Stigma

A negative opinion or judgement held about certain people by individuals or society. Stigma against people with a mental illness involves inaccurate and hurtful representations of them as violent, comical or incompetent. This can be dehumanising and makes people an object of fear or ridicule. If these propositions are acted upon, these actions are discriminatory – see also Discrimination. Stigma can occur in the media in the form of reports that refer to inaccurate stereotypes, sensationalise issues through unwarranted references to mental illness, misuse medical terminology, or use demeaning or hostile language. Self-stigma is the acceptance of prejudiced perceptions held by others.