Mental Health: Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness

According to the information found in the literature and theoretical formulations, it is commonly suggested that the most common mental health stigma in the psychological domain is associated with seeking help from professionals or psychiatrists. Mental illness can be defined as medical conditions that imbalance or disturb an individual’s normal thinking, emotional stability, nature or mood, the capability to comprehend others, and routine functioning. Stigma has been identified as the consequence of labeling and an outcome of humiliation that designate a patient apart from others (Pescosolido et al.

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850). There are different forms of essential constructs that outline stigma. These involve discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypical perspectives. Discrimination is the social response to prejudice, which essentially compromises, for instance, avoiding an individual with a mental condition because of the fear from the bias and the acceptance that the individual is unstable. Prejudice is the development of an uncomplimentary opinion formulated without a justified approached or before gaining a considerable amount of knowledge.

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Stereotypical perspectives are the opinions alleged about a particular group of individuals for instance, thinking that all mental health patients with specific illnesses are violent. This paper discusses how these stigmatic components are related to seeking help from professionals, hindering the process of wellness and psychotherapeutic rehabilitation. Individuals with a mental condition are generally perceived as retarded, abusive, and a public nuisance. Statistics from the psychology literature and theoretical compositions have mentioned negative attitudes from the general population regarding adults with mental health issues and social distance (Pescosolido et al. 850).

There was a limited number of respondents who understood that such individuals could be treated outside a hospital environment; approximately 25% noted that they could find and excel at regular jobs. Reduced knowledge about different mental ailments and their symptoms was also prevalent among the participants. They were not only unwilling to have communication and social interrelations with those having a mental health issue, there was also a barrier of initiating a conversation; about 78% mentioned that they would find it inappropriate or upsetting working with mentally unstable individuals; 81% mentioned that it would be embarrassing for them if people knew that someone close to them had been identified with a mental condition. (Pescosolido et al.850). Only 17% of the respondents were responsive enough in mentioning that they could maintain friendships with mentally disoriented individuals. In reality, people have a limited or no knowledge about the causes, symptoms, and nature of different mental disorders. This lack of education and awareness is related to the stigma of normal individuals.

Patients with mental health issues suffer from different challenges and contradicting statements presented by society on a daily basis. They have stress and anxiety. From not being accepted or understood completely on the basis of their complex personality attributes. The emotional responses and ignorance can be difficult for them to deal with as the direct influences of the health issues are already enigmatic. It is only through the conception of knowledge, and responsible consideration can the social views towards individuals with mental health issues be altered. Stigma factors influence individuals in terms of seeking help from professionals in an ultimate manner. It is different from the public stigma associated with having a mental illness. With this obstacle, what an individual suffers from is less significant than the basic behavior of approaching psychological help, regardless of the fact that it is for a diagnosable, chronic mental ailment or for assessment or any trauma or accident that has already happened. Merely pursuing psychological assistance on a professional basis seems to hae its mark of degradation (Pescosolido et al. 850).

The research presents that people have the capability of denouncing clients more than they denounce non-clients. In some explanations of scenario-based research, patients outlined as schizophrenic and having pursued help were appraised additionally unstable on emotional levels, less fascinating, and more violent than those identified as schizophrenic and not pursuing any psychological help. Observing the advancements made in the occupations of counseling and psychotherapy, stigmas are still faced by individuals who require or implement mental and psychological help from professionals. The stigma is mainly linked with treatment options, denial of the issue or absolute absence of issue identification, along with the sense of self-worth in terms of solving personal tasks. Research conducted by Muller and Schonrt-Reichl (1996) presents that mental health patients who require consistent help and psychotherapy option are often incapable og using additional resources. This is due to the fact that it signifies an open acceptance of inadequacy. Even for children, the stigmatic factors related to mental health therapies and treatments are important barriers for approaching professional support. Many schools are suspending children instead of providing Special Education due to behaviors linked to their mental health. According to the statements provided by Simmons (2000), as high as 85% of children who have the tendency to receive mental health assistance are not getting any due to the reflected humiliation linked with mental health issues.

Additionally, some caretakers are terrified they will be held responsible for the state of mind and mental health their child has. Stigma is frequently highlighted as the fundamental factor restricting the process of mental and psychological health service utilization Negative feedback from friends and family along with social stigmatization are some of the possible limiting factors to search for professional psychological assistance. Some of the important researches conducted have outlined that people in need of professional contribution which had not implemented the specified health sector, those having insufficient services, professed increased barriers linked with utilizing medical care as compared to those who had developed an application of mental health services. The ratio of apparent stigma is about twice as high for non-users as it is for users. For this same reason. Barriers related to stigma are comparatively more viable for forming the structural and functional approaches of the service gap. It explains that, when individuals require mental health assistance, they do not receive them. In some cases, public humiliation and disrespect regarding mental health issues and seeking help has a substantial influence on those who suffer from complications that are treatable. As opposed to the external, outsider-oriented focus of public stigma, there is the concept of self-stigma as well: this causes a patient to think that he or she is unacceptable because of having a mental health barrier. It is feasible to think of self-stigma as the particular intimidation of ones self- awareness, including self-esteem, confidence and reliability, that outlining psychological assistance might present (Corrigan et al. 880). Several authors have hypothesized that the more an individual observes psychological help as a consequence of their worth and personality deterioration, the less vulnerable they would be to search out psychological rehabilitation options. Differentiating between mental health stigmas related to seeking help from professionals due to public or personal reasons allows for an additional nuanced*** evaluation of what individuals seek about their personal psychological issues along with effectual*** treatments.

Although on many levels, thoughts of public stigma are likely to be associated with self-stigma for several individuals, this does not necessarily apply for everyone (Corrigan et al. 880). Individuals might recognize the probability of public stigma for seeking help (most accurately), and still have insufficient or no internationalization of that stigma. For instance individuals might have less self-stigmatic aspects due to past experiences with therapeutic measures or knowing patients who took advantage of those measures. Therefore they might observe general stigmatic perception towards assistance and seeking help, but identify from personal characteristics that psychological assistance is helpful.

Psychological studies exhibited that the individuals who were familiarized with the concepts of mental illness were less likely to formulate that the population is volatile and unsafe. Respondents as such were also estimated to be less threatened by the mentally unstable. Therefore, the more knowledge is given to the individuals, the greater their awareness of people identified with mental conditions, and consequently an increased acceptance level. Studies show that a fundamental component to decreasing stigmas may be to support the public with adequate information regarding symptoms, signs, and causes of mental disorders. It will make them additionally accustomed to the changes and alterations which take place in the emotions, behaviors, and responsiveness of people and provide major improvements.

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Mental Health: Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness. (2021, Mar 09). Retrieved from

Mental Health: Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness
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