NH 24-Hour Toll-Free Crisis Line 1-844-711-HELP (4357)

Effects of Stigma

Stigma brings negative experiences and feelings followed by actions that result with the loss of
treatment and recovery opportunities.

Person Living with Addiction
:

  • Lack of understanding by family, friends, co-workers or others they know
  • Fewer opportunities for work, school and/or social activities
  • Trouble finding housing
  • Being bullied or harassed
  • Reluctance to seek help or treatment
  • Health insurance doesn’t adequately cover treatment
  • Doctors inaccurately attribute physical symptoms and behaviors to a person’s substance use
    disorder known as diagnostic overshadowing.

Families:

  • Families reported they have fewer social connections
  • They feel shame and responsibility
  • They feel blamed when the family member living with addiction does not go through
    with treatment plan

Types of Stigma*

Public Stigma:
General public endorses stereotypes and prejudices that result in discrimination against people with mental illness. 
(Corrigan, Rose, Tsangm 2011)

Self-stigma
:
Also called internalized stigma, happens when a person with mental illness or substance use disorder endorses negative stereotypes about themselves. (Barney, Griffiths, Jorm, &, Christensen, 2006)

Perceived Stigma
:
Belief that stigmatizing ideas about mental illness and substance use disorders are held by others. (Brohan, Gauci, Sartorius, Thornicroft, 2011)

Label avoidance
:
Choose not to seek mental health or substance use treatment to avoid being assigned a stigmatizing label, this can be the most dangerous type of stigma. (Corrigan, Watson, Byme & Davis, 2005)

Stigma by Association
:
The effects of stigma are extended to someone linked to a person with mental health difficulties. (Van der Sanden et al, 2013)

Health Professional Stigma
:
Any time a health professional allows negative views of mental illness or substance use disorders to affect the care of a patient. (Grappone, 2016) 

Structural Stigma
:
Laws, institutional policies or other societal structures that result in decreased opportunities for people with mental illness or substance use disorders. (Corrigan, Markowitz & Watson, 2003)

* Used by permission from Gretchen Grappone's Overcoming Stigma presentation.