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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 161-165

A clinical study of self-stigma among the patients of schizophrenia and alcohol dependence syndrome

1 Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, D.Y. Patil Education Society (Deemed University), Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lipsy Modi
Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdmimsu.jdmimsu_104_17

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Background: Most patients with mental illness hesitate to use health services mainly because of two reasons. First, they do not want to be labeled as a “Mental Patient” and second to avoid the consequences associated with stigma. With this study, we intend to compare self-stigma between two illnesses and correlate it with sociodemographic and clinical variables. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted on consecutive male and female patients (50 with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and 50 with alcohol dependence syndrome as per International Classification of Diseases-10 diagnostic criteria), evaluated on sociodemographic pro forma and Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness Scale. Results: The total stigma scores were significantly different for all the three age groups, being more in the patients of age <30 years (2.78 ± 0.51) than the patients of other age groups. Furthermore, patients belonging to rural locality (2.77 ± 0.41) had higher scores than the patients from urban locality (1.92 ± 0.49). Patients with alcohol dependence syndrome (2.66 ± 0.54) had significantly higher total stigma scores than patients with schizophrenia (2.29 ± 0.59). However, patients with schizophrenia (2.55 ± 0.39) had higher scores on subscales of stigma resistance than of patients with alcohol dependence (2.34 ± 0.51). Conclusion: Patients with alcohol dependence experience higher level of self-stigma as compared to patients suffering from schizophrenia. Future research in stigma needs to be clinically driven and should help to develop standards of care because self-stigma acts as barrier which prevents people with mental illness to use health services consequently affecting the course and prognosis of their illness.

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