(Italiano) STIGMA E RISCHIO DI SUICIDIO. OVERVIEW

Stigma refers to a mark that denotes a shameful quality in the individual so marked. Mental illness is widely considered to be such a quality, an assumption supported by a number of beliefs such as the association between mental illness and irrational fear and unpredictable violence as portrayed by the media and the notion that mental illness is not a true illness like organic disease. Not only does the stigmatisation of mental illness prevent people from seeking treatment, which in turn exposes them to a greater risk of suicide, but also suicide can appear to be the best solution for a stigmatised individual. A number of environments can be traced where this process takes place, such as, to name just a few, the family, the health care system and among mass media. Suicide is, itself, a source of stigma as anyone with suicidal ideation is considered weak, shameful, sinful and selfish, which prevents these individuals from seeking treatment early in the suicidal process.

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