The stigma relating health problems is not a small topic to talk about. In fact the stigma is worse than the illness itself. It teaches us how much it can impact one’s life and society as a whole. 1 in 5 Canadians go through an illness or a health related problem. It is a shame how our society views those individuals who are struggling with something horrible.
Health related stigma is a negative stereotype and depressed behavior is its only outcome. Within our society, the media that is displayed to us, often shows us how violent and dangerous health related patients are. On the news they will constantly repeat something tragic that an ill person cas committed. Sometimes people face problems when applying for a job, as they will prefer to hire a normal person over a person who is ill. It doesn’t mean that we should treat them differently. Often times, we are taught not to interact or get close with them because we don’t want to catch their disease. Sometimes even their friends or loved ones will treat them differently that impacts the individual by a lot. Due to this, many people experience low self esteem and have difficulty to talk to someone new or make new friends.
Therefore, stigma related to health is in fact an issue that still sustains in our society. There is evidence that people with a mental health problems have been being turned down at work because of their health issues. People say they should not work because they will drag the rest of the staff down with them. Some people are even told to stop searching for jobs because of it. Disclosure of a mental health problem in the workplace can also lead to discriminatory behaviours from managers and colleagues. Some people will treat you negatively and take advantage of you thinking that since you are ill, you will always listen. Workers may also treat you unfair by exposing you to a lack of opportunities. People in the workforce may also overreact to them when they are passing by, making them feel horrible. One of the worst points include talking about the other person and discriminating them from the rest. Their illness was not a choice, it naturally occurred.
Another big stigma is focused on mental health. Many people have a fear of talking to someone about it. They are scared to utilize health services that are provided to them. Our society make them feel as if they have a huge character flaw. They can’t be blamed for something that has happened to them. We are unfortunate that this society teaches even small kids how mental health patients are supposedly like. Like in some movies characters that are ill will always be the ones who are causing the chaos. They are always shown as the negative character. This provides the message that all mental illness survivors act that way. Words such as retarded, crazy, insane, lunatic will strongly impact the person and make them feel attacked. They will hesitate to seek help because they feel ashamed and embarrassed. It will leave them with no choice other than to deprive themselves from fully participating in their social life. Unfortunately in our society, this is shown everywhere. Suicide is a huge cause to this problem.
Stigma related to health issues are associated with suicidality. Many individuals feel isolated of their social surroundings. Some might feel they are being discriminated from having a job may have these thoughts. Others might have just lost hope and is seriously stressed, are all risk factors of suicide.
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