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Too similar, too different: the paradoxical dualism of psychiatric stigma

  • Tania Louise Gergel (a1)
Summary

Challenges to psychiatric stigma fall between a rock and a hard place. Decreasing one prejudice may inadvertently increase another. Emphasising similarities between mental illness and ‘ordinary’ experience to escape the fear-related prejudices associated with the imagined ‘otherness’ of persons with mental illness risks conclusions that mental illness indicates moral weakness and the loss of any benefits of a medical model. An emphasis on illness and difference from normal experience risks a response of fear of the alien. Thus, a ‘likeness-based’ and ‘unlikeness-based’ conception of psychiatric stigma can lead to prejudices stemming from paradoxically opposing assumptions about mental illness. This may create a troubling impasse for anti-stigma campaigns.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Tania Louise Gergel (tania.l.gergel@kcl.ac.uk)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 2053-4868
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Too similar, too different: the paradoxical dualism of psychiatric stigma

  • Tania Louise Gergel (a1)
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