Open J Psychiatry Allied Sci. 2019 Feb 11. [Epub ahead of print]

A cross-sectional study of self-stigma and discrimination among patients with depression.

Garg R, Raj R.

Abstract

Background: Patients with psychiatric disorders suffer from stigma and discrimination along with signs and symptoms of the disorder. In addition, majority of research till date has been done on public stigma and perceived stigma. Self-stigma among patients with depression has not been well-studied. Methods: The study was conducted at a tertiary care medical college and hospital in North India in August and September 2018. Stigma and discrimination were cross-sectionally studied among 150 consecutive patients with depression using the Hindi Stigma Scale. The scale measures stigma in terms of discrimination, disclosure, and positive aspects. The diagnosis was clinically established as per DSM-5 criteria. Patients more than 18 years of both genders were included. Results: It was found that stigma was not affected by any sociodemographic variable. Stigma was significantly positively correlated with duration of illness. Majority of the patients did not want to disclose their mental illness to friends, public, neighbours, or in job applications for fear of negative reactions from them. Patients showed a number of negative emotional, behavioural, and cognitive reactions to stigma. Majority of the patients endorsed that their life opportunities were restricted because of stigma related to mental illness. Conclusions: Patients with depression suffer from moderate degree of stigma and discrimination. Assessment and reduction of stigma should be an integral part of the management and rehabilitation part in psychiatry.

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