The effects of mental health stigma in the media and society

Essay by Suraya23College, Undergraduate November 2014

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Mental Health Stigma

Suraya Yosof

Allison Green

English 205

The Effects of Mental Health Stigma in the Media and Society

If someone is diagnosed with a physical illness or viral infection, we expect them to receive treatment until it's cured or it is not harmful to him or her. If someone had cancer or Tuberculosis we don't simply tell them to "brush it off" or "you don't need help with that". Yet when it comes to mental illness, people suffering from it are expected to just brush it off and not receive treatment. Society does not accept nor understand the treatment of mental illness. The media places stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness. That people who are suffering from mental illnesses avoid getting treatment for their illness; in order to not be labeled as "crazy" or "being socially unacceptable". Although physical and mental illnesses are not the same; mental illness can also have severe consequences such as isolation, self-harm and death.

Society and the media play a huge role in mental health stigma among patients with psychiatric disorder, and their refusal and avoidance of receiving mental health care.

Stigma is defined as mark a disgrace towards a certain group base on a particular circumstance or quality (Oxford dictionary).

There are two types of stigma surrounding mental illness; the first one is public perceived stigma. This is the public common beliefs and stereotypes towards mental illness. It is also the common public response to people who seek help for psychological problems (Bathje, Pryor, 2011, p.161). The second one is self-stigma is the views held by the individual that he or she is socially unacceptable and accepts how the public perceived mental illness.(Maier, Gentile, Vogel, and Kaplan, 2013, p. 239)

I've had my own experience of the stigma surrounding mental...