The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Stigma Influences Seeking Mental Health Care

Here is an article I found on BrainBlogger that I thought was a good article and so I am reposting it here.  Please visit the original site because I found many really great articles there about mental health issues.  Leave them a comment and tell them I sent you when you go.  Won’t you leave me a comment, too, and tell me what your thoughts are on this topic?


By | Editor Shaheen E Lakhan

Stigmatization of mental health disorders leads to a decreased quality of life, missed opportunities, and lost independence for the affected individual. A new study reports that stigmatization also determines if and when people will seek mental health care for themselves.

A large population-based survey in Finland evaluated the stigmatizing attitudes about mental illness and the use of mental health services. The study used a questionnaire to explore participant’s beliefs about mental illness. They were asked to respond “yes” or “no” to a variety of statements, including “Depression is a sign of failure,” “Mental health problems are a sign of weakness and sensitivity,” and “Depression is not a real disorder.” Other questions reflected participant’s desire for social distance from others affected by mental illness, as well as attitudes toward antidepressant medication. Respondents also reported their own experiences with depression. In total, nearly 5200 people aged 15 to 80 years old completed the survey.

Stigma is a complex concept that can be divided into three main categories: perceived public stigma (the general belief that people with mental illness are stigmatized by society), personal stigma (an individual belief about mental illness), and self-stigma (an individual’s view of his own mental illness). These attitudes and beliefs are closely related to people’s knowledge and education about mental health and treatments and services for mental illnesses.

Overall, people with depression reported more social tolerance of mental illness and held more positive beliefs about antidepressant medications compared to people without depression. People with more severe depression were more likely to seek healthcare compared to those with mild to moderate cases of depression. The study showed that stigmatizing attitudes do not prevent care-seeking behavior among people with depression, but the depression must be severe enough to overcome the social and self-stigmatization…[read more here]




July 21, 2011 - Posted by | Mental Health | , , , , ,


  1. People are stigmatized as “mentally ill”. “Mental illness” is the stigma. Branding people as ”
    mentally ill” is the problem, and the author seems to be part of the problem. Abnormal behavior is not a disease. Defiance is not a disease. Extreme sadness is a state – not a disease.

    Comment by george ebert | July 21, 2011 | Reply

  2. But some things are a disease like schizophrenia. To pretend otherwise is wrong. People need treatment and help. Not jail where many now reside. See my blog at

    Comment by tgarahan | July 21, 2011 | Reply

  3. I was accused of having schizophrenia and locked up , subjected to forced experimentation, drugging, and shock treatment. Jail would havve been fun compared to the torture I had for being “diseased”. Live your own lie!

    Comment by george ebert | July 22, 2011 | Reply

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