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Varna Medical Forum

The Stigma "Mental Illness"

Hristo Kozhuharov, Kamen Taskov, Ivanka Boncheva


Numerous scientific studies worldwide have shown that a significant number people still hold on to an obsolete and negative image of psychiatry and mental illness. The psychiatric patient is still seen as a failure who can‘t handle life‘s challenges; who is genetically doomed to be such . Social factors, which are often overlooked, are the reason for some people‘s failure, which might lead to a psychiatric disorder. Ignorant people put mentally ill patients under a common denominator. They don‘t differentiate between a patient with psychosis and a patient with retardation or severe depression, let alone the great number of patients with functional, neurotic disorders. All psychiatric patients elicit fear and so they are shunned. Around the world most people would prefer to be physically ill, but almost no one wants to be mentally ill.
This issue has existed for centuries. For our coun- try it is no different to many other, more developed countries around the world.In our country very lit- tle is known about the way of life and the turmoils of the mentally ill patient. There is insufficient nation- al, widely available and, yet scientific enough litera- ture on psychiatric disorders, their variety and treat- ment methods.
All these reasons, taken separately or as a whole, were the reason to conduct the current study. To see both points of view - that of the mentally healthy and of the mentally ill person - is to highlight once more the importance of the issue and the opinion of specialists - physicians and psychologists.

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