Self-stigma represents a process of accepting negative social prejudices with a consequent negative impact on many areas of the patient’s life (self-concept, social and work functioning, relationships, cooperation in treatment, quality of life, willingness to strive for something). The study was aimed to examine the level of self-stigma and other significant variables potentially related to self-stigma (personality characteristics, childhood traumatisation, anxiety, depression, personality disorder, dissociation, parental styles, attachment).
The study was conducted at the Psychotherapeutic section of the Psychiatric Department in Regional Hospital Liberec from October 2015 to March 2019. A total of 96 hospitalised patients with neurotic spectrum disorders diagnosed by an experienced psychiatrist according to ICD-10 (panic disorder and/or agoraphobia, social phobia, generalised anxiety disorder, mixed anxiety depressive disorder, somatoform disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, adjustment disorders) were included into the study and filled in the test battery.
The main finding is that self-stigma is related to the severity of the disorder, anxiety and depression, social anxiety, the comorbid occurrence of other anxiety disorders or personality disorders, dissociation, personality temperamental traits Harm Avoidance, Reward Dependence and Self-Directedness. We have not established a connection between attachment in close relationships and self-stigma. The most important predictors of self-stigma are the disorder’s duration, reduced Self-Directedness, a higher rate of depression and social anxiety, which together explain 58% of severity if self-stigma.
Self-stigma is a contemporary topic in research and clinical practice. The results can be used as a basis for the development of targeted intervention strategies aimed at reducing self-stigma or for further research studies in the field of self-stigma.