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Who comes out with their mental illness and how does it help?

Corrigan, Patrick W., Michaels, Patrick J., Powell, Karina, Bink, Andrea, Sheehan, Lindsay, Schmidt, Annie, Apa, Bethany and Al-Khouja, Maya A. 2016. Who comes out with their mental illness and how does it help? Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases 204 (3) , pp. 163-168. 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000461

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Coming out with mental illness may be an effective strategy for reducing self-stigma. This study examined predictors and consequences of coming out. Participants (N = 106) with severe mental illness who reported being out (n = 79) or not out (n = 27) endorsed benefits of being out (BBOs) and reasons for staying in. Predictors from baseline measures were self-stigma, insight, and psychiatric diagnosis. Three outcome measures—basic psychological needs, care engagement, and depression—were also completed at baseline and 1-month follow-up. Among participants already out, BBOs and reasons for staying in were significantly and independently associated with self-stigma, insight, and lifetime affective diagnoses. In terms of consequences, BBOs were associated with cross-sectional and 1-month measures of engagement for those already out, but not for closeted participants. Among closeted participants, BBOs were associated with baseline and 1-month measures of basic psychological needs. Implications for strategies meant to promote disclosure in order to decrease self-stigma are considered.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
ISSN: 1002-0152
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2022 01:12

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