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Evaluation of stigma among patients reporting to a tertiary care psychiatric center

 Department of Psychiatry, Dr D.Y. Patil Medical College, Dr D Y Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Suprakash Chaudhury,
Department of Psychiatry, Dr D.Y. Patil Medical College, Dr D Y PatilVidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_920_21

Background: Stigma toward mental illness is a pervasive concern that impacts the way psychiatric disorders are perceived. Aim: This study was aimed to evaluate the stigma experienced by patients visiting a psychiatric care facility and the associated factors contributing to the development of stigma. Methodology: 150 patients presenting to Psychiatry outpatient department of a tertiary care centre were screened using Mini international neuropsychiatric interview questionnaire to segregate patients into various psychiatric groups. These patients were further assessed for the degree of stigma utilizing the Stigma scale and Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness-10. Results: 60.7% of the participants reported facing discrimination, which was highest in those with mania. 67.3% patients preferred not to disclose their illness, especially those with psychotic disorders. Eighty-six percent did not expect any positive results from their illness, most of them with psychotic disorders. 68.7% of the patients experienced total stigma, highest in mania. Sixty-four percent experienced high internalized stigma mostly in mania. Stigma was irrespective of age, sex, education, employment, and family type. Conclusion: A large segment of participants in the study sample claimed to have suffered from stigma, i.e., they faced discrimination, preferred not to reveal information about their illness, denied any positive outcomes from their illness, and endured self-stigma owing to their illness. Patients with mania faced the most discrimination, total stigma, and internalized stigma whereas disclosure and positive aspects were mostly in psychotic disorders. High levels of stigma observed are a barrier to availing mental health-care facilities.

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