The impact of stigma on emotional distress and recovery from psychosis: The mediatory role of internalised shame and self-esteem
Lisa Wood, Rory Byrne, Eilish Burke, Gabriela Enache, Anthony P. Morrison
Internalised shame and self-esteem have both been proposed to play an integral role in the relationship between stigma and its negative psychological sequelae in people who experience psychosis, but there has been little quantitative exploration to examine their roles further. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship of stigma (experienced and perceived) with emotional distress and recovery in psychosis, and to examine internalised shame and self-esteem as potential mediators. A total of 79 participants were included for the purposes of this study. Participants were administered a battery of assessment measures examining experienced and perceived stigma, internalised shame, self-esteem, depression, hopelessness, and personal recovery. Results illustrated that stigma (experienced and perceived) was significantly associated with internalised shame, low self-esteem, depression, hopelessness and poor personal recovery. Stigma (experienced and perceived) and its relationship with depression, hopelessness and personal recovery was mediated by both internalised shame and low self-esteem. In conclusion, stigma can have significant negative emotional consequences and impede recovery in people with psychosis. This may indicate that stigma needs to be addressed therapeutically for people with psychosis with a particular emphasis on addressing internalised shame and low self-esteem.