Stigma of mental illness in India linked to poverty

March 5, 2015 by Neil Schoenherr

The stigma surrounding people with severe mental illness in India leads to increased poverty among them, especially women, according to new research led by Jean-Francois Trani, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Trani and fellow researchers, including Jill Kuhlberg, doctoral student and research associate at the Brown School, studied more than 1,000 patients and controls in the department of a hospital in New Delhi from 2011-12, conducting interviews during hospital visits and at homes.

The results, "Mental Illness, Poverty and Stigma in India: A Case–Control Study," are published in the journal The BMJ Open.

"Mental professionals must incorporate an understanding of multidimensional stressors as well as address family and community dynamics," Trani wrote in the paper. "Our findings go beyond medical and public health and link mental health to international development."

Trani and his team found that public stigma and poverty linked to mental illness were "pervasive and intertwined." Assumptions by many that mentally ill people are violent and unable to work contribute to their unemployment.

Stigma associated with limits women from fulfilling family and social roles, increasing discrimination against them, the study found.

Explore further: Fathers with mental illness deserve better than stigma

More information: "Mental illness, poverty and stigma in India: a case–control study." BMJ Open 2015;5:2 e006355 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006355

Related Stories

Fathers with mental illness deserve better than stigma

February 17, 2015
Where there is mental illness, there's almost invariably social disapproval and discrimination. And a report released by the Australian Institute of Family Studies today shows fathers with mental illness can face unique hardships.

YouTube as peer support for severe mental illness

October 17, 2014
People with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder use a popular social media website like YouTube to provide and receive naturally occurring peer support, Dartmouth researchers ...

Mental health inequalities in detection of breast cancer

December 1, 2014
Women with a mental illness (including depression, anxiety and serious mental illnesses) are less likely to be screened for breast cancer, according to new research published in the BJPsych (online first).

Report advocates improved police training

August 29, 2014
A new report released yesterday by the Mental Health Commission of Canada identifies ways to improve the mental health training and education that police personnel receive.

Caregiver interventions are not enough; families with mentally ill members also need help

January 7, 2015
Listening to older sisters of mentally ill siblings discuss their mothers' difficult caregiving experiences made Case Western Reserve University co-investigator M. Jane Suresky wonder if something important about families ...

Stigma as a barrier to mental health care

September 5, 2014
Over 60 million Americans are thought to experience mental illness in a given year, and the impacts of mental illness are undoubtedly felt by millions more in the form of family members, friends, and coworkers. Despite the ...

Recommended for you

How the shape and size of your face relates to your sexuality

September 19, 2017
Men and women with shorter, wider faces tend to be more sexually motivated and to have a stronger sex drive than those with faces of other dimensions. These are the findings from a study led by Steven Arnocky of Nipissing ...

Behavioral therapy increases connectivity in brains of people with OCD

September 19, 2017
UCLA researchers report that people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, when treated with a special form of talk therapy, demonstrate distinct changes in their brains as well as improvement in their symptoms.

Cognitive scientists find that people can more easily communicate warmer colors than cool ones

September 18, 2017
The human eye can perceive millions of different colors, but the number of categories human languages use to group those colors is much smaller. Some languages use as few as three color categories (words corresponding to ...

Why bad sleep doesn't always lead to depression

September 18, 2017
Poor sleep is both a risk factor, and a common symptom, of depression. But not everyone who tosses and turns at night becomes depressed.

People with schizophrenia have threefold risk of dying

September 18, 2017
People with schizophrenia are three times more likely to die, and die younger, than the general population, indicating a need for solutions to narrow this gap, according to research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association ...

Happiness is not determined by childhood biomarkers

September 18, 2017
Happiness is not determined by childhood biological markers such as height or body fat, according to a team of European researchers involving UCL.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.