Mental health problems don’t define who you are. They are something you experience. You walk in the rain and you feel the rain, but you are not the rain.
— Matt Haig
In recent years, mental health has watched a decline globally. According to a report from World Health Organization, more than 300 million people currently suffer from a mental health crisis and it will be the leading cause of health disabilities in the future.
Even though mental health awareness is increasing in workplaces, educational institutions, and families, there are many myths and facts about mental health that need to be discussed so that mental health can be understood in a much better way.
So, let’s debunk some of the biggest myths and facts about mental health.
Myth #1: Mental health disability is a sign of instability – anyone with strong willpower would never have it
Fact: It is not a sign of instability to have a mental health disability. A mental health disability is independent of willpower or strength. Anyone can develop a mental health disability. One does not have the choice to choose a mental health disability for himself.
Myth #2: Eating disorders are a lifestyle choice
Fact: According to National Institute of Mental Health, eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice but serious, and sometimes life threatening medical illnesses that involve abnormal eating behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. Binge-eating Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa are some common eating disorders.
Myth #3: People Suffering from Mental Illnesses are Unable to Function in Society
Fact: Another myth surrounding mental illness is that it impairs the ability to carry out daily tasks. Even though some mental illnesses can progress to severe mental illnesses, many of them contribute to society. Contrary to popular assumption, not all people who have a mental illness live their whole lives on the streets or in a secured facility. Many people with mental illnesses have families and jobs that allow them to make ends meet.
Myth #4: Mental illness cannot be prevented from developing further
Fact: Although mental illness is a serious condition, the good news is that it is treatable. It is possible to prevent further illness with early intervention. By seeking social and emotional support from family and friends and maintaining a regular sleep pattern, complete recovery is possible. A good environment in school or the workplace is a plus point, as it adds to one’s positive being.
Myth #5: There is no improvement once you have mental illness
Fact: The pattern of impairment and functioning can last for many years, but mental illness is typically not persistent in the sense that its effects are not consistent over time. When you follow a treatment plan that includes regular appointments and medications. There are many effective mental health treatment options available that can support a patient’s long-term health.
Myth #6: Being around someone with mental health issues is dangerous, violent, and frightening
Fact: Violence is not a sign of a psychotic condition. It is difficult to determine how violence and mental illness are related. People with mental illnesses who are getting the therapy they need are no more violent or dangerous than the wider population. They are undergoing a successful treatment program and are not allowed to abuse alcohol or drugs.
Myth # 7: Children don’t experience mental health problems
Fact: Children exhibit signs of mental health problems from a very young age. These mental health problems are a product of social, biological and psychological factors. Since these mental health problems can hamper the child’s other growing needs, early intervention is necessary. Unfortunately, only half of children and teenagers who get diagnosed with mental health problems, get the required treatment.
Myth # 8: Only people without friends need therapists
Fact: People assume structured talk-therapy (Psychotherapy) and speaking to friends are the same, but they are not. Although talking to close friends does help one with mental illness, but sometimes, one can’t open entirely in front of his nearest and dearest friends. A trained therapist, on the other hand, can address issues constructively by being confidential, objective, and entirely focused on the individual. Plus, some people may have a very large friend circle, but not a single close friend who will understand and address his issue.
There is a serious need to spread awareness regarding Mental Health issues and debunk the myths around them which has led to a stigma that can potentially harm the lifestyle of millions of people. Help us spread this awareness, share these myths and facts about mental health.
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- Read more, check out: Is Personality Disorder Affecting Your Wellbeing & Your Social Life