Stigma - Essay Example

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A person who has been living a relatively normal life can instantly become a social misfit due to stigmatization from the society, which is where one finds their…
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Download file to see previous pages It is important to note that normal is a concept that varies between diverse communities. For example, in some small community’s addiction to drugs, alcohol and other illegal substances may be considered normal and the lack of addiction considered abnormal resulting in stigmatization. Disparities in what diverse societies define as normal represents the major cause of stigmatization. Overall, an individual has to find some kind of balance in terms of identity and adherence to societal norms in order to fit in and become part of a functioning society.
A person who finds himself or herself in the unenviable position of being either a mental case or an addict automatically becomes stigmatized, as the society views them as a hazard to the society. More often than not, such persons lack the ability to identify and conform to societal norms. Due to the stigmatization reinforced by the negative stereotyping and labeling; individuals suffering from mental health disorders such as alcohol and substance abuse fear seeking interventions customized to help them. In addition, the fear of giving up ones autonomy and other related freedoms due to being perceived as mentally challenged or as an addict/substance abuser can also deter one from seeking intervention.
Through qualitative and quantitative research, psychological scholars can examine the role of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to sensitize the society about the effects of stigmatization on influencing healthy behaviors of individuals afflicted by mental disorders. CBT helps in the restructuring of negative thought patterns. Eradicating stereotypic labels will encourage individuals afflicted with mental health disorders to seek interventions.
Heflinger, C., Wallston, K. A., Mukolo, A., & Brannan, A. (2014). Perceived stigma toward children with emotional and behavioral problems and their families: The Attitudes about Child Mental Health Questionnaire (ACMHQ). Journal of Rural Mental ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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