Self-stigma as a barrier to recovery: a longitudinal study

  • Nathalie Oexle
  • Mario Müller
  • Wolfram Kawohl
  • Ziyan Xu
  • Sandra Viering
  • Christine Wyss
  • Stefan Vetter
  • Nicolas Rüsch
Short Communication

Abstract

Stigma limits life opportunities of persons with mental illness. Self-stigma, the internalization of negative stereotypes, undermines empowerment and could hinder recovery. Here we examined self-stigma’s effect on recovery among 222 disability pensioners with mental illness over 2 years, controlling for age, gender, symptoms and recovery at baseline measured by the Recovery Assessment Scale. More self-stigma at baseline was associated with a significant decrease in recovery after 1 year (not significant after 2 years). An increase of self-stigma from baseline to follow-up predicted less recovery 1 and 2 years later. Interventions that reduce self-stigma could therefore improve recovery.

Keywords

Mental illness Self-stigma Recovery 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to all participants.

Conflict of interest

None.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the ethics committee of the canton of Zurich (reference number: KEK-ZH-NR: 2010 − 0311/0).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathalie Oexle
    • 1
  • Mario Müller
    • 2
  • Wolfram Kawohl
    • 2
  • Ziyan Xu
    • 1
  • Sandra Viering
    • 2
  • Christine Wyss
    • 2
  • Stefan Vetter
    • 2
  • Nicolas Rüsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry IIUniversity of Ulm and BKH GünzburgUlmGermany
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Psychiatric HospitalUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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