Context: Mentally ill patients challenging dual difficulties that are illness and stigma. Internalized stigma viewed as maladaptive psychosocial phenomena that can affect all aspects of mentally ill patient life.
Aim: The current study emerged aiming to assess internalized stigma of mental illness and its relation with self-esteem and social support among psychiatric patients.
Methods: Descriptive research design used to achieve the aim of this study. A convenience sample of one hundred hospitalized psychiatric patients recruited for the study from inpatient units of Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Hospital in Minia governorate. The data collection tools included socio-demographic and clinical data questionnaire, Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness Scale, Rosenberg's Self Esteem Scale, and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support.
Results: The findings show that less than half of patients have a severe level of total internalized stigma score. There is a highly significant correlation between overall internalized stigma score and its all subscales with self-esteem and social support.
Conclusions: Internalized stigma level was high among psychiatric patients. A significant negative correlation found between total internalized stigma score with self-esteem and social support of the studied patients. The study recommended further studies regarding educational interventions to raise awareness and decrease internalized stigma among patient with mental illness. Besides, providing support for patient and families of mentally ill patients to promote their capacity to manage and cope with stigma.
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