Stigma Associated with Seeking Psychiatric Care Among the General Population of Islamabad, Pakistan

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32413/pjph.v14i1.1197

Keywords:

Stigma, Mental illness, psychiatrist, religious clerics

Abstract

Background: The foundations of a good life encompass both physical and mental health. Mental health stigma, any negative belief motivating fear or discrimination against individuals with mental illness, is a significant barrier to seeking help. This study aims to determine the prevalence of stigma associated with consulting psychiatrists for mental health issues.

Methodology: In this cross-sectional study, data was collected from 600 participants from the general population of Islamabad, Pakistan, using non-probability convenient sampling. A self-constructed, self-administered questionnaire was utilized for data collection, with analysis conducted using the chi-square test, frequencies, and valid percentages.

Results: Of the participants, 398 (66.6%) were male and 200 (33.4%) were female. Educational levels included matric 69 (11.8%), Inter 82 (14%), Bachelor 173 (29.6%), and Masters & above 199 (34%). Results revealed that 205 (34.9%) participants perceived stigma associated with seeking psychiatric help, 422 (72.5%) viewed it as a sign of weakness, and 376 (65.4%) believed mentally ill patients could pose a danger to others. Regarding treatment preferences, 491 (88.0%) preferred psychiatrists, 38 (6.8%) favored religious leaders, and only 29 (5.2%) preferred confiding in family or friends.

Conclusion: While there is a decrease in stigma associated with seeking psychiatric consultation with higher educational attainment, significant stigma persists, particularly among males, attributed to cultural constraints. Despite this, there is a strong inclination towards seeking professional help for psychiatric illnesses, irrespective of religious beliefs.

Downloads

Published

29-03-2024

How to Cite

1.
Javed MA, Ahsan W, Khattak UK, Afzal S. Stigma Associated with Seeking Psychiatric Care Among the General Population of Islamabad, Pakistan. Pak J Public Health [Internet]. 2024 Mar. 29 [cited 2024 Jun. 14];14(1):33-7. Available from: https://pjph.org/pjph/article/view/1197