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Consumers' experiences of stigma - Essay Example

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Consumers' Experiences of Stigma Introduction Pande (2009) cites that mental disorder is a common in the world today. Research indicates that thousands of people are affected by mental illness in Australia and the world at large. It affects everyone, the young, and the old, the rich and the poor…
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Download file to see previous pages The same research also found out that at least 450 million people in the world suffer from mental health problems (Thompson and Thompson 1997, p.6). Another research also established that at least one in every 12 people suffer from depressive disorders. Like any other disease, a majority of those suffering from mental health disorders are capable of recovering fully when subjected to the right treatment and management and live a normal life like any other person. However, this is only possible when such people are helped at early stages. However, since people with mental illnesses cannot make rational decisions regarding their life, it is important that they receive the best care and physical and moral support from friends and families to enable them manage their health conditions. Nevertheless, research indicates that a majority of those experiencing mental health problems tend to experience strong social stigmatization from those who help them manage their health conditions because of their mental status. Byrne (2000) defines stigma as a sign, discredit, or disgrace, which separates a person from the rest. In other words, stigma is the negative view of someone based on his or her condition or status. Stigma is always accompanied by discrimination, since those who are experiencing stigma experience discrimination at the same time. Stigmatization is not good as everyone irrespective of mental status need equal treatment from others (Pande 2009). This is because stigmatization is likely to worsen the condition of the person thereby hindering recovery. Research has also shown that stigmatization of people with mental illness has many effects on the person being stigmatized (Thompson and Thompson 1997, p.8). This paper will explore the sources and effects of stigma for people experiencing mental health problems. To begin with, Corrigan and Watson (2002, p.16) argues that patients with mental disorders suffer doubly. This is because whereas they struggle to cope with the symptoms and disabilities occasioned by their health status, they also face the challenge of stigmatization that results from misconception regarding their mental illnesses. Research indicates that stigmatization effects adversely affects people with mental illness and acts as one of the chief barriers to their recovery process. Study has also shown that stigmatization against people with mental illnesses is real in the society (Thompson and Thompson 1997, p.6). This is after a research found out that millions of people with mental disorders experience stigmatization. The research found out that close to nine out of ten individuals with mental health disorders reported having been stigmatized and discriminated because of their mental health problems. Such people also reports having suffered negative consequences as a result of stigma and discrimination. To make matters worse, Coubrough (2008) also found out that stigma is being extended even to those taking care of people with mental health problems. As a result, this has made people shy away from taking care of people with mental health disorders. During the research, Coubrough (2008) noted that stigma originated mainly from immediate family members of the mentally challenged, which stood at 36%. This was followed by employers at 35%, 31% from neighbors while friends posted the least at 25% (Coubrough 2008). This is a clear indication that the mentally chal ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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