People with schizophrenia are often devalued and discriminated against because of their mental illness. This stigma can take the form of public stigma - negative stereotypes in the community - and self-stigma, applying stereotypes to oneself and internalizing them. Stigma has been shown to interfere with help-seeking and recovery from schizophrenia. People with mental illness expect to be rejected leading them to become secretive about their condition, or limit, or withdraw entirely from, social interaction. A study of 127 outpatients, diagnosed with schizophrenia asked them about perceived stigma, their use of secrecy and withdrawal as methods of coping, their symptoms, their feelings of confidence in coping with their condition (self-efficacy), their depression and their levels of insight. The study found that perceived stigma led to a significant increase in secrecy and withdrawal and to a loss of self-efficacy.
Kleim, Birgit ... [et al] - Perceived stigma predicts low self-efficacy and poor coping in schizophrenia Journal of Mental Health October 2008, 17(5), 482-491