Mental illness stigma is common, but it is unclear why it affects some individuals more than others. We tested the hypothesis that the way persons with mental illness perceive their ingroup (people with mental illness) in terms of group value, group identification and entitativity (perception of the ingroup as a coherent unit) shapes their reaction to stigma.
Ingroup perceptions, perceived legitimacy of discrimination and reactions to stigma (educating or helping others, social performance, secrecy, social distance, hopelessness) were assessed among 85 people with mental illness using questionnaires and a standardized role-play test.
Controlling for depression and perceived discrimination, high group value and low perceived legitimacy of discrimination predicted positive reactions to stigma. High group identification and entitativity predicted positive reactions only in the context of high group value or low perceived legitimacy of discrimination.
Group value and perceived legitimacy of discrimination may be useful targets to help people with mental illness to better cope with stigma.
"Interestingly, these prototypic experiences may also be associated with less positive regard for one's veteran identity. For example, the experience of combat is not necessarily a positive one, and as discussed previously, negative experiences associated with an identity may lead to decreases in regard for that identity (e.g., Rüsch et al., 2009). Similarly, research with earlier veteran cohorts has suggested that women who have experienced sexual assault during deployment may be more likely to use VHA for care, but may simultaneously feel somewhat less positively about that care (Kelly et al., 2008). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Women have participated in the United States military since its founding. However, until the mid-20th century, there had been limited recognition of women as official members of the military, and women remain a statistical minority within military and veteran populations. It is therefore important to better understand women's veteran identity (which we define here as one's self-concept as derived from their veteran status) and associated implications for service use and experiences in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care setting. The present research examined the centrality of, and positive regard for, women's veteran identity among 407 female veterans deployed in support of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Data were collected via a mailed national survey. Positive regard for veteran identity, but not veteran identity centrality, was positively associated with participants' age and length of time spent in the military. Results also showed that the centrality of women's veteran identity was positively related to their choice to use VA for health care and their feelings of belonging within VA, and that veteran identity centrality and positive regard for veteran identity are differentially associated with participants' military experiences (e.g., combat exposure, deployment sexual harassment) and mental health symptomatology (e.g., depression). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
"Group identification, defined as feelings of strong ties to a socially defined collection of people ( Jetten, Branscombe, Schmitt, & Spears, 2001), has been shown to diminish effects of self-stigma on the person with mental illness. People with mental illness who more highly identify with the " group " viewed that group positively (Rüsch et al., 2009) and were less likely to experience harm to self-esteem as a result of internalized stigma (Watson, Corrigan, Larson, & Sells, 2007). Coming Out Proud (COP) is a program designed to decrease selfstigma by helping people consider costs and benefits of disclosure as well as " safe " strategies to do so should they decide to " come out " about their mental illness (Corrigan, "
"Anticipated shame about a potential own mental illness may become a less abstract emotional experience for respondents with high symptom levels. This process is analogous to self-stigma as a process that requires self-labelling as a person with mental illness so that stereotypes become relevant to oneself (Link, 1987; Corrigan & Watson, 2002; Rüsch et al. 2009b, 2010). Symptoms and their recognition as signs of a mental illness might thus be a two-edged sword: They can facilitate help-seeking, but also induce fear of stigma and self-stigma (Jorm, 2012). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims. To examine stigma- and knowledge-related barriers to help-seeking among members of the general population. Methods. In a representative survey of young to middle-aged Swiss adults (n = 8875), shame about a potential own mental illness, perceived knowledge about and satisfaction with one's mental health, psychiatric symptoms and attitudes towards help-seeking were assessed. Results. A latent profile analysis of all participants yielded two groups with different attitudes towards help-seeking. Relative to the majority, a one-in-four subgroup endorsed more negative attitudes towards seeking professional help, including psychiatric medication, and was characterized by more shame, less perceived knowledge, higher satisfaction with their mental health, younger age, male gender and lower education. Among participants with high symptom levels (n = 855), a third subgroup was reluctant to seek help in their private environment and characterized by high symptoms as well as low satisfaction with their mental health. Conclusions. Shame as an emotional proxy of self-stigma as well as poor subjective mental health literacy may be independent barriers to help-seeking. Interventions to increase mental health service use could focus on both variables and on those individuals with more negative views about professional help, in the general public as well as among people with a current mental illness.
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