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Mental illness as a psychological pattern is associated with a disability or distress and is in consideration with an abnormal development of individual’s culture. This condition normally reflects itself in behavior as it combines feelings, thinking, acting and perceiving reality. Social stigma is a severe disapproval or discontent of an individual’s character that does not match social standards. People with mental illnesses usually alienate themselves from the world that make others treat them as outcasts of the society. It is called stigmatization. Most of them end up living in mental institutions where they may be traumatized and spend miserable lives because of lack of the comfort, company and love that they need.
Mental illness can be caused by dysfunction of a certain section of the human brain or the rest of the nervous system. More often than not, there is a negative perception of social context rather than a medical context thus stigmatization.
This stigmatization is like stereotypes about mentally ill people that they, for instance, are all violent and desperate for attention. The society labels mentally ill people, and soon, there appear categories of ‘us’ and ‘them’. Erving Goffman came up with a theory that suggested stigmatization of people. However, he did give a virtual social identity while individuals without the mental illness do not have the actual social identity (Goffman).
Insufficient public awareness on mental illness is a main contributor to the stigmatization of such individuals. They receive treatment that suggests they cannot do any mental work, yet this is not the case for all patients. Stigma is a massive threat to the self-esteem, personal and professional relationships and career opportunities of psychiatric patients. Mental illness is a social disorder. This condition is reparable and can be corrected through the treatment. Adequate information to the society may demystify mental illness and eradicate the stigma associated with it.