Stigma refers to unacceptance and shame felt by people who display characteristics that society considers wrong. These characteristics may be in terms of racial or cultural identity, sexual identity, social status, physical appearance, disease or disability.
Here are some insights on stigma
Stigma is of two types:
Differentiating against people with Mental illness due to stigma
When someone suffers from any kind of mental disorder and talks about it openly, they are often viewed from a different lens (usually negative) which distinguishes them from others which restricts an individual from seeking help.
Media and movie’s portrayal of stigma
Media and movies have never been kind to mental illness, which has created a very bad impact on the same. Usually when someone in movies suffers from any form of social distress, they are perceived to be dangerous and harmful. The treatments shown are usually disturbing.
Making sure that adjectives of mental illness are not used as a daily word.
Due to the common usage of words like “depressed” “insomnia” “bi-polar” and “anorexic” without any or little context, it is not taken very seriously. When someone actually suffers from mental distress, it is not taken very seriously people around them believe that it is not a very big deal.
How stigma found its way in our daily lives?
Stereotypes and stigma are usually learnt in two ways:
Attribution theory. Attribution theory talks about how stigma is built in an individual. Stigma finds its way from an incident which may have occurred in the past, and the mind registers the emotion which was experienced during the incident, if the emotion experienced was accounted as negative it leads to a behavioural response which may be discriminating. In case of mental illness, individuals who believe that mental illness is controllable, or that individuals are responsible for it. Are the ones who are more likely to respond in an angry or hostile manner.
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