Tag Archives: No more stigma pleas

Self Stigma

People with a mental illness put up with a lot more than their illness. Stigma contributes a major stress that they can do without. My late son often said; “Stigma and prejudice  are as distressing as my schizophrenia.” Stigma involves inaccurate and hurtful representations portraying  them as comical, violent, or incompetent, dehumanizing them and making them an object of ridicule.

When stigma is used in the media, it can refer to inaccurate stereotypes particularly when sensationalizing issues through unwarranted  references to mental illness, the misuse of terminology or the use of hostile language. Because the media plays such a critical role in shaping and reinforcing community attitudes as well as influencing the way we think, this is particularly harmful.

BUT, the  most harmful effects of stigma occur when it alters the way people view themselves – this is known as self stigma.  SELF STIGMA is the acceptance of prejudiced perceptions  held by others which can lead to a reluctance to seek treatment, excessive reliance on others , social withdrawal as well as poor self-worth.