Internalized stigma (or self-stigma), one of the most painful effects of stigma, causes people with mental health problems profound negative consequences, for example, psychological adversity, demoralization, and feelings of hopelessness. However, knowledge about self-stigma in people with different mental disorders is insufficient. We hypothesized that people with different psychiatric diagnoses have different levels of self-stigma. Through convenience sampling, we used the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness Scale to compare people diagnosed with schizophrenia (n = 161), depressive disorder (n = 98), bipolar disorder (n = 43), and anxiety disorder (n = 45) in southern Taiwan. We found that people with schizophrenia (mean, 2.09–2.30) and those with bipolar disorder (mean, 2.16–2.38) had significantly higher levels of self-stigma, except for the Stigma Resistance, than did those with anxiety disorder (mean, 1.74–1.87). Our results suggest that clinicians should use different interventions to reduce self-stigma for populations with different psychiatric diagnoses.
*Department of Psychiatry, Chi Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan; †Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, UK; ‡Department of Senior Citizen Service Management, College of Recreation and Health Management, Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science; §Department of Psychiatry, Chi Mei Medical Center, Liouying; ∥Department of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, Chang Jung Christian University, Tainan, Taiwan; and ¶Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong.
Send reprint requests to Chung-Ying Lin, MS, PhD, OT/L, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 11 Yuk Choi Rd, Hung Hom, Hong Kong. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.