- Slides: 25
The Stigma of Mental Illness
Stigma A sign of social unacceptability A mark of shame or discredit
Stigma Involves negative attitudes and beliefs that lead to: Ø Ø Fear Rejection Avoidance Discrimination
• Shocking, isn’t it? But it’s true. People simply don’t take mental illnesses seriously. They assume that those with mental illness are weak or somehow at fault for their suffering. But like heart disease or any other serious affliction, people with mental illness can’t get better by themselves.
Terms Related to Stigma
Involves reactions that include: Ø Bullying Ø Harassment Ø Violence Ø Avoidance Ø Fear Ø Name Calling: Ø Crazy Ø Psycho Ø Loony Weird Insane credit: Human Relations Media Maniac Photo www. hrmvideo. com
What people think • Many people believe there is something about people with mental illness that makes it easy to tell them from “normal” people
What people think Just 50% of Canadians would tell friends or coworkers that they have a family member with a mental illness, compared to 72% who would discuss diagnoses of cancer or 68% diabetes in the family. Almost one in three Americans say they believe depression is just a “state of mind”
What people think 46% of Canadians think people use the term mental illness as an excuse for bad behaviour; and 27% are fearful of being around people who suffer from serious mental illness. xvii Only 12% of Canadians said they would hire a lawyer who has a mental illness, and only 49% said they would socialize with a friend who had a serious mental illness. xvi
Stigma Result of What People Think: People do not seek help for fear of rejection, discrimination, ridicule Photo credit: ABC-of-Yoga. com
Stigma Those with a mental illness may: Ø Feel embarrassed Ø Hide symptoms Ø Try to “self medicate, ” often with street drugs Ø Make bad choices to “fit in”
Why fight stigma? • Just as we wouldn't mock someone for having a physical illness like cancer or heart disease, it is cruel to make fun of someone with a mental illness.
Why fight stigma? - There is hope – people can and do recover from mental illness - With early intervention, treatment may be more effective
• Knowing the myths and realities about Mental Illness will help reduce the stigma!