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Stigma and Mental Illness

Edited by Paul J. Fink, M.D., and Allan Tasman, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-0-88048-405-3
  • Item #8405


This book is a collection of writings on how society has stigmatized mentally ill persons, their families, and their caregivers. First-hand accounts poignantly portray what it is like to be the victim of stigma and mental illness. Stigma and Mental Illness also presents historical, societal, and institutional viewpoints that underscore the devastating effects of stigma.


  • Effects of stigma on psychiatric treatment.

    The Experience of Stigma.

    Stigma: families suffer too. A letter from a resident. The stigmatized patient.

    Historical Aspects of Stigma.

    Shame, stigma, and mental illness in ancient Greece. Stigma during the medieval and renaissance periods. The Devon Asylum: a brief history of the changing concept of mental illness and asylum treatment. Madness and the stigma of sin in American Christianity.

    Societal Issues.

    The consequences of stigma for persons with mental illness: evidence from the social sciences. Stigma and stereotype: homeless mentally ill persons. Cinematic stereotypes contributing to the stigmatization of psychiatrists. The stigmatized family. Fighting stigma: how to help the doctor’s family.

    Institutional Issues.

    The stigma of mental illness for medical students and residents. Societal factors in the problems faced by deinstitutionalized psychiatric patients. The psychiatric hospital and reduction of stigma. The stigma of electroconvulsive therapy: a workshop. The stigmatization of psychiatrists who work with chronically mentally ill persons. Overcoming stigma: the Mad Hatters.

Stigma and Mental Illness succeeds in exposing the enmeshed connection between stigma and mental illness. This book seeks to weaken the link between mental illness and stigmatization and provides concrete suggestions for health care and society. Stigma and Mental Illness is a unique education for all health care professionals: students, residents, and their teachers. It is comprehensive, authoritative, well-reasoned, compelling, theoretically sound, and clinically relevant.—New England Journal of Medicine

This is a wide-ranging book, which brings together multiple perspectives on the often neglected subject of stigma and mental illness. I recommend the book as a standard reference for those interested in the subject of stigma.—JAMA

The book not only delineates the process of stigmatization; it also includes many constructive suggestions for change. The deserves a wide readership.—Innovations & Research

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