Stigma, women, and mental health

Levent Küey

in Oxford Textbook of Women and Mental Health

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199214365
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199640454 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Stigma, women, and mental health

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People with mental disorders have been discriminated against and stigmatized worldwide throughout history. Since the pioneering studies carried out in the 1950s, the stigma attached to ‘mental illness’ has been widely researched and documented. In early studies, stigma was found to be very general and shared by all social subgroups (Rabkin 1974). Furthermore, research had revealed that patients with mental health problems were regarded with fear, distrust, and dislike more than virtually any other disabled group. Scientific efforts to help understand and tackle these phenomena enhanced the development of anti-stigma programmes that exist in many countries. Yet fewer attempts have been made to understand stigma-related problems in the context of women’s mental health, and this would have to be considered a relatively new field of research and conceptualization in psychiatry. It is a field where we have more hypotheses and questions than evidence and answers. Since other sections in this book will cover various aspects of women’s mental health, this chapter will mainly focus on stigmatization and discrimination issues relating to women’s mental health. This is a subject that deserves volumes of writing, but here, some basic perspectives and reflections are highlighted.

Chapter.  2626 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry

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