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Essay on the Stigma of Schizophrenia

Date:  2021-06-17 23:35:03
4 pages  (881 words)
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Colloquially, but imprecisely referred to as the Split Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia is a severe, debilitating, and chronic mental illness. Currently, statistics has it that it affects about one percent of the population which corresponds to more than 2 million people in the United States alone (Warner, 2013). Despite its problems that are related to behavior, thoughts, and social matters, this condition is currently facing staid stigma, which has become a critical issue surrounding it. In public opinion and media reporting, schizophrenia has more negative association than any other general subject in the United States and the UK. Notably, the deleterious ideas and beliefs that individuals of the press, public, employers, and some health workers have on this condition affect those who live with it at the same time people who do not have it. According to the study carried by Link and Phelan (2013), it has been proved that in some cases, stigma about some diseases is more dangerous than even the conditions. Stigma in schizophrenia has got a serious effect on peoples psychological health since there is an intensification of isolation, hopelessness, and poor self-esteem, which have made the victims drop out of school or resign from jobs.

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While it is just like any other disease, in fact, some conditions are worse than it, stigmatization in schizophrenia has gone a bit higher than even cancer. This has been contributed by several factors. Firstly, Schizophrenia is a daunting word, which everybody is afraid of. According to Warner (2013), it signifies all manners of bizarre things, from suicide to shooters to wild behaviors. Link and Phelan (2013) posit that the name schizophrenia can be used interchangeably with any wicked thing or word. Therefore, if one calls the name, people start to think about all manners of evil, and in the real sense not even a single person wants to get linked to malevolent issues. As such, association with a folk who has this condition is the most feared experience since the scope of schizophrenia may be the foundation of someones whole personality. It can be his/her thing, like comic books, anime, or video game is somebodys thing. With that in consideration, there is no wonder theres still an inordinate issue of stigma connected to mental illness, especially schizophrenia.

Secondly, schizophrenia has experienced poor reporting from the media. Ideally, while the press will report on details any form of violence that has been caused by individuals with schizophrenia, only a small fraction of the thousand cases of people who commit suicide or steal will get full report or make it to the national press. This inequality is not accidental but intentional. Certain media personalities and even a sect of broadcasting try to demonize people with schizophrenia as the only individuals that cause mayhem and havoc in the society. Read, Haslam, and Magliano (2013) report that in some cases, persons with schizophrenia are victimized by violence while in the real sense they are innocent. In general, press information that emphasizes on violence by individuals with grave mental illness outstrip considerate reports by around four to one, and this has made schizophrenia to be in another level of stigmatization much higher than some deadly diseases.

The stigmatization of schizophrenia does come as a result of its characterization and media reports alone; rules in most government institutions has also contributed to it. There has been a long-term custom of demonizing mentally-ill in the society (Link & Phelan, 2013). For example, until very lately it was prohibited for any individual with a mental disorder to hold an office as a company manager or become a member of parliament. The ideology that people with such disorders are at best perpetually incompetent of life in a conventional society and at foulest a threat to it has endured for an extended period, and it is only lately that such beliefs have faced critics. It is for such reasons that it has been viewed as the worst condition hence those who have it do not deserve a welcoming or comfortable state in the society.

In conclusion, stigma in schizophrenia is a circumstance and a fact in life that is ingrained in the features of the disorder itself as well as the views of the media and the opinion of the public. Trusting that people defeat stigma is undoubtedly unsound but while the efforts to minimize it should not end, individuals should try to offer the victims the skills and ways that are necessary and appropriate to overcome stigma as it affects their lives. Notably, the high level of stigma in schizophrenia is elsewhere beyond the argument. Motivated by incorrect and wrong public perceptions and media reporting of schizophrenia, it still centers on the jeopardy of deviance and violence. Nonetheless, the issue here is not only with the humiliation but also with the disorder itself. In the real sense, there is nothing good about schizophrenia. Particularly, it is a chronic and spiking condition always involving inexplicably disturbed behavior which will interject a promising profession and at its worst ends it.


Link, B. G., & Phelan, J. C. (2013). Labeling and stigma. In Handbook of the sociology of mental health (pp. 525-541). Springer Netherlands.Read, J., Haslam, N., & Magliano, L. (2013). Prejudice, stigma and" schizophrenia": the role of bio-genetic ideology.Warner, R. (2013). Recovery from schizophrenia: Psychiatry and political economy. Routledge.

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