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Stigmatized Diseases in the Community

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In every community, there are various stigmatized illnesses that majorly act as an obstacle to the improvement of care of people. Stigma is a marker of adverse experiences such as a sense of shame to those affected and makes them feel they are not wanted in the society. People with stigmatized illnesses are likely to receive less support and usually get discriminated in the society compared to people with non-stigmatized diseases. This essay discussed some of the stigmatized conditions such as mental disorders, HIV/AIDS, leprosy and venereal diseases that are mostly affecting people in the community.

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Mental disorders belong to the major stigmatized diseases that primarily have an impact on the community. They occur from an interaction of various genes and other factors that later trigger an illness in an individual who has an inherited susceptibility (Henderson, Evans-Lacko, & Thornicroft, 2013). In this community, it happens that people experience stress, abuse, and other traumatic events thus causing the condition. Mental disorder can affect anyone in this community from young children to adults and elderly individuals. It can influence young persons when they are exposed to abuse and neglect from their parents or other people. Adults are being affected when they are under stress of divorce, death, and even poverty. These people feel more depressed, anxious, weak, and overwhelmed and may feel they are losing their mind. They behave in a weird way like wanting to stay alone, being violent and some may have thoughts of committing suicide.

AIDS disease is stigmatized since it affects the willingness of suffering people to access treatment. It is caused by HIV that spreads through blood or fluids such as vaginal fluids and semen from one affected person to another individual mostly likely through sexual contacts (Earnshaw, Smith, Chaudoir, Amiico, & Copenhver, 2013). The disease happens when people indulge in unprotected sexual contacts or share untreated needles to inject drugs. It can affect almost anyone. Children are being infected when the virus is being passed from the mother to the infant especially during birth. Sexually active people have a high chance of contacting it when they frequently change their sexual partners. Addicts of alcohol and other substances are becoming more vulnerable when they inject drugs by sharing injecting needles. Individuals with AIDS are likely to feel depressed and very isolated as other people may avoid them and are not likely to share anything with them. They feel left alone and cast off by the society, and thus they are likely to push themselves outside. Most behave in a strange way by drinking too much alcohol so as to take the feeling away, while others act in a desperate way and others may opt for suicide since the only thing they think about is death.

Venereal illnesses such as gonorrhea and syphilis are also stigmatized in this community. These contagious diseases happen when people get involved in multiple sexual contacts. They mostly affect the sexually active people in the society. They get infected when they indulge in unprotected sexual contacts. The individuals with the venereal diseases do not seek treatment since they feel all right and can spread the infection unwittingly. Later, they start feeling unwell, and most are likely to engage in prostitution.
Leprosy is another stigmatized disease which causes severe sores, disfiguring skin and damages nerves in arms and legs (Singh, 2012). This illness is spread through cough or direct contact with the fluid from the nose of an infected person bringing about the loss of sensation in hands and feet and also muscle paralysis. It is common to people who live in poverty. It usually occurs in adults; however, sometimes it affects children and adolescents in particular between 10-15 years of age. Children get infected when they are everyday contacts with, for example, their caretakers like babysitters who have the disease, while adults may receive it when being in touch with infected persons. The affected people face both physical impairments and psychosocial repercussions due to the attitude of the community. They feel shunned even after multidrug treatment has cured them as people tend to isolate away from them. Most individuals with the disease tend to end up in a state of beggary as they cannot cooperate with other people thus becoming beggars.

Healthcare is essential for stigmatized persons, but there is much fear among the infected individuals thus hindering them to seek treatment and help. To make suffering people seek health care and assistance, I can use various positive past cases to show them that the diseases can be healed and there is hope thus influencing them to seek early treatment. I can also involve their parents or friends who are supportive, and people who have a positive experience so as they can affect them since many people are likely to seek help from a friend than seeing a doctor.

I can also make suffering individuals seek treatment and assistance by offering support services in a non-clinical setting so as to make it easier for them to apply for healthcare. The services can involve different social activities, advice, and advocacy services offered in a non-holistic and non-isolation manner. Through this process, the stigmatized people will have the ability and confidence to identify and articulate their emotions in recognizing and understanding the symptoms associated with those illnesses. This will enable them to seek early treatment and assistance.

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Stigmatized diseases are present in every society and the way of acting upon the affected matters a lot. It is good when the affected people get support both from the family members and the entire society. Failure to seek early treatment can have an impact on the life of the suffering individuals. Therefore, it is good to show them there is hope, and they can live longer through guiding them in seeking medical care early enough before the disease becomes more severe.

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