alexa The Impact of Stigma on Severe Mental Illness
Clinical Research

Clinical Research

Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics

Author(s): Patrick Corrigan

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Movies, newspapers, magazines, television shows, books, radio programs, and advertisements have all been vehicles for communicating the experience of severe mental illness. This has, however, tended to be a misrepresentation of the experience. Persons with psychiatric disability suffer societal scorn and discrimination because of the stigma that evolves out of these misrepresentations. This kind of rebuff frequently leads to diminished self-esteem, fear of pursuing one's goals, and loss of social opportunities (e.g., landlords are hesitant to rent apartments to persons with severe mental illness). Social psychologists have developed a model of stereotype that frames stigma as a cognitive structure. Their social cognitive paradigm seems especially useful for a model of cognitive behavioral therapy for stigma. This model identifies three targets: (a) persons who hide their mental health experience from the public and suffer a private shame; (b) persons who have been publicly labeled as mentally ill and suffer societal scorn; and (c) society itself, which suffers fears and misinformation based on stigma and myth. Each of these three targets suggests specific behavioral interventions that may alleviate the impact of stigma.

This article was published in research gate and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics

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