Mental Health ‘Labels’ Can Negatively Impact Treatment of Patients

In an experiment, researchers found that clinicians assumed behaviors that were not present in diagnosing a patient.

Diagnosing patients with medical labels to describe mental health conditions or severe mental health illnesses such as ‘personality disorder’ or ‘schizophrenia’, can have negative impacts on professionals working with them and could lead to less effective treatments being delivered, according to leading clinical psychologists based at the University of Bath.

Yet, whereas previous work mostly assumed those working within the mental health professions would be immune to such beliefs, the latest research published in the journals British Journal of Clinical Psychology and Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapy found this not always to be true. According to the research team, labelling patients with these conditions risks not only stigmatization in wider society, but also within the helping professions.

It is commonly believed that some psychiatric diagnoses are stigmatizing and lead to negative evaluations by the public, family members and even the person with mental health problems themselves

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