In this paper, we report the findings of a qualitative study that, aims to understand the family members’ subjective experiences with perceived stigma of mental illness. The theoretical standpoint and the research method for the study employed are social constructivist theory and narrative inquiry respectively. We conducted semi-structured and in-depth interviews with family members and others accompanying patients to an outpatient unit of a psychiatric clinic. The professionals and the administrative staff at the clinic gave additional interviews. The constant comparative method was employed for the analysis of the narratives. The findings suggest the existence of perceived and direct stigma among family members. Family members shared their concerns relating to the disclosure of illness, its receptions, its interpretation by others, and the possible impact of the disclosure on the family. Professionals and staff at the clinic shared their perceptions regarding the manifestations of perceived stigma among families. In this study, we gathered an emic understanding of family stigma in the context of West Bengal, India. The findings are discussed in the context of current literature on stigma in India.
stigma, mental illness, family members, social constructivism, narrative inquiry
We want to acknowledge the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India for proving required infrastructure for completion of the PhD thesis. Also, our sincere gratitude to the reviewers who provided valuable comments and suggestions for the betterment of the manuscript.
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Recommended APA Citation
Banerjee, B., & Dixit, S. (2021). Perceived Stigma among Family Members of Persons Suffering from Mental Illness: A Narrative Exploration from West Bengal, India. The Qualitative Report, 26(4), 1309-1330. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.4648