Although stigmatizing attitudes are not limited to mental illness, the public seems to disapprove persons with psychiatric disabilities significantly more than persons with related conditions such as physical illness (34-36). Severe mental illness has been likened to drug addiction, prostitution, and criminality (37,38). Unlike physical disabilities, persons with mental illness are perceived by the public to be in control of their disabilities and responsible for causing them (34,36). Furthermore, research respondents are less likely to pity persons with mental illness, instead reacting to psychiatric disability with anger and believing that help is not deserved (35,36,39)."World Psychiatry. 2002 Feb; 1(1): 16–20.PMCID: PMC1489832Understanding the impact of stigma on people with mental illnessPATRICK W CORRIGAN and AMY C WATSON
Her arms groped forward to guide her when her tears blocked her vision in darkness. Then she couldn't run any more. She sank to her knees and began to cry in her terror. She wanted Gary.She suddenly felt strong arms around her. She bent her head to bury it in Gary's shoulder, trembling in the darkness.Whimpering like a small animal in a trap, she pushed herself closer to him and said in a choked voice, "I'm so frightened!""I know, my love," the voice said. "I'm so sorry you were hurt."She felt herself being pulled up to him, his grip around her tight. It was a strange feeling in this pitch-black hallway, where not even the light of the moon cast any illumination. The lips she touched were cold and yet they responded to her with an unusual warmth. His hands massaged her back. Something, Melanie thought, was wrong with that. The hands were too smooth, not like a plastered wrist would feel."Gary?" she asked, backing away. She didn't trust what she couldn't see."My love," the voice whispered, "there is no need to fear now. I shall protect you from those who mean you harm.