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Stigma and social discrimination of people with diseases

BY: Deena David | Category: Social Issues | Post Date: 2009-12-25

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   Deena David
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Stigma is a social problem. There are many diseases that have stigma attached to them. This means that when a person is diagnosed with a particular disease, the family and or the society may shun the person. This is usually due to various wrong beliefs. There are various diseases that can have the stigma related to it. There are also various kinds of factors that can play a role in the stigma associated with the disease.

Factors determining the stigma

There are various factors that determine the level of stigma in a person. This article first talks of the various factors that play a role in the stigma related to a disease in a person.

The type of disease:

There are certain diseases that have no stigma related to them. This is because these diseases are common and there are no bad thoughts and ideas related to these diseases. There are diseases like diabetes, hypertension and even cardiac problems that have no stigma related to them. On the other hand there are diseases like Leprosy, Psoriasis and AIDS(Acquired Immuno deficiency disease) that have some kind of stigma related to them.

The extent of the disease:

The extent of the disease in the person also plays a major role in the stigma that is present. If the person is not affected severely and there are no visible signs and symptoms of the disease, then the person is not really affected by stigma. If the disease condition is very severe and the person has a lot of visible signs of the disease, then the people who have a existing idea of the disease, start having ideas that are stigmatizing to the person.

The community ideas:

The idea of the community about the disease also plays a major role in the stigma that is related to the disease. The community may have certain ideas depending on the disease and also depending on the existing knowledge about the disease. This is mainly true in populations where the education is not very high. This lack of education causes the community to stigmatize a person having some diseases that have already been mentioned in this article.


Superstitions and superstitious beliefs are also a major cause of the person having stigma that is related to the disease. There are many people who have various superstitions and these beliefs make people to think that certain diseases are caused by the sins of the person and various other such thoughts. These ideas of the people about a disease spreads rapidly among the community and this causes the people to have a superstition related stigma over the disease. One common example of this is the disease of Leprosy where the people shun the leprosy patient thinking that they are unclean and also because they are thought to harbor Gods curse.

These are some of the various factors that determine stigma and when there is stigma, there is related discrimination of the affected people by the community, family and also the other people who come in contact with the affected person.

Article Source: http://www.saching.com

About Author / Additional Info: I have completed my Masters Degree in Paediatric Nursing. I am a writer with a passion for writing. I have been writing for some blogs and other sites. Comments are welcome at the following e mail address: deenaanddavid@gmail.com

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