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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-39

Stigma and discrimination in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorder

Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ganpat K Vankar
Department of Psychiatry, Block E, Acharya Vinoba Bhave Rural Hospital, Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_49_19

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Context: Stigma associated with mental illness is devastating and can be detrimental to recovery. Many people with serious mental illness are challenged with the symptoms and disabilities caused by the disease. In addition, they are challenged by the stereotypes and prejudice that result from misconceptions about mental illness. Aims: The aims were to study and compare stigma and discrimination in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorder. Settings and Design: This is a cross-sectional study of 100 patients selected by purposive random sampling from the psychiatry outpatient department of a tertiary care hospital. Materials and Methods: Fifty patients suffering from schizophrenia and fifty patients suffering from bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) according to the International Classification of Diseases 10 were interviewed. The Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC) 12 was used to assess stigma and discrimination of the patients. The DISC 12 asks participants about the experiences of discrimination in various areas of life including employment; mental health care; and interactions with friends, neighbors, and family. Statistical Analysis Used: Statistical analysis was done by using descriptive and inferential statistics using Chi-square test and Student's unpaired t-test. Results: Overall, patients of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder suffer from stigma and discrimination of the same magnitude. Unfair treatment was similar in both the disorders, while overcoming stigma, stopping self, and positive treatment were significantly higher for patients suffering from schizophrenia as compared to BPAD. Conclusions: Irrespective of diagnosis, mental illnesses evoke stigma and discrimination which impact the lives of people with schizophrenia.

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