Gorica Djokic, Serbia
Do you think that bipolar and other severe mental disorders are stigmatized by the media?
I think they are stigmatized by the media, people and maybe even by doctors who are not involved in the treatment of psychiatric patients. We have had a large problem for a long time, of assuring people that psychiatric disorders are just like somatic disorders, like a heart attack, or hypertension. We [psychiatrists] treat people with mental disorders just like people with somatic disorders; there is no stigma. However, in everyday practice we know that doctors in primary care, people, the media, stigmatize people with psychiatric disorders. This isn’t just in my country; we know that it is all over the world. It is very important for us to open our doors to give information and allow people to ask anything that they want. In my clinic we have one day in the week where any person can come in and ask any question about psychiatric disorders, about treatment, about side effects, about everything involved. Bipolar disorder is one of the most common psychiatric disorders we have.