Let me see if I can steer this thread to look at the ‘ stigma of PTSD triggers ‘ and what we can do to change this.
According the Carter Center report, stigma as it relates to mental health is defined as “a cluster of negative attitudes and beliefs that motivate the general public to fear, reject, avoid, and discriminate against people with mental illnesses.”
There is one thought that stigma around any issue typically surfaces as a result of public fear and a feeling of being out of control.
The stigma around mental illness, and PTSD in particular, is strong. Stereotypes that depict people with PTSD as dangerous, unpredictable, incompetent, or to blame for their illness can promote stigma.
People with PTSD may fear embarrassment or shame, too, and if they seek help, they may fear they’ll be hospitalized. They can face stigma from family members, friends, and their community, as well as in the workplace, and that stigma can take many different forms.
There is one view that four types of stigma exist, these include:
Public Stigma – The general public endorses stereotypes and discriminates against the person with a mental illness.
Self-Stigma – The person with a mental illness internalizes the beliefs of others.
Label Avoidance – If the person with a mental illness perceives social stigma, they will avoid being labeled by not seeking treatment.
Structural Stigma – This includes the social and institutional policies and practices that can affect healthcare coverage and legal matters, for example.
When stigma occurs, it can lead to discrimination or exclusion, which could affect a person’s educational or job opportunities. Stigma can also prevent individuals from seeking out help.
People who suffer from self-stigma may have low self-esteem and believe they’re not capable of working, living independently, or being healthy.
When people with PTSD face stigma from people in relationships, they may start to believe that they’re weak, damaged, or not good enough, and as a result, they believe others don’t want to be around them. This effect can lead people with PTSD to draw inward, keeping their pain to themselves.
So if you feel that you face stigma because of your PTSD – let us hear from you . Do you have any words to help support others? What are your thoughts about changing these attitudes?
Next week I’ll look at what can be done to change the situation around the stigma.