Influence of stigma on developing areas

Mental disorders can occur at any stage of life. Stigmatization is an obstacle for anyone with a mental disorder. However, I choose the ‘adulthood’ phase of life. I do this because I think they have to deal with the disadvantages of stigma the most.

Erikson: core conflict

According to the book ‘Psychology of the life course (Craeynest pp. 266)’, the transition from adolescence to adulthood takes place around the age of 20 to 25. This is the time when most young people (by starting to work, living alone or together or getting married) take concrete steps to take their own place in society. It is understandable that it is extra difficult for people with a mental disorder to take this place in society, partly due to the labels that are stuck on them. Especially because they often end up ‘stigmatizing’ themselves and as a result, among other things, end up in social isolation. This also makes finding a partner difficult. Erikson’s core conflict in young adulthood, according to the book ‘Psychology of the Life Course (Craeynest pp. 295)’, is intimacy versus isolation. According to Erikson, intimacy involves both communication (merging) and distance (contrasting). The negative development pole, isolation, involves distance without communication. People with a mental disorder (often) find themselves in the negative pole. In middle adulthood, the core conflict, according to the book ‘Psychology of the Life Course (Craeynest pp. 297)’ is generativity versus stagnation and says the following about this. ‘Generativity is primarily the concern for shaping and leading the next generation. (…) Stagnation is the negative pole whereby, in the words of Erikson, the individual starts to pamper himself as if he were his own, only and beloved child’ . This could be because people with a mental disorder cannot participate in society, causing stagnation among them.

The development areas

Sensorimotor development

Deterioration of vision and hearing gradually deteriorates. Other senses generally appear to be more resistant to wear and tear. The heart and lungs gradually lose part of their optimal capacity, but this does not have to lead to problems until about 50 years of age (under normal circumstances). Development according to the age of 18 – 65 years.

Cognitive development

Because people with a mental disorder have difficulty getting a job, starting a family or participating in society, their thinking does not reach the financial level that ensures that their thinking becomes an instrument to actually do something about the problems facing them. they encounter in their daily activities. It is also the case that, because people with a mental disorder have limited exposure to reality, black and white thinking (something is good or it is bad, it is right or wrong). The development according to the age 15 to 16 years.

Social development

There is little social contact, people with a mental disorder are often lonely and have no partner. Development according to age 5 to 6 years.

Emotional development

They have low self-esteem, they are still guided by what others expect of them and therefore have little self-insight. According to age 14 to 15 years.


It is difficult for people with a mental disorder to give meaning to their lives. Life with a chronic mental disorder is especially hopeless and causes people to take their lives for granted (or not).

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, people with mental disorders are stuck at number 3, togetherness and love, due to stigmatization. They do not have the feeling of belonging to others, of being accepted and therefore certainly not loved.

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