Public stigma toward depression seems to have decreased, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open. Bernice A. Pescosolido, PhD, and colleagues used data collected from the U.S. National Stigma Studies to examine the nature, direction, and magnitude of population-based changes in US mental illness stigma. A total of 1,438, 1,520, and 1,171 adults were interviewed in 1996, 2006, and 2018, respectively. From 1996 to 2006, respondents endorsing scientific attributions for schizophrenia, depression, and alcohol dependence increased (11.8%, 13.0%, and 10.9%, respectively). The desire for social distance decreased for depression in work, socializing, friendship, family, marriage, and group home (18.1%, 16.7%, 9.7%, 14.3%, and 10.4%, respectively) in the later period (2006-2018). Change was inconsistent and sometimes regressive, particularly for dangerousness for schizophrenia (15.7% increase from 1996- 2018) and bad character for alcohol dependence (18.2% increase from 1996-2018).
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