Stigma and disclosing one's mental illness to family and friends

Nicolas Ruesch*, Elaine Brohan, Jheanell Gabbidon, Graham Thornicroft, Sarah Clement

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract
People with mental illness face the dilemma whether or not to disclose their condition. We examined stigma variables and their relationship with comfort disclosing.

Methods
Comfort with disclosure, well-being, symptoms and aspects of experiencing and reacting to stigma were assessed among 202 individuals with mental illness.

Results
Controlling for symptoms, greater comfort disclosing one's mental illness was associated with lower anticipated discrimination and lower stigma stress; more comfort disclosing was related to greater well-being.

Conclusions
Anticipated discrimination as an external threat and stigma-related stress as an internal process may reduce comfort with disclosure and could be targeted in interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1157-1160
Number of pages4
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Volume49
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Disclosure
  • Secrecy
  • Stigma
  • Discrimination
  • Stigma stress
  • Well-being
  • STRESS-COPING MODEL
  • SELF-STIGMA
  • DISCRIMINATION
  • PEOPLE
  • VALIDATION
  • PREDICTORS
  • DISORDER
  • OUTCOMES

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