The stigma of schizophrenia

The stigma of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia has a long history of neglect, demonisation and concealment. Even today, the illness does not receive the levels of public attention and research funding warranted by the numbers of individuals and families it affects. It is also common for affected families to conceal the illness from relatives, friends and workplace associates, thereby diminishing its impact upon public awareness.

A study by Indiana University found that while mental illness has achieved acceptance in the wider community as being treatable, it also found that there was still a misconception that people with illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were not fit for positions of authority or personal relationships.

Stigma such as this may prevent people with schizophrenia from accessing the type of support they need to manage their illness and lead to feelings of social isolation and loneliness¹. The negative consequences of stigma include discrimination in housing, education and employment, and increased feelings of hopelessness in people with schizophrenia.²



¹The second Australian National Survey of Psychosis
²Barbara Hocking, 2003, Medical Journal of Australia

Page last updated: 12:36  27 June 2013