Essay by emon101 November 2014

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The Impact of Sigma on People with Mental Illnesses

In order to understand the word stigma, it is helpful to understand the components of stigma. Stigma is developed through Attitudes, stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Attitudes can be positive or negative. We form attitudes based on our views of the world such as media and culture impact. Stereotypes are usually negative thoughts made about certain types of individuals or groups based on their race, gender, and mental health. Prejudice refers to negative attitudes toward particular individuals. For Example, if a person is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Soon after that, their co-workers find out they has a disorder the co-workers may start to treat the individual differently by not interacting or calling them "crazy" sometimes in worst scenarios, they might get fired from their jobs. When behavior and attitude is transferred to an act such as firing an employee because they were diagnosed with mental illness, it is referred to as discrimination.

Stigma attached to mental illness still exists today in our society including in the medical profession. This type of discrimination could in some cases drive the patient's mental health problems to the worse. There's still an enormous amount of misunderstanding and misinformation regarding mental illness, however it has gotten better over the last decade. With the usage of Internet, people have much more access to accurate information. The most popular stigma is that patients with serious mental illness are violent. Many studies have indicated that people with schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder, for example, are no more violent than the general population.

The stigma of mental illness effect all ethnic groups and cultures. It is necessary to understand that culture has a direct impact in the stigma attached to mental illness. In fact certain cultures such as minority groups are less likely...