How can the stigma associated with schizophrenia be overcome?

Mark Moronell, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Unfortunately, mental illness is still often considered a flaw or personal weakness, unlike other medical disorders that are assumed to have physical causes. However, mental illnesses often have a biological and physical basis, just like other medical conditions. Genetics and environmental causes play a part in determining who gets ill. Since people can't always avoid getting sick with mental illness, there are some things you can do to help change the stigma:
  • You can feel better about yourself and your illness by participating in individual and group therapy. Talking to a professional about the difficulty of living with schizophrenia can help you work through your feelings and any shame you might feel.
  • Don't be afraid to let trusted friends and family members know about your illness. When they realize that someone they know has schizophrenia, they may feel less afraid or judgmental of others with the disease.
  • Get active with social groups that advocate for the mentally ill. One group is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI offers a variety of options to help people with schizophrenia feel connected to others.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.