Original ArticlesThe Stigma of Mental Illness as a Barrier to Self Labeling as Having a Mental IllnessStolzenburg, Susanne Dipl-Psych*; Freitag, Simone PhD†; Evans-Lacko, Sara PhD‡; Muehlan, Holger PhD†; Schmidt, Silke PhD†; Schomerus, Georg MD*Author Information *Department of Psychiatry, University Medicine Greifswald; †Department Health and Prevention, University Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany; and ‡Personal Social Services Research Unit, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. Send reprint requests to Susanne Stolzenburg, Dipl-Psych, Department of Psychiatry, University of Greifswald, Ellernholzstraße 2, 17475 Greifswald, Germany. E-mail: [email protected]. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: December 2017 - Volume 205 - Issue 12 - p 903-909 doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000756 Buy Erratum Metrics Abstract The aim of this study was to investigate whether personal stigma decreases self-identification as having a mental illness in individuals with untreated mental health problems. We interviewed 207 persons with a currently untreated mental health problem as confirmed by a structured diagnostic interview. Measures included symptom appraisal, self-identification as having a mental illness (SELFI), self-labeling (open-ended question on the nature of their problem) stigma-related variables (explicit and implicit), as well as sociodemographics, current symptom severity, and previous treatment. Support for discrimination and implicit stigmatizing attitude were both associated with lower likelihood of self-identification. More social distance and support for discrimination were associated with less self-labeling. Previous treatment was the strongest predictor of symptom appraisal, SELFI, and self-labeling. Destigmatizing mental illness could increase awareness of personal mental health problems, potentially leading to lower rates of untreated mental illness. Erratum Reviewing the raw data of our Brief Implicit Association Test (BIAT), we noticed that we misinterpreted the polarity of the resulting D scores. The correct interpretation of the reversed D score as used in our paper is: positive values represent a stronger implicit association between “mental illness” and “normal,” whereas negative D scores represent a stronger association between “mental illness” and “different.” This has implications for the interpretation of our results regarding implicit stigma: Stronger implicit stigma was significantly associated with more self-identification as having a mental illness in both pairwise correlation and regression analysis (controlling for potential confounders), which is a finding contrary to our initial hypothesis. The reported results regarding explicit stigma measures are not affected by this. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 208(8):636, August 2020. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.