Less-educated men more prone to stigma

April 18th, 2008 - 1:03 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, April 18 (IANS) Personal stigma associated with depression is higher among less well-educated men. Researchers from the Australian National University examined both personal stigma, which is the negative attitude a person has towards depression, and perceived stigma, which describes the stigma felt by a person with depression.

“We already know that stigma is a leading cause of concern for people suffering from depression but up until now not a lot has been done to examine it,” explained head researcher Kathleen Griffiths.

Over 6,000 adults, including some with depression, answered the surveys in an attempt to investigate and compare their own levels of perceived stigma as well as personal stigma.

People who had come into contact with depression had lower levels of personal stigma. The researchers found that people who scored highest on a test of depression knowledge were less likely to stigmatise the condition.

At a national level, older people were more likely to hold stigmatising views and to believe that the public viewed people with depression in a poor light.

“Interestingly” said, Griffiths, “although it is often assumed that people from rural areas have more negative attitudes to mental disorders, we did not find any difference between stigma in the country and city.”

The findings of the study have been published in the open access journal BMC Psychiatry.

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