How Self-Stigma Impacts our Mental Health

October 14, 2021

What is Self-Stigma?

In today’s society, there is a stigma that surrounds individuals with mental illnesses. This stigma has resulted in many people not wanting to be associated with these individuals. They also feel that they should not talk about their diagnosis because it will make them look different from other people.

Self-stigma is when we internalize the stigmatized ideas around mental health issues. This often leads to individuals feeling shame and embarrassment about their condition. It can stop them from seeking help or disclosing their condition to others for fear of being judged or rejected by society.

Different Types of Self-Stigma

There are many different ways our self-stigma can manifest, and this can differ from person to person. Some of the most common types of self-stigma include:


It can be difficult for people with mental illness to overcome society’s stigma against them. Alienating others is one way to cope with what society puts them through. They may feel ashamed or embarrassed about their condition or feel like the mental illness is their fault. This can cause them to feel as though they are alone and no one else understands them.

Stereotype endorsement

People may stigmatize themselves by leaning into false stereotypes about their mental illness. This could lead the person to ascribe themselves to various negative ideas such as being inherently violent, unable to make relationships, or doing certain activities.

Social Withdrawal 

Similar to alimentation, avoiding people who are close to you may be a kind of self-stigmatization. Individuals may feel as though they are a burden to those around them or out of place among their peers.

Working Through Self-Stigma

It is possible to work through self-stigma in many ways. A good start would be to change stigmatizing ideas about yourself and your condition. By learning more about your mental health condition and focusing on your own empowerment, you can overcome self-stigma. 
Another great way to overcome self-stigma is to surround yourself with loved ones who can support you. By reaching out to those who love you, and educating them about your condition, you can help end the stigma not just in yourself but others as well! 

Last but not least, speaking with a mental health professional can provide you with the tools necessary to work through self-stigma.   

Other Helpful Articles

Ending the Stigma & Suicide Prevention
How to Address Self-Stigma Around Mental Health
Online Therapy Benefits: Destigmatizing Mental Health Issues in 2020

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