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Stigma in patients with bipolar disorders


Bipolar Disorder is amongst the most common and disabling psychiatric conditions, with chronic course and significant burden of disease. Patients with Bipolar Disorders experience a significant amount of stigmatizing and discrimination because of their illness.

Material and methods

We have developed an Inventory of Stigmatizing Experiences. It is a questionnaire, which includes both a frequency and an intensity scale, and measures the prevalence and frequency of stigma experiences, with the underlying assumption being that the total score reflects the pervasiveness of stigma experienced across different life domains.


Over 70 patients attending a specialized tertiary service for patients with Bipolar Disorders were screened with the Inventory of Stigmatizing Experiences. The results show that the experience of stigmatizing events and discrimination because of mental illness is very high and occurs almost universally. Some further analysis based on age, gender and diagnosis is given.


Stigmatizing experiences and discrimination is common in patients with Bipolar Disorders, and requires work towards reducing it.


  1. Stuart H, Milev R, Koller M: The Inventory of Stigmatizing Experience: its development and reliability. World Psychiatry. 2005, 4: S1

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Milev, R. Stigma in patients with bipolar disorders. Ann Gen Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S44 (2008).

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