In sociological terms, labelling is the attachment of a mental illness to a person who has been given a specific diagnostic label. More generally, this person becomes identified as someone who has received mental health treatment - a "mentally ill" person. It is because of this labelling that many refuse to receive treatment for certain symptoms associated with mental illnesses. American society appears to have certain negative stereotypes of mental illness - such as unpredictability and instability - which would be applied to the labeled individual, which in return, may cause others to reject the labeled individual. Such reactions may introduce new sources of stress into the mentally ill person's life, which limits their life changes through discrimination, damage to their self-concepts, and impair the way they cope with and confront the world.
One of the most important approaches to the understanding of criminality.
Our conceptualization of stigma is a two-part definition of the concept as a "mark" or label. Stigma: 1) sets a person apart from others and 2) connects the labeled individual to undesirable characteristics. When the second of the above two occurs, a third aspect of stigma comes into play-people reject and avoid the stigmatized individual. With regard to mental illness, an individual could be hospitalized for mental illness and then assumed so dangerous and unstable that social avoidance and isolation ensue. Stigma is a matter of degree; the worse the undesirable characteristics, the more strenuous the rejection.