The Stigmatization of the Mentally Ill and the Effects
The primary focus of this topic is to discuss the extent at which mentally ill patients are stigmatized in society, their negative impacts, and the best medical intervention strategies.
Batterham, P. J., Griffiths, K. M., Barney, L. J., & Parsons, A. (2013). Predictors of generalized
anxiety disorder stigma. Psychiatry Research, 206 (2), 282-286.
Batterham et al. (2006) discuss how stigmatizing mentally ill patients poses a myriad negativities on the affected person. According to the authors, the biggest problem associated with stigmatization is a refusal to undertake prescribed medicine and to undergo the required medical treatment procedures. For that reason, Batterham et al. (2006) provide that a survey can only precede the process of eliminating stigmatization to determine the characteristics that lead to increased discriminatory viewpoints on the diagnosed individuals. To provide the reader with the required analytical findings, the authors surveyed Australian participants from various professionals and demographics to determine people’s attitudes on depression and anxiety disorders. In every analytical sample, the authors took data from personal and perceived models of depression and anxiety stigma.
From the analysis, Batterham et al. (2006) conclude that previously diagnosed individuals have lower levels of both perceived and personal stigmatization on others with the disease or the disorder itself. However, exposure on the media platform, especially documentaries, elicits high stigmatizing views from the public than those who have directly contacted people diagnosed with the anxiety disorder. As such, creating awareness through the media and other educational platforms are ways of decreasing stigmatization in society as they change people’s attitudes. The study also suggests that it is more valuable to use different approaches as an anti-stigma campaign strategies, including psychotic education, positive and greater exposure of diagnosed individuals to the wider community. The study is an eye-opener to other researchers, but it is quite ineffective due to the inadequacy of participants and few responses. However, the study is crucial in providing that there is a need for community-based interventions as they are significant in reducing the levels of generalized anxiety stigma in any society.
Ungar, T., Knaak, S., & Szeto, A. C. (2016). Theoretical and practical considerations for
combating mental illness stigma in health care. Community Mental Health Journal, 52(3), 262-271.
The main argument of these authors is that the rate at which mentally ill patients are stigmatized and discriminated is alarming. Thus, there is the need to focus on developing more intervention strategies to eliminate this problem. From their point of view, stigma operates on three levels, which include the structural, interpersonal, and intrapersonal stages. As such, reducing this stigmatization requires targeting the health professionals since they are both powerful discriminators and experienced caregivers at the same time. According to Ungar et al. (2016), there are three ways of intervening on this problem, the first being the application of currently developing evidence-based practice. However, using the social contact methodology that requires different intervention strategies is a preferable way of reducing mental illness stigmatization. The last approach is involving the experience of already recovered individuals for better connectedness, improved understanding of this condition to diminish anxiety, and heightens the empathy levels of the health professionals.
However, before any intervention strategies can be implemented, Ungar et al. (2016) suggest the need to evaluate learners’ perceptions and different departments within the health care sector. In this case, the learner’s knowledge level, attitude, and behavioral characteristics are considered as essential factors that are highly applicable in eliminating stigmatization of mentally ill patients. On the other hand, evaluating how different groups in hospital settings perceive mental illness is crucial in surveying practitioners at their occupation, discipline, and departmental levels. The last stage becomes stigma reduction implementation methodologies. In this setup, the medical professionals apply empathetic human-centered procedures that elicit optimistic experimentation and collaboration from all involved in providing professional help to the affected patients. Essentially, this article has provided that stigmatization of mental illness requires the application of different approaches, evaluating the target caregivers attitudes or behavior, and implementing particular methodologies to resolve this problem.
Batterham, P. J., Griffiths, K. M., Barney, L. J., & Parsons, A. (2013). Predictors of generalized anxiety disorder stigma. Psychiatry Research, 206(2), 282-286.
Ungar, T., Knaak, S., & Szeto, A. C. (2016). Theoretical and practical considerations for combating mental illness stigma in health care. Community Mental Health Journal, 52(3), 262-271. 319