Stigma and discrimination

Topics: Self-esteem, Self-awareness, Conceptions of self Pages: 9 (1655 words) Published: May 19, 2014
Stigma and discrimination
Definitions
Stereotypes A stereotype is a set of beliefs about the characteristics or attributes of a group of people, which can lead to stigma and discrimination.
Stigma is the process of perceiving a characteristic of another, as deviant from the social expectations that are held by the majority.
Stigma becomes discrimination when thoughts, beliefs or attitudes evolve into direct action. Discrimination is defined as any unfavourable treatment of an individual based solely on their membership of a certain group. Discrimination involves exhibiting a negative behaviour towards members of a social group, other than one’s own, and can result in limiting members of one group from opportunities that are available to others.

Types of stigma
a) Self stigma – this is where one has stigma of oneself and includes feelings of self hatred, shame and blame. It is associated by;
 hiding illness or concerns from others.
 Avoiding company of friends and family.
 Avoiding services that can help incase of disease.
b) Felt stigma – this are the attitude, perceptions (views) or feelings that people have towards HIV positive people.
c) Enacted stigma – this comprise of action(s) directed towards a HIV positive person. d) Associated stigma – this is stigma directed towards family and friends of HIV positive persons or those suffering from illness associated with HIV/AIDS.

Causes of stigma




Ignorance, lack of knowledge.
Attitudes and perceptions.
Fear of unknown.

Effects of stigma





Reduced morale among the infected and the affected.
Loss of work due to sacking and absenteeism.
School drop out
Depression







Poor health due to avoidance of treatment.
Lack of support
Low self esteem
Lack of disclosure
the health worker who travels to a faraway clinic to get her monthly supply of antiretrovirals, fearing that her colleagues will find out that she is HIV positive  the doctor who self - tests and self – medicates and discusses his/her status.  Breach of confidentiality

How to manage/reduce stigma












Health education about stigma reduction
Continous counseling
change of attitude among HCW
Accepting positive critism
Practicing confidentiality and privacy
Integration of services
Formation of psychosocial support groups
Use of role model members e.g peers educators
Educate on importance of disclosure
Implementation of policies
Improve on customer care services

Self awareness
Self awareness is a set of attitudes a person holds towards him/herself. Individual as known to the individual-being yourself and not your image.
It is being aware of your own inner-core knowing/understanding yourself beyond the name, status/title, role/skills and profession.
When one is a stranger to oneself, they are separated from others too. You cannot touch others when you are out touch with yourself. Understanding oneself helps you accept others.
It is not easy to know oneself but can develop the ability to do so.

To know yourself, you must recognize the need to change.
To accept yourself with all your faults and strengths/ have appositive outlook to life Need to understand yourself well, your







Behavior
Motivations
Feelings
Beliefs/values
Power/priorities/competence
Where we are in our life’s journey

Self awareness builds our self confidence.

Benefits of self awareness




Promotes self acceptance and development of a positive attitude Improves self esteem
Enables an individual to respond appropriately to various situations in life, avoid risky and damaging behavior.

Self esteem
Self esteem is the overal picture of oneself. It is the worth or price tag that individual places on themselves, the core perception and belief of oneself; an individual’s self rating.

Benefits of self esteem






Self confindence
Good interpersonal relationships
Good communication...
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