Self-stigmatization is a common yet unfortunate occurrence. With many misconceptions and false depictions of mental illnesses in the media, and with the ease of technology today, it’s now easier than ever to cast aspersion on others without real understanding. Self-stigmatization occurs when an individual begins to believe what they’ve heard about their mental disorder or the assumptions they’ve been told. For example, a person with schizophrenia may face many accusations that they are “crazy” or “dansgerous”, leading them to eventually not seek support or treatment because they believe there is no hope for a “crazy” or “dangerous” person. While these labels are certainly not true, it’s a devastating outcome of false societal perceptions.

Not only do many people with mental illness face discrimination and harassment, they also experience harsh side effects that appear from the self-stigma they experience. A 2014 study published in the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal sought to explore these effects by recruiting participants with mental illness from outpatient treatment centers. One hundred and twenty-seven individuals completed surveys on the topics of alienation, discrimination experience, social withdrawal, stereotype endorsement, and stigma resistance. Results from the study indicated that those with internalized stigma experience problems with depression, self-esteem, recovery orientation, perceived devaluation and discrimination, and empowerment.

When those around us with mental illness feel disempowered, then what? How are they supposed to seek help? This study is just one of many that highlight the key issues surrounding stigmas. If you have a mental illness, seek the help that you need today. There are people who want to help you. If you are a friend or family member of a loved one with mental illness, provide them with the love and support they deserve. Do your own research on their disorder. Ask them questions to get a better understanding of what they go through. Doing this will help you know the real truth behind false perceptions based in fear and ignorance.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.



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