ERIC Number: EJ756257
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 0
How Clinical Diagnosis Might Exacerbate the Stigma of Mental Illness
Corrigan, Patrick W.
Social Work, v52 n1 p31-39 2007
Stigma can greatly exacerbate the experience of mental illness. Diagnostic classification frequently used by clinical social workers may intensify this stigma by enhancing the public's sense of "groupness" and "differentness" when perceiving people with mental illness. The homogeneity assumed by stereotypes may lead mental health professionals and the public to view individuals in terms of their diagnostic labels. The stability of stereotypes may exacerbate notions that people with mental illness do not recover. Several strategies may diminish the unintended effects of diagnosis. Dimensional approaches to diagnosis may not augment stigma in the same manner as classification. Moreover, regular interaction with people with mental illness and focusing on recovery may diminish the stigmatizing effects of diagnosis.
Descriptors: Clinical Diagnosis, Social Work, Mental Health Workers, Classification, Mental Disorders, Social Bias, Public Opinion, Stereotypes, Labeling (of Persons), Consciousness Raising
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 750 First Street NE Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-227-3590; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.naswpress.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A