Coping and support (2)
- Mental health: Overcoming the stigma of mental illness
- Intervention: Help a loved one overcome addiction
- Mental health: What's normal, what's not
- Mental illness in children: Know the signs
Treatments and drugs (1)
- Mental health providers: Tips on finding one
Mental health: Overcoming the stigma of mental illness
False beliefs about mental illness can cause significant problems. Learn what you can do about stigma.By Mayo Clinic staff
Stigma is when someone judges you based on a personal trait. Unfortunately, this is a common experience for people who have a mental health condition. Stigma may be obvious and direct, such as someone making a negative remark about your mental illness or your treatment. Or it may be subtle, such as someone assuming you could be unstable, violent or dangerous because you have a mental health condition. You may even judge yourself. Some of the harmful effects of stigma can include:
- Lack of understanding by family, friends, colleagues or others you know
- Discrimination at work or school
- Difficulty finding housing
- Bullying, physical violence or harassment
- Health insurance that doesn't adequately cover your mental illness
- The belief that you will never be able to succeed at certain challenges or that you can't improve your situation
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- Corrigan PW, et al. Measuring the impact of programs that challenge the public stigma of mental illness. Clinical Psychology Review. 2010;30:907.
- Factsheet: Stigma: Building awareness and understanding. Mental Health America. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/get-info/stigma. Accessed March 8, 2011.
- Putnam S. Mental illness: Diagnostic title or derogatory term? (Attitudes towards mental illness) Developing a learning resource for use within a clinical call centre. A systematic literature review on attitudes towards mental illness. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 2008;15:684.
- Mental illness: Myths and facts. What a difference a friend makes. http://www.whatadifference.samhsa.gov/learn.asp?nav=nav01_1&content=1_1_mythsfacts. Accessed March 8, 2011.