General Article The stigma of stress

Topic Selected: Anxiety
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  • Three out of four men in Britain say they would not go to the GP if they were under stress as they would be afraid that the GP would think that they are ‘unbalanced’ or ‘neurotic’.
  • There is a strong link to social factors, with stigma being stronger amongst working-class men. This may be a reason for men being three times more likely to have a drink problem than women. They may have been afraid to go to the doctor with a stress problem and tried to cope with it by drinking.
  • A Scottish Public Attitudes Survey on Mental Health in 2002 found that half of all those who took part said that they would not want anyone to know if they developed a mental health problem.
  • About the same number of people thought that the media portrayal of people with mental health problems was more negative than positive.
  • Often, people don’t think it is stress. Many go to the GP to get help for a body symptom – headaches, upset stomach, heart racing, etc. Some feel quite angry if they are told it is stre...

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