M is a middle-aged man, diagnosed with mental health issues, who has a poor social life and does not have many friends. He goes sometimes to a day care center, but he has difficulties with accepting his mental health issue, and that is the reason why he does not usually talk to anyone about it. However, he has recently started taking the suggested medication and he seems feeling a bit better than before. Hence, his sister manages to convince him to go out with her and some of her friends, who are aware of the man´s illness. They meet in a pub and start talking about everything and anything, laughing while sharing common daily events. However, nobody is addressing to the Man, nor taking his interventions into consideration: they totally ignore him, as if he were not there. The Man feels angry and upset and, after some further meetings with them, he tells his sister he would rather stay by himself and then he exclaims: “That is why I don´t tell people! This is so frustrating… And I will stop taking the medication: it doesn’t change anything…”

Theoretical background

Aggression type

Fear of social stigma and denial of it – resulting in relational aggression and escapism from relations.

Emotions: anger, disappointment

Coping/Stressors related to mental illness/social stigma and self-stigma

Coping/Functional coping strategies

Questions and answers

1st Question

At what point in the scenario do you find that the protagonist was a victim of violence? To what kind of violence does the scenario refer to? 

1st Answer

The emotional violence is perpetrated by the sister´s friends during the meetings, since they ignore and emotionally reject the protagonist.

2nd Question

Do you think that the thoughts, the actions, the feelings and the attitudes adopted by the protagonist of the scenario helped him/her to cope with this situation?  Are there any alternative ideas?

2nd Answer

He feels frustrated, angry, upset and embarrassed and he thinks he should stop taking his medication, since it does not change the way people treat him. The fact that he does not fully accept his mental health issue does not help him, since he is the first person who negatively judge himself. He should not be ashamed of his illness and he should work with a professional on it.

3rd Question

What other interventions and actions could further help the protagonist to deal with this incident and with any potential similar incidents in the future?

3rd Answer Improving self-esteem, encouraging him not to be shy and talk with people, and making him understand that it is not his fault if some people ignore him or do not want to speak to him because of his illness. This is a type of discrimination due to the lack of knowledge related to mental health issues. Furthermore, he could be encouraged he should continue taking his medication since it benefits himself: he should not take such a decision because of people´ judgements or believes

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