Internalized stigma of mental disorders has significant negative outcomes for patients with bipolar disorder and their families. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between personality traits and internalized stigma of mental disorders in bipolar patients and their treatment partners. Five different questionnaires were utilized in this study: (1) Demographic data questionnaire, (2) Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III) for personality traits, (3) Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness (ISMI) for stigma, (4) Self Report Manic Inventory (SRMI) for mania and (5) Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) for depression. The scores of personality traits were combined to create externalizing and internalizing personality trait scores. Results showed that patients with bipolar disorder and their treatment partners both experienced internalized stigma of mental health disorders. There was a significant positive correlation between internalized stigma and internalizing personality traits, but not externalizing traits. In a multi-variate regression analysis, internalizing personality trait score was found to be a significant predictor of internalized stigma. In conclusion, patients with bipolar disorder and their treatment partners perceive higher level of internalized stigma of mental disorders if they have internalizing personality traits.
Keywords: Caregiver; Externalization; Family; Internalization.
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