Opioid Epidemic

The Potential Personal Consequences of Stigma


Stigma occurs when individuals are viewed negatively or discriminated against because of certain characteristics, traits or conditions. Unfortunately, individuals with mental illness, disabilities, chronic pain, or chronic illness often deal with stigma.

Stigma can have many effects on an individual, including the following:

  • Avoidance or delay of treatment for a mental or physical health condition
  • Reduction in the likelihood of maintaining treatment for a mental or physical health condition
  • Bullying or harassment concerns
  • Difficulties with relationships
  • Low self-esteem
  • Isolation
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Fewer opportunities for employment, education, housing, or other opportunities

When people become educated about others’ experiences and treat others with compassion, stigmas can be broken.

Additional source used to create this article: American Psychiatric Association.

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