Mental Illness Stereotypes and Attitudes Treatment Options

Research indicates that of all people with signs of mental illness, only 30-40% seek care (Angermeyer & Dietrich 164). The stigma of mental illness is a major obstacle that keeps people from pursuing psychotherapy. In addition, the stigma can interfere with the acts of seeking therapy. The negative perceptions that arise from the experience of self-stigma around mental illness and the stigma of public recognition can act as a barrier to pursuing care. Experiences of self-stigma are influenced by relationships between the desire to seek care and the perceived public stigma (Rüsch, Angermeyer & Corrigan 532). Public stigma first internalized as self-stigma impact treatment willingness. As opposed to receiving labels resulting in self-directed public stigma and self-stigma, individuals may opt to avoid seeking mental health services (Angermeyer & Dietrich 170). In an attempt to avoid self-categorization as forming part of the mentally ill population, many people with symptoms of mental illness may avoid seeking treatment; a result of the publicly held stereotype regarding mental illness. Stigma forms a consistent barrier even after one has sought treatment (Rüsch, Angermeyer & Corrigan 539). While examining the relationship between the numerous components of mental illness and self-stigma, a comprehensive meta-analysis examination found that in seven cases over the eleven examined containing information related to treatment adherence, there was a significant gap between one’s ability to adhere to prescribed medication or therapy and the levels of self-stigma.
The perceptions of discriminatory experiences and stigmatization can be elicited by the act of receiving treatment (Martin 7). The attendance of therapy sessions brings about shame feelings; for example, feeling inferior to others, treated as less competent or with less respect. The negative attitudes and beliefs have considerably forced individuals to avoid or entirely drop out treatment. 
Works cited
Martin, Michelle E. Introduction to human services: Through the eyes of practice settings. Pearson Higher Ed, 2013.
Rüsch, Nicolas, Matthias C. Angermeyer & Patrick W. Corrigan. “Mental illness stigma: concepts, consequences, and initiatives to reduce stigma.” European psychiatry, 20.8 (2005): 529-539.
Angermeyer, Matthias C. & Sandra Dietrich. “Public beliefs about and attitudes towards people with mental illness: a review of population studies.” Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 113.3 (2006): 163-179.

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