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The challenge of the stigma of schizophrenia / One of the chief obstacles of the successful treatment and management of schizophrenia is the stigma often associated with the disorder. This stigma can lead to severe discrimination that needlessly exacerbates the problems of individuals with schizophrenia. Such discrimination limits the amount of resources for the treatment of schizophrenia, availability of housing, employment opportunities, and social interaction, problems that in turn further increase the stigma associated with the illness. The stigma associated with schizophrenia leads to frequent misrepresentations in the media which help to perpetuate negative stereotypes. The stigma because of schizophrenia affects not only those with the illness but also their families, caregivers, and healthcare providers.
     According to one survey in the United States, even after five years of normal living and hard work, an ex-mental patient was rated as less acceptable than an ex-convict.
      Popular attitudes toward the mentally ill are deep-seated and can be seen in the stigmatizing language that is often used to describe people who are mentally ill—"nuts" and "psycho" for instance. Some people still refer to psychiatric hospitals as "nuthouses" or "loony bins." Can you imagine referring to a facility for treating cancer patients in such an insensitive manner? Words like these hurt, and they reinforce the stigma that already surrounds the mentally ill.
     The truth of the matter is, these are people living with an illness that can be extremely painful.
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