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The Stigmatisation and How it Affects the Process of Recovery of People who have any Mental Illness.

Persons who have mental illness often experience stigmatisation. These people then internalise the negative attitudes of the society and convert to self-stigmatise (Podogrodzka-Niell and Tyszkowska, 2014). A noteworthy share of the society grasps a negative attitude on the road to the mentally ill, and this behaviour has not altered for years. This is still happening in the society even with the promotion of information about mental illnesses and their increasing recognition of psychiatric treatment.

There are different forms of stigma; prejudice, discrimination, dread, disgrace, suspicion as well as stereotypes. It refers to the behaviour of people who have mental illness; people seizure the stereotypes about mental illness constructed by society towards themselves. They assumed that they would be rejected socially and possess no value for the society. They fear from the direct discrimination by the society due to the mental illness. The general public in the Western world is considered responsible for the construction of stigmas. People in the western world have stigmatising attitudes about mental illness and in this list; well-trained professionals are included along with general public. This paper will discuss the stigmatisation and how it affects the process of recovery of people who have any mental illness.

There are the internal and external source of stigma, which can consist of unconscious comments and conducts or these can be determined actions. People can also be self-stigmatised because of internal factors. Both become the source of loss of self-esteem and an open approach towards treatment (Markowitz, Angell and Greenberg, 2011). This approach then makes an effect over the process of recovery because of loss of self-esteem as this self-esteem was necessary to increase the ability to change. There can be structural discrimination and society may reduce the number of available resources for these people. For example, there can be the inefficient system of mental health care for these patients in the context of stigma. Stigmatizing behaviours are not always evident, and there can be a manifestation of these behaviours in subtle forms. When people have internal and external stigmatisation, then they have strong feelings of shame related to a specific attribute of their personality or the illness. Moreover, a person with the stigmatisation is expelled from various zones of social functioning because of his rejection and discrimination in the society.

Thus, stigma affects people’s lives people who have mental illness in many different ways. The main disadvantage of stigma is that it proves a hindrance in the way of the recovery process from the mental illness. It is a barrier in pursuing early treatment, as people mostly do not go for professional help until their get suffers from serious symptoms. Due to the stigma, people may also get disengage from therapeutic interventions, or they may not continue their medication. All these serve as sources of a hindrance in the recovery process. Recovery is a process that enables the person to have a sustaining and optimistic life along with dealing with all the limitations of the illness (ANGERMEYER and Schomerus, 2012). A recovery process is related to stigma, but these are contrary concepts. For example, if recovery has a claim that there is a half-full glass of opportunities, then stigma has a claim in the opposite direction that there is half-empty glass. Challenges are identified and accepted in recovery process while in stigma there is the identification of obstacles. If a person has mental illness and general public associate stigma with this, then person self-esteem declines. A person is also not able to continue the recovery process as a result of a stigma associated with them due to mental illness. There is also a reduction in the social opportunities that can include employment opportunities or lower employment rate along with the accommodation. People due to the associated stigma did not want to be connected with these people and stigmatised them. Thus, when people do not want to have a stigma associated with them, then they avoid the treatment and drop out of treatment. This not only affects people who have mental illness but this is a source of disturbance for those also, who are linked with these patients. This is a societal perspective and is not an individual one. This is also rooted in the culture and culture has an important influence on this process. Some social factors affect the process of recovery and at the same time also become a source of stigma for people who have mental illness (Podogrodzka-Niell and Tyszkowska, 2014). These include public perception along with the media coverage of the illness. Moreover, there are patient’s social network, their attitude and role of the family as main factors. These all serve as a source of an obstacle to the process of recovery.

For example, media as the main factor plays a crucial role in spreading the process of stigmatisation due to the large coverage ability. The social reluctance is mainly due to stereotypical media coverage related to the illness. For example, media try to highlight the criminals associated with certain mental disorders. It also shows people who have mental illness as poor, ignorant, and wicked. The only social support that these people get is from their family as they have a poor social network or it is limited only to their family system. Therefore, stigma can jeopardise the recovery process and at a time when people require a lot of support, reinforcement, and love. It becomes the source of diminishing their ability to track a pathway of health concerning the body as well as spirit.


ANGERMEYER, M. and Schomerus, G., 2012. A stigma perspective on recovery. World Psychiatry11(3), pp.163-164.

Markowitz, F.E., Angell, B. and Greenberg, J.S., 2011. Stigma, reflected appraisals, and recovery outcomes in mental illness. Social Psychology Quarterly74(2), pp.144-165.

Podogrodzka-Niell, M. and Tyszkowska, M., 2014. Stigmatization on the way to recovery in mental illness–the factors associated with social functioning. Psychiatr. Pol48(6), pp.1201-1211.



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