In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the stigma experienced by people with mental illnesses and their families. The aim of this study is to assess the amount of stigma anticipated and experienced by schizophrenia patients in one region of Poland and to examine how these figures relate to socio-demographic and clinical correlates.
Subjective stigmatisation was assessed using the Inventory of Stigma Experiences of Psychiatric Patients. The mental health centres in Malopolska selected for the study were facilities representative of the whole region as regards location and type of treatment. Out of 250 patients contacted, 202 participated in the study, resulting in a response rate of 80.8%.
The majority of respondents anticipated discrimination in interpersonal contacts (58%) as well as in the area of employment (55%). The most common experiences of discrimination in interpersonal interactions were the feeling of rejection by other people (87%) and having had an interpersonal contact broken off (50%). Participants living in highly urbanised areas more frequently anticipated exclusion of the mentally ill from the labour market, and older participants more often expressed the view that the mentally ill may have difficulties with access to institutions. The experience of structural discrimination was associated with lower education levels, living in a city, unemployment, being female, and being separated or widowed. The experience of rejection in interpersonal interaction was associated with lower education levels and more hospitalisations, and the experience of a negative public image of the mentally ill with unemployment and more hospitalisations.
(1) In southern Poland, people with schizophrenia both anticipated and experienced the strongest stigma in the domains of interpersonal relationships and employment. (2) Anticipated stigma, contrary to experienced stigma, shows hardly any correlation with patients' specific socio-demographic and clinical characteristics.
"Although the authors measured a range of actual instances of discrimination (32 situations/experiences), their measure of anticipated discrimination was limited to four items and included both anticipated discrimination (e.g., future discrimination looking for work) and anticipated social stigma (e.g., fear of revealing one's diagnosis and limiting one's involvement in close relationships because of fears of rejection). Others have operationalized anticipated social stigma as the expectation of both future discrimination and social/interpersonal devaluation (Angermeyer et al., 2004; Cechnicki et al., 2011). In the current work, we differentiate between anticipated discrimination— worry about acute acts of discrimination that are likely to happen infrequently, such as getting fired from a job or not being rented an apartment because of one's mental illness—and anticipated social stigma. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Internalizing mental illness stigma is related to poorer well-being, but less is known about the factors that predict levels of internalized stigma. This study explored how experiences of discrimination relate to greater anticipation of discrimination and devaluation in the future and how anticipation of stigma in turn predicts greater stigma internalization.
Participants were 105 adults with mental illness who self-reported their experiences of discrimination based on their mental illness, their anticipation of discrimination and social devaluation from others in the future, and their level of internalized stigma. Participants were approached in several locations and completed surveys on laptop computers.
Correlational analyses indicated that more experiences of discrimination due to one's mental illness were related to increased anticipated discrimination in the future, increased anticipated social stigma from others, and greater internalized stigma. Multiple serial mediator analyses showed that the effect of experiences of discrimination on internalized stigma was fully mediated by increased anticipated discrimination and anticipated stigma.
Experiences of discrimination over one's lifetime may influence not only how much future discrimination people with mental illness are concerned with but also how much they internalize negative feelings about the self. Mental health professionals may need to address concerns with future discrimination and devaluation in order to decrease internalized stigma. (PsycINFO Database Record
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"In many, the anonymity of the online environment could allow for a degree of personal disclosure and openness which may be hindered in offline social interactions (Bauer et al., 2013; Kummervold et al., 2002). This is of particular relevance when thinking about patients with stigmatised illnesses (Berger, Wagner, & Baker, 2005; Cechnicki et al., 2011) and may encourage some people with psychosis to engage in online social networking. However, patients with schizophrenia may also be wary about sharing information in an anonymous online setting (Schrank et al., 2010), and this 'anonymity' could in fact lead to a possible increase in psychotic symptoms alongside the exacerbation of paranoid thoughts. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Online social networking might facilitate the establishment of social contacts for people with psychosis, who are often socially isolated by the symptoms and consequences of their disorder. Aims: We carried out a systematic review exploring available evidence on the use of online social networking in people with psychosis. Methods: The review was conducted following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Included studies examined the use of the online social networking by people with an a priori diagnosis of psychosis (inclusive of bipolar disorder). Data from included studies were extracted and narratively synthesised. Results: A total of 11 studies, published between 2005 and 2013, reported data on online social networking in people with psychosis. People with psychosis seem to spend more time in chat rooms or playing online games than control groups. The use of other online tools, such as Facebook or communication through e-mail, is lower or the same than controls. Online social networking was used by patients with psychosis for establishing new relationships, maintaining relationships/reconnecting with people and online peer support. Conclusion: Online social networking, in the form of forums or online chats, could play a role in strategies aimed at enhancing social networks and reduce the risk of isolation in this population.
International Journal of Social Psychiatry 11/2014; 61(1). DOI:10.1177/0020764014556392 · 1.15 Impact Factor
"In contrast to public stigma, which refers to discriminatory beliefs held by general society towards PWMI (Corrigan & Watson 2002), anticipated stigma and self-stigma are facets of personal stigma experienced by PWMI. Anticipated or expected stigma is the belief of PWMI that others would think of them as having negative attributes (Cechnicki et al. 2011; Chaudoir et al. 2013). The prevalence of such stigma can be linked to judgment errors about the representativeness of media portrayals (Kahneman & Tversky 1972) where people tend to mistakenly believe that PWMI with negative attributes are more common than in reality due to what they are told by media sources. "
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