Self-stigma in women with borderline personality disorder and women with social phobia

Nicolas Rüsch, Aurelia Hölzer, Christiane Hermann, Elisabeth Schramm, Gitta A Jacob, Martin Bohus, Klaus Lieb, Patrick W Corrigan
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2006, 194 (10): 766-73
Little is known about how women with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and women with social phobia react to mental illness stigma. The goal of this study was to assess empirically self-stigma and its correlates in these groups. Self-stigma and related constructs were measured by self-report questionnaires among 60 women with BPD and 30 women with social phobia. Self-stigma was inversely related to self-esteem, self-efficacy, and quality of life and predicted low self-esteem after controlling for depression and shame-proneness. Stereotype awareness was not significantly correlated with self-esteem or quality of life. While there was no difference in stereotype awareness between women with BPD and women with social phobia, women with BPD showed higher self-stigma than women with social phobia. Self-stigma is associated with low self-esteem and other indices of poor psychological well-being. In comparison to women with social phobia, women with BPD suffer from more self-stigma. This may reflect intense labeling processes as being mentally ill due to repeated hospitalizations, frequent interpersonal difficulties, and visible scars.

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