Date of Defense

4-9-2014

Date of Graduation

4-2014

Department

Human Performance and Health Education

First Advisor

Kathryn Lewis-Ginebaugh

Second Advisor

Doris Ravotas

Abstract

This review analyzes investigations into the stigma associated with depression, anxiety, sexual assault, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how stigma affects patients seeking treatment. The three disorders and the experience of sexual assault are examined for; prevalence, past and present stigma, and the history of the diagnosis. Each of the three disorders and sexual assault carry social stigma. Stigma can be described as a negative belief towards one group of people and in this case, stigma likely prevents people from seeking help. Researchers have found that one way to reduce stigma and the barrier that it has on help seeking is to educate people about mental disorders and sexual assault and upon stigma. It is believed that by educating future health care professionals about the impact of mental health stigma the negative perception correlated with having a mental health diagnoses or sexual assault will diminish. The hope is that an upward "ripple effect" of understanding will eliminate the mental health stigmas and encourage more people to speak up and seek treatment as future health professionals are educated on the influence that stigma has against help seeking.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Taboo Topics KNCG.pdf (655 kB)
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