The Effects Of Mental Health Stigma In The Media And Society

3861 words - 16 pages

Mental Health StigmaSuraya YosofAllison GreenEnglish 205The Effects of Mental Health Stigma in the Media and SocietyIf someone is diagnosed with a physical illness or viral infection, we expect them to receive treatment until it's cured or it is not harmful to him or her. If someone had cancer or Tuberculosis we don't simply tell them to "brush it off" or "you don't need help with that". Yet when it comes to mental illness, people suffering from it are expected to just brush it off and not receive treatment. Society does not accept nor understand the treatment of mental illness. The media places stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness. That people who are suffering from ...view middle of the document...

My depression finally hit an all time low. I wasn't eating, I wasn't feeling like myself. I felt worthless, hopeless and overall just wanted to die. I desperately needed help and my doctors were noticing; that I wasn't getting better by myself, I've dropped too much weight and had no energy to even get up and go to school. But I ignored the signs that I needed psychological help. My teachers, class mates were all worried about me. Nothing got through to me. I didn't want to be that crazy girl who had to go to a psychiatric unit. I watched silence of the lambs; I was definitely not going to get help. This was my whole thought process until the day when I tried to kill myself. That was when I made a life decision to either get better or to continue to hate myself and my life. All of this could have been avoided if I wasn't afraid of what everyone else thought. I let the stereotypes of people with mental illnesses dictate weather I got treatment or not. That's why I'm passionate about raising awareness towards mental illness; because no one deserves to feel worthless and want to end their life.What are the implications of stigma on a person with mental illness?Stigma can harm people with mental illness, these stereotypes, discrimination and prejudice can take away important life goals and social opportunities from people suffering from mental illness. Because of this, they are unable to keep their jobs or find housing due to the prejudice in their community, their land lords and employers.Stigma also interferes between mental illness and criminal justice system. Patrick Corrigan goes in to how it interferes by saying "Criminalizing mental illness occurs when police, rather than the mental health system, respond to mental health crisis, thereby contributing to the increase prevalence of people with serious mental illness in jail" (2004 p.616). Meaning when people with mental illness commit a crime due to their illness, they are still more likely to go to jail than receive help. Public stigma also affects people with mental illness in health care; they are more unlikely to benefit from physical health care than people without a mental illness (Kendra, Mohr, Pollard 2014).The media influences on self-stigma and Public perceived stigmaThere are many different portrayals of therapist and psychologists in T.V and Movies. That can severely affect a person suffering with a mental illness. Every year as few as 11% of people with a mental illness will seek treatment. (Maier, Gentile, Vogel, and Kaplan 2013, p. 241) Many studies have shown that a lot of people can benefit from receiving treatment. However in Today's society people with mental illness are often depicted as crazy people or dangerous. TV And movies seem to over exaggerate mental illness, although purely meant for entertainment. People will believe these images they see on TV and discriminate people with mental illness. Although the media can produce positive images of mental illness, it's the...

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