Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Stigma begins by labeling someone.Stigma by definition is a mark of disgrace and shame.Stigma has 4 components:

-Labeling someone with a condition

-stereotyping people with that condition

-Creating a superior us group and a devalued them group resulting in loss of status in the community

-Discriminating against someone on the basis of their labor

A diagnosis is a label a label can offer reassurance that your condition has a medical cause and can steer you towards treatment labels arent all negative and dont all result in a stigma many illnesses today are gaining acceptance and empathy,like breast cancer today people talk about it and hold benefits for survivors advocates wear wrist bands and ribbons.People with breast cancer would never be ridiculed by people with mental illness still face ridicule.

Why does stigma of mental illness continue?
mental illness suggests its not a medical or physical illnessTo some mental refers to a problem caused by your own choices and actions.People may blame you and think its all in your head.People may think people with mental illness are weak or lazy they should just get over it.

In reality mental illness has very complex causes a mix of genetics,biology and life experiences,most of them are beyond your control.

Some mental health conditions have more stigma attached then others like schizophrenia has more stigma compared to depression.

Harmful effects of stigma

-pretending nothing is wrong

-refusing treatment

-rejection by family and friends

-difficulty finding housing or a job

Coping with stigma

-get treatment

-surround yourself with supportive people

-dont equate yourself with your illness

-share your own experience

-monitor the media

join a advocacy group