Stigmatisering av depression och dess inverkan på vårdsökandeprocessen – En litteraturstudie
Stigma of depression and its impact on the help-seeking behaviour – A literature study
Introduction: The relationship between depression and stigma is known to cause suffering among the depressed population. Depression is also one of the most common diagnoses in the world. Stigma caused by society leads to people being divided into groups which in term results in a general loss of status and discrimination. Aim: To identify the stigma of depression and its impact on help-seeking behaviour and to identify the underlying attitudes. Method: We chose to make a literature review to explore and compile the current research on the subject. Depression, help-seeking behaviour and stigma are some of the keyword used in this study. Results: A recurring theme was that people with depression were considered dangerous, unpredictable and that they lacked character or spine. There is a belief among both the people affected by mental illness and the public that people with mental illness will be stigmatized and discriminated by society. This perceived stigma may result in people refraining from seeking help or associating themselves with the concept of mental illness. Of all health professionals the general practitioner was expected to be the most condescending regarding the patients mental illness. Conclusion: Stigmatizing attitudes towards depression exist in contemporary society and might be a hindrance in the help-seeking behaviour. However stigma is a complex term and can be present in many scientific fields making it a large area for research. Various instances in society should focus on breaking the categorization of mental illness and promote specific anti-stigma campaigns.