Stigma = Abnormality – no matter the definition carries a stigma

(depression & schizophrenia)

Fig.4 Meta-analysis examining relationship between improvement in knowledge and change in stigma.

As you can see that as awareness increases stigma decreases.

Public Stigma around mental illness is composed of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Public stereotypes suggest that people with mental illness are dangerous, incompetent and weak in character. Prejudices toward individuals with mental illness are expressed with anger and fear. Mental illness is often discriminated against by the withholding of help, adequate employment, and housing opportunities.

Self Stigma is the beliefs a persons holds in regards to their self, which are also comprised of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. People with mental illness hold steroetypes that they are incompentent and have a character weakness. Since they believe that they have a character weakness they often have low self-esteem and low self-efficacy, which are prejudices. This results in self discrimination in their failure to pursue work and housing opportunities.

Stigma & Treatment
• People often do not seek treatment because of a belief that it represents an admission of inadequacy.
• As many as 85% of children who need mental health treatment are not receiving it because of stigma.
• Parents may not seek services for their children because they fear being blamed.
• Stigma is considered a primary reason people who need mental health help do not seek it.
• People suffering from schizophrenia are generally the most stigmatized mental health grouping.


Zartaloudi, A., & Madianos, M. (2010). Mental health treatment fearfulness and help-seeking. Issues In Mental Health Nursing, 31(10), 662-669. doi:10.3109/01612840.2010.490929

Patrick W. Corrigan , Mandy W.M. Fong. Competing perspectives on erasing the stigma of illness: What says the dodo bird? Social Science & Medicine, Volume 103, 2014, 110 -117