Stigma and Mental Illness

Un libro in lingua di Fink Paul Jay Tasman Allah (EDT) edito da Amer Psychiatric Pub Inc, 1992

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One of the strongest deterrents to seeking mental health care is the stigma associated with mental illness in our society. Stigma affects not only those seeking treatment but also their families and caregivers. The aim of this book is to educate both professionals and the lay public on the pervasiveness of the stigmatization of mental illness, with the hope that education will inspire understanding.
The book opens with firsthand accounts of stigma that poignantly portray what it is like to experience stigma and mental illness in our society--the pain of rejection by friends, the loss of individual rights, the closed door at every turn. These personal stories, one by a senior resident physician suffering from bipolar disorder and alcoholism, are powerful reminders of stigma's debilitating effects on all those touched by mental illness.
Stigma is not a new problem. It can be traced as far back as ancient Greece. A historical overview examines selected periods in history and how perceptions toward mentally ill persons and toward stigma itself have changed over time. A review of stigma from a religious perspective reveals a historical association of mental illness with sin.
Stereotypic caricatures as portrayed in the media and on film reinforce society's attitudes toward mentally ill individuals. The book examines societal issues from the points of view of the patient, the homeless mentally ill, and the families of both patients and caregivers. A fascinating look at how psychiatrists have been portrayed in films illustrates the problem of the stigmatized physician.
Society's image of the psychiatric institution is the subject of a discussion on stigma in the psychiatric hospital--what it means for those who work with persons who are chronically mentally ill, the stigma surrounding ECT, and attitudes toward the deinstitutionalized patient.
A note of encouragement is offered in the closing chapter on the effectiveness of educational theater in reducing stigma in one communication. It is hoped that this collection of diversified perspectives on stigma and mental illness will draw significant attention to a long-standing and serious problem.

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