Aim. The purpose of this study was to compare the frequency of social stigma experiences reported by patients with schizophrenia and by people with other health problems.
Method. The stigma subscale of the Consumer Experiences of Stigma Questionnaire (CESQ) was administered to patients with schizophrenia (n=153), recurrent depression (n=31), drug dependence (n=30), alcohol dependence (n=39), hematological malignancies (n=31), or cardiovascular disorders (n=33).
Results. Multiple regression analysis showed that schizophrenia patients experienced stigmatization significantly more often than did respondents diagnosed with hematological malignancies or cardiovascular disorders. Moreover, patients with schizophrenia were found to experience stigma at a level similar to that in patients with depression or alcohol dependence, but lower than that experienced by drug addicts.
Conclusions. The study findings confirm that the stigma of schizophrenia is stronger than that associated with physical illnesses. However, people with schizophrenia were not found to experience stigmatization more often than people with other severe mental disorders.