Experiencing and managing stigma
Denmon, Aubrey Michelle
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Stigma has been defined in previous literature as a feeling of personal denigration or defamation due to the presence of a discrediting attribute, such as an obvious physical impairment or illness. The phenomenon seems to be categorized as a relatively stable experience, in which individuals are expected to either face an ongoing and full-strength manifestation, or none at all. Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has received a fair amount of stigma-related research interest owing to the negative social appraisals accompanying both the label of the condition and the associated behaviors. Qualitative interviews with 22 university students diagnosed with ADHD demonstrates that stigma is not a constant experience, but rather one that fluctuates in intensity and duration within the context of daily interactions. Further, students resist the stigma associated with ADHD by using strategic mechanisms common to the resistance of mental illness stigma.