The Myths About Mental Health
You Should Watch Out For
When one experiences mental health issues, especially in its first stages, it can be a very confusing and frightening time. Just like physical sicknesses, mental health issues are something anyone can have, and something that should be taken care of. Fortunately, mental health is now being addressed on a much larger scale.
However, the stigma behind mental health is still there, due to the lack of awareness and limited access to proper help and support. Because of all these, there are myths and misconceptions surrounding mental illnesses that need to be addressed. Read on as we show you the different myths of mental health.
Myths About Mental Health
Throughout the years, mental health has been moving out of the shadows gradually. Unfortunately, there are still misconceptions behind it that hinder people from seeking help, such as:
Mental Health Problems Aren’t Common
They actually are and you aren’t alone! About 1 out of 5 Americans would experience a diagnosable mental health condition in their lives. The World Health Organization estimated that 1 in 4 people worldwide would experience it.
Now, 450 million have these conditions, with mental disorders being one of the leading causes of disability and/or ill health around the world.
One of the more common mental health conditions is depression, which, in 2017, affected around 264 million people worldwide. One recent study that focused on the United States showed that the number of adults who experience depression tripled amid this pandemic.
Another common mental health disorder is a generalized anxiety disorder, which affects almost 7 million adults in the United States, or around 3 in 100 adults.
Panic Attacks May Be Fatal
Panic attacks can be painful and uncomfortable, as it would involve racing heartbeats and senses of fear, among other symptoms. With that said, they are not directly fatal.
However, it’s worth noting that those who do experience panic attacks are more likely to have an accident. If you or someone you know is experiencing a panic attack or feels one coming, then find a safe space to stay in during the attack.
Those with Mental Health Conditions Can’t Work
This is an old myth that many still believe in, with people thinking that those with mental health conditions can’t hold down jobs, or even by useful in the work environment. Of course, this myth is completely false.
Some people with mental health conditions may not be able to perform regular work, but a majority of them can be as productive compared to those without such conditions.
Mental Health Issues Are Signs of Weakness
This is another obvious myth. Think of it this way- would you tell someone with a broken leg that they are weak?
Mental health conditions are illnesses and not a sign of poor or weak character. To add, people with mental health conditions like depression are unable to snap out of it, just like how people with physical illnesses like diabetes can’t recover immediately.
If anything, the truth is the total opposite. Fighting mental health conditions would take a huge amount of strength!
Mental Health Issues Are Permanent
Mental health diagnoses aren’t a life sentence. All of our experiences with mental illnesses are different. Others may experience episodes then go back to ‘normal’, while others would follow treatments to help restore the balance they need.
Some may not feel like they have recovered from their conditions completely, while others might experience worse symptoms. That said, many people will recover from their conditions, though take note that recovery would mean different things to people.
The best way to describe recovery in mental health is getting better and reducing the severity of the symptoms while achieving a satisfying life. Again, this can mean differently to people, as it might mean returning to who they were before, or relief from symptoms while using their new treatments to find balance in their ‘new life’.
Addiction Means You Lack Willpower
Again, this is not true. In fact, drug use disorders are considered to be chronic diseases. Researchers who have done a paper in Addictive Behavior Reports have stated that those with addiction are not short on willpower. Instead, recovery depends on creating strategies that preserve such willpower through controlled environments.
Eating Disorders Only Occur in Women
There’s a stereotype against eating disorders and how only young, wealthy, and white females suffer from them. However, this disorder would actually affect anyone.
Studies have shown that eating disorders are occurring more in males, individuals over 45 years old, and those living in lower-income homes. Other research shows that males take account for up to 25% of cases of anorexia and bulimia nervosa, along with another 25% of cases being binge eating disorders.
Another myth against eating disorders is that it’s a lifestyle choice. This is quite a harmful myth, as eating disorders are NOT a diet! It is a very serious mental health condition that may be fatal in extreme cases.
Those with Mental Illnesses Are Violent
This is another myth that is, fortunately, dying away. Even the majority of those diagnosed with most serious are nonviolent. While it’s true that those who suffer from certain mental health conditions can be unpredictable and violent, only a minority of individuals do.
There have been studies that already prove that those with mental health conditions don’t pose an increased risk of violence, especially when treated properly by the right therapists. The misconception is overemphasized and wrongly sensationalized by the news media.
Wrapping It Up
When it comes to mental health, you have to learn about the different myths and misconceptions to spread awareness. These conditions are common and can be treated, and it is best to work as one to remove the stigma and myths, so more people are able to find the treatment they deserve without the fear of being judged.
If you have any questions or want to share more insights on these myths, share them in the comments section below. Your thoughts are much appreciated.
Did you find this article helpful? Share your thoughts with friends...