University of Limerick
Parkinson_2016_Gendered.pdf (2.31 MB)

A gendered experience of self-stigma of depression: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

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posted on 2022-12-14, 16:07 authored by Rachel Parkinson
Introduction: Self-stigma has many negative consequences for people with depression. However, there is a lack of research exploring how gender affects the self-stigma of depression. This study aimed to explore how men and women experience, manage, and possibly resist, the self-stigma of depression. Method: This study was a qualitative research design using semi-structured interviews Four men and six women were interviewed to explore their subjective experiences of self-stigma. Data from these interviews were transcribed and analysed using interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results: Two superordinate themes emerged from the data: 'Self-stigma: Depression as a threat to gender identity' and 'Resisting the threat to gender identity'. The first superordinate theme described the participants ' experience of self-stigma involved a loss of gender roles and a need to conceal their depression. The second superordinate theme described how participants resisted self-stigma by seeking help, disclosing to others, normalising, and viewing depression as an empowering experience. Although gender was mainly found to affect self-stigma experiences, occasionally, men and women were found to have similar experiences. Discussion: This study allowed for a unique insight into how gender affects how self-stigma is experienced by men and women with depression. The findings of this study are discussed in relation to previous literature. The limitations and strengths of the study are considered, along with implications for clinical practice, policy, and future research.



  • Faculty of Education and Health Sciences


  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Coughlan, Barry

Second supervisor

Greenwood, Ronni Michelle





Department or School

  • Psychology

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