Mental Health Issues
This is a research paper outlining the current issues in mental health, like the stigma that those afflicted will face. The paper looks at who was more likely to stigmatize based on age, sex and experience with mental health.
This study examines who is more likely to stigmatize the mentally ill according to their experiences. Specifically, the study examines the level of knowledge each participant has about mental health issues and their viewpoints on the mentally ill, and whether it is related to gender.
“Stigma, has “traditionally been defined as a sign or mark that designates the bearer defective, and therefore as meriting less valued treatment than normal people” (Heatherton 2000:88). This view of an individual is apparent in all societies. The actual experience of stigma is common. Virtually everyone has experienced some form of stigmatization. Whether it is our personality, our dress, or our economic status. However it has been the mentally ill and former mentally ill individuals who “have traditionally been degraded and rejected; they have experienced prejudice similar to that experienced by racial and ethnic minorities” (Heatherton 2000:103). It is a fault in society to assume that everyone stigmatizes in the same way. It is the way we socialize our children that anyone different is less of a person. The mass media constantly characterizes the mentally ill as “sick”, “dangerous”, “worthless”, “unpredictable” (Heatherton 2000:103). Literature found on mental illness usually states that stigma for the mentally ill is common to all society, but a closer look shows that it fails to differentiate between its origins. Specifically that everyone looks at the mentally ill the same way: that they are negative and violent.”