Influence of Psychological Factors on Self and Perceived Stigma and the Efficacy of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in Symptoms Reduction among Mentally Ill Patients

Article excerpt

Majority of people who might benefit from mental health care either opt not to pursue it or do not fully adhere to treatment regimes once begun. They choose not to pursue mental health services because they do not want to be labeled a "mental patient" or suffer the prejudice and discrimination that the label entails. This study was conducted to investigate the influence of self esteem, locus of control and self efficacy on self and perceived stigma among mentally ill patients. Also, to examined the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in symptoms reduction. The first stage of the study as a cross sectional study which adopted expost-facto design. The sample size is one hundred and thirty (130 patients) with mean age of forty (16-65) and the standard deviations .456. For the intervention stage, the researcher adopted quasi-experimental design with ten (10) participants. The instrument for data collection was Rosenberg self-esteem scale, Perceived self-efficacy scale, Craig locus of control scale, Self stigma scale and perception of stigmatization scale. The result indicated that self esteem has a significant effect on self-stigma (t=5.35, df=118, p<.001). Also, there was significant effect of self-efficacy on patients self-stigma (t=2.80, df=118, p<.001). In addition, there was a significant interactive effect of selfefficacy and locus of control on perceived stigma (F(1,116)=9.54, p<.001). The study was able to establish the efficacy of Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in improvement of self-esteem (t=-8.67, df=18, p<.001), self efficacy (t=-9.16, df=18, p=<.001) and reduction of self stigmatization (t=8.24, df=18, p<.001).

It is thereby concluded that self-esteem and self-efficacy significantly influence self-stigma. Also, there similarly, CBT also led to the reduction in self stigmatization among the patients. It is therefore recommended that certain psychological factors have been implicated in the level at which mental patients will perceive or stigmatize themselves. In addition, Cognitive behavioral therapy should be employed among mental health practitioner as a intervention package for reduction of self stigma among mentally ill patients.

Keywords: Self-Esteem, Self-Stigma, Perceived Self-Efficacy, Locus Of Control.

Mental illness is a serious health problem in spite of the availability of effective pharmacological and psychosocial treatments (Bruce et al., 2004). In Nigeria, health indicators show that 20-30% of the general population has one form of mental or psychological problems (WHO, 2001). Adewuya (2009) in a study he supervised found that five per cent of Nigerians, who are 18 years and above, suffer from "prominent mental disorders". Many of these mentally ill patients suffer silently, many suffer alone, some suffer stigma, shame, exclusion, inhumane treatment, and more than we care to know death. Mental health problems remain a hidden burden, resulting from the consequences of stigma that lead to humiliation, isolation and unemployment. For the individual sufferer; mental illness completely dominates every aspect of life. Feelings about oneself, capacity for activity and all areas of social relationship are affected, including the family, marriage, sexual activity, work, reaction, management of finance, relationship with the law and public life (Corrigan, 2007).

Many of the negative consequences of mental illness at the individual level are often a result of the stigma associated with the illness. The living conditions of people with mental illness do not only depend on the severity of the illness, but also on the level of their acceptance in the community. Despite recent treatment advances, those suffering from mental illness face a considerable stigma that limits access to treatment and hinders their full integration into society (Dikerson et al., 2002).

Stigma was conceptualized as an attribute that is deeply discrediting and makes the person carrying it different from others and of a less desirable kind. …


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