It is important to realise how far-reaching the impact of stigma can be on a person, their family and even the whole community. The ways people feel about being stigmatised depend on the situation that they find themselves in at a given time. This suggests that the ways we experience stigma may change depending on the circumstances. For example, we may feel stigmatised by how someone looks at us, by how someone talks to us or when someone verbally or physically abuses us.
The feelings of being stigmatised include shame, feeling rejected, feeling insulted, feeling discredited by others, depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. These feelings are very painful and may last a long time, even a lifetime, causing people to begin to doubt and hate themselves and to feel powerless and alone at a time when they need the support and company of others.