. Stigmatized attitudes are perceived to be one of the greatest impediments to living a complete and fulfilling life. Stigma has been defined as a combination of three related problems: ignorance, prejudice and discrimination (Rose, Thornicroft, Pinfold, & Kassam, 2007). Ignorance implies a lack of knowledge, prejudice entails negative attitudes, and discrimination involves exclusionary actions against people deemed to be different. Two forms of stigma are commonly distinguished in literature. Public stigma describes the attitudes of society towards people with mental illness, while self-stigma results from the internalization of prejudice by people who suffer from mental health conditions (Corrigan, Powell, & Rüsch, 2012). The World Health Organization announced that stigma was the most crucial obstacle to overcome for a community to functioning effectively and efficiently (Ontario Hospital Association, 2013).
The majority of people that have a severe mental illness are object to challenges in double measure. From one point of view, they wrestle with the symptoms and disablement that result from the illness. From another point, they are tested by the stereotypes and preconceived ideas that stem from the misunderstandings about mental illness. As a culmination of both, people with a mental illness are stripped of the chances that define a quality life such as a good job, safe housing, adequate health care, and a connection with a varied group of people. Although research has gone a long way to understand the affect of the disease, it only recently has begun to explain the stigma of mental illness (Corrigan). The lives of people who are living with a mental illness are many times drastically adjusted by the symptoms of the illness and everyone’s response to them. While symptoms can normally be diminished by a number of actions, the intrinsic stigma and prejudice that comes with mental illness may continue on for a lifetime and can manifest themselves in a number of understated and non-understated ways. Normally, when one thinks of a stigma, they think of disgrace that is associated with a particular event, circumstance, or occasion. People with a mental illness are most often branded as an effect of their behavior, appearance, therapy, their economic status, and also the negative depictions in the media of the mental illnesses. People with a mental illness often have a “stereotype
The Deviance Model places certain individuals who portray qualities of what we may consider as people with mental illness, where their thoughts, feelings, or behaviors violate own or others expectations (the violation of social norms). This sociological approach is frequently debated where the individual is being conceptualized as either sick or deviant which then reflects on their deviant behavior. Deviant behaviors should not determine whether someone is mentally ill or not. There are individuals who are mentally sick, such as pedophiles, in which most would agree to have mental illness though there are no biological factors to support that. In Thoits reading, Sociological Approaches to Mental Illness, the name in itself “Social Reaction Theory” underlies the basis of the theory, that the labeling theory as deviance is produced by social means. He argues that people who are labeled/treated as deviant become deviant. This is a ripple effect in where that individual begins to suffer due to social concepts, i.e., pedophiles are usually a result of early traumatic child sexual abuse. Becker explains that there is “No such thing as an inherently or naturally deviant act- deviance only occurs (or not) after the fact” (Thoits). This clearly demonstrates that society plays an important role in people’s lives which indeterminately affect those who don’t accept the social norms and are soon labeled as mentally ill in most cases. In my opinion, the model underlies mental illness
Mental illness is a controversial topic in recent news. From Sandy Hook to the Aurora movie theatre shooting, the effects of mental illness have sparked fierce debate and negative stigma surrounding the issue. Mental illnesses, “patterns of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that are deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional” (Myers 562), affect 1 in 4 people at some point in their lives ("Stigma and Discrimination"). However, only 59.6% of people with mental illness report receiving treatment, as they are often perceived as “dangerous, unpredictable, responsible for their illness, or generally incompetent” (Corrigan, Druss, and Perlick). As a result, an entire group of citizens is discriminated against for a condition beyond their control. With so much riding on the issue, a question needs to be addressed: to what extent does stigma surrounding mental illness affect the treatment of patients in healthcare and society? To explore the effects of stigma surrounding mental illness, it is essential to understand the issue through historical, sociocultural, economic, and scientific lenses.
Stigma has been said to be “a feeling of being negatively differentiated owing to a particular condition, group membership or state in life”(Arboleda-Florez & Stuart, 2012, p. 458). There are typically two types of mental illness stigma that are discussed. Public stigma, also known as societal stigma, is the stigma associated with the prejudicial attitudes the public holds towards those people who suffer from mental illness (Arboleda-Florez & Stuart, 2012; Corrigan, Markowitz, Watson, Rowan & Kubiak, 2003). Self-stigma, also known as internalized stigma, is the loss of self-esteem, withdrawal, and personal shame that some with mental illness will experience. Self-stigma is usually developed when those who suffer from mental illness associate the negative stereotypes the public holds with themselves (Chronister, Chou, & Lieo, 2013; Corrigan et al., 2003).
But what could attribute to this stigma? Approximately seventy-five percent of the population views people with a mental illness as dangerous (Corrigan et. al—2). Such a high percentage indicates that the majority of the population holds a negative connotation both about the prospect of mental illness, and towards the individuals who were unfortunate enough to contract the illness. A reasonable person would object to this, claiming that those people were making uneducated assumptions of the mentally ill population, which an informed person would be able to make the clear distinction between a dangerous individual and one who is not. A 2004 study performed by P.Corrigan, A. Watson, A.Warpinsku and G.Garcia, collected data from 161 people from a community college who were randomly assigned to one of three conditions concerning the education of mental illness; education about violence, education about stigma and a control where either mental illness or physical disability issues were taught or discussed. The results of this study found that those who were in the group “concerning education about violence were more consistent in their demonstration of negative attitudes towards people with mental illness” (Corrigan et al—2). This directly challenges the practices by some community groups that insist that education of people about mental illness should focus on the dangers of not getting treatment, which often includes depicting a violent picture of
Mental illness is often wrongly portrayed in the United States’ media creating stigmatization and misrepresentation. Mental illness “refers to a wide range of mental disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2015). Examples of disorders include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Any “negative attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are called stigma” (Wilson et al., 2016, p. 2) and stigma can contribute to progression of mental illness because of its harmful effects due to misrepresentation in the media. In the recent years, the United States media has began to address the reprehension around the topic of mental illness, as it has began to develop into a rising problem in citizens across the nation. In the past, any portrayal of a figure or character with a mental disorder would be wrongly depicted, therefore, creating a distorted perception for the viewers (Stout et al., 2004, p. 1). Television shows have started to establish characters with mental illness in hopes to lessen the stigma behind ill characters due to the wrongful associations viewers may make. The way media viewers’ stereotype the mentally ill into categories can be harmful to the well being of those with disorders. Stereotypes can be so harmful that even medical professionals “contend that stigma is a major reason why one-fourth of the estimated 50 million Americans experiencing mental illness yearly will not seek
In a study “ Public conceptions of mental illness: labels, causes, dangerousness, and social distance” the general public opinion regarding mental health issues, their dangerousness, and their desired