Effects of Stigma
- Based on a survey of 3,239 adults by Roper for the National Mental Health Association, “42% of people with a formal diagnosis say they are embarrassed or ashamed by their symptoms” (compared to 17% of those undiagnosed).
-National Mental Health Association Press Release, 2001.
- In a survey of 1,312 Australian adults, “many people reported they would feel embarrassed about seeking help from professionals, and believed that other people would have a negative reaction to them if they sought such help. Some expected professionals to respond negatively to them.”
-Lisa Barney et al., “Stigma about depression and its impact on help-seeking intentions”, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, January 2006, Volume 40 Issue 1.
- A cross-sectional survey of rural Australians found that “causal attributions and perceived stigma rather than participants' levels of symptomatology and disability influence attitudes to help-seeking for mental health issues.” Another finding: “Willingness to discuss mental health issues with a general practitoner was predicted by the perceived helpfulness of the general practitioner and by no other variable.”
-Sarah Wrigley, “Role of stigma and attitudes toward help-seeking from a general practitioner for mental health problems in a rural town”, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, June 2005. Vol 39, Number 6.
- In a poll conducted by the American Psychological Association, 30% of the adults responding expressed concerned about other people finding out if they sought mental health treatment, and 20% identified stigma as "a very important reason not to seek help" from a mental health professional.
-J. Chamberlin, “Survey says: More Americans are seeking mental health treatment”, APA Monitor, July/August 2004, Volume 35, No. 7.
- “Shame, stigma, and discrimination are major reasons why people with mental health problems avoid seeking treatment, regardless of their race or ethnicity.”
-Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health, 1999.
In a survey of 2,782 college students, males reported greater concern about stigma, as did older students, international students, those of lower socioeconomic backgrounds and those with personal mental health concerns. Perceptions of stigma were also higher among those who had no family or friends using mental health services and those who reported believing that therapy or medication are not helpful. Overall, 71% agreed that receiving mental health treatment carries social stigma, but only 21% agreed that receiving mental health treatment is a sign of personal weakness or inadequacy.
-Golberstein, E., Eisenberg, D., & Gollust, S.E. (2008). "Perceived stigma and mental health care seeking", Psychiatric Services, 59(4) 392-399.
A nine-year follow-up of 805 participants in a program treating depression in primary care found that individuals receiving extra therapy were significantly less likely than those in usual care to report concerns about friends learning about their history of depression.
-Klap, R. et al., (2009) "How quality improvement interventions for depression affect stigma concerns over time: A nine year follow-up study". Psychiatric Services, 60(2) 258-261.
Survey respondents having previous contact with persons with mental illness rated a hypothetical individual with mental illness as less dangerous than persons without previous contact. Also, those respondents informed about the actual rate of violent behavior among individuals with psychiatric disorders (lower than commonly thought) rated individuals with a mental illness as less dangerous than did subjects who did not receive this information. Implications: (a) relevant information can help reduce stigma of stigmatized persons; and (b) repeated contact with members of stigmatized groups can be helpful in reducing stigma.
-Penn, D.L., Kommana, S., Mansfield, M., & Link, B. (1999). Dispelling the stigma of schizophrenia: the impact of information on dangerousness. Schizophrenia Bulletin 25(3), 437-446
- Based on a national survey comparing integrated care with enhanced referral care in primary care settings, most primary care clinicians indicated that integrated care led to less stigma for patients (among other positive outcomes).
-Gallo, et al. (2004) in the Annals of Family Medicine Volume 2, No. 4
Latino primary care patients reporting higher level of perceived stigma were less likely to take depression medication and more likely to miss scheduled appointments.
-Vega, W. et al., (2010) "Addressing the stigma of depression on Latino primary care patients", Gen. Hosp.
Perceived stigma at the start of treatment is associated with discontinuation of treatment in older adult outpatients with major depression.
-Sirey et al., "Perceived Stigma as a predictor of treatment discontinuation in younger and older outpatients
with depression." Am J. Psychiatry 158 (3)
Perceived stigma was one of the predictors of medication adherence in outpatients who sought mental health treatment.
- Sirey et al., "Stigma as a barrier to recovery: Perceived stigma and patient-rated severity of illness as
predictors of antidepressant drug adherence", Psychiatr Serv, 2001 52(12)