Stigma towards people with psychiatric disorders
WWS Mak, FMC Cheung, SYS Wong, WK Tang, JTF Lau, J Woo, DTF Lee
Department of Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
1. Doctors had the greatest and social workers had the lowest social distance from five disorder groups. Social work students had significantly greater social distance from people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia than nursing students. People with more severe psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, comorbid psychiatric disorders) had greater self-stigma towards themselves, compared with people having depression or alcohol dependence.
2. Based on the common sense model, professionals’ perception of psychiatric disorders contributed to the formation of negative attitude that affected their prognostic predictions and reduced their endorsement of recovery-oriented practice for specific psychiatric disorders.
3. People with psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, alcohol and drug dependence) were adversely affected by public and professional discrimination. Their experienced discrimination and negative perceptions of mental health services reduced their engagement with therapeutic services, intensified their self-stigma, and led to poorer recovery.