There’s a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding mental health. It’s a relatively new field of discussion, as research for mental health goes only as far back as less than 200 years ago. There are still many baseless rumors and quackery concerning mental health, so here are some common misconceptions and why they should never be believed or spread.
Myth: Those with Mental Health Problems Are Dangerous and Violent
We’ve heard news reports about how someone with a mental health disorder commits a violent crime. It’s far too common to see news outfits focus on the fact that those who committed a crime may or may not have mental illnesses, and this sends the wrong message that people with psychiatric disabilities are violent.
But violence doesn’t always come with mental issues. Statistically, the propensity for violence remains equal for both people with mental disorders and those without. There’s a wide variety of mental disorders, and generalizing that every mental health problem leads to violence is problematic.
Myth: If You Have a Mental Illness, You Can Never Find a Job
Many employers often worry that hiring someone with recorded mental illnesses might hamper their productivity. But just like everyone else, even people with mental problems can be efficient and productive in their day-to-day tasks. They can put on quality work, have a good attendance record, and be an overall standup employee.
The requirement, however, is understanding on the employer’s part and treatment on the individual’s part. Employers need to understand that having mental health problems isn’t a reason not to hire people. It’s discriminatory to base decisions on that. Through proper treatment and medication, people with mental health problems can be productive, if not more so.
Myth: People Can “Snap Out” of Their Mental Health Problem
Most people who don’t understand what goes on in the brains of people with mental illness normally brush it off as something that people need to stop doing. But individuals can’t “stop” themselves from being anxious or depressed. If they could, they would have done so in the first place.
Mental issues are real and can be challenging to manage, especially without professional guidance and a support system to help them. “Snapping out of it” isn’t a solution as it makes it seem like mental illness is a choice when there are many contributing factors to it. Aspects like genetic predisposition, brain chemistry, life experience, and even physical injury can all play a role in someone’s mental health.
Myth: There’s No Cure for Mental Health Problems
Another dangerous misconception that many people seem to hold is that you can’t recover once you’re afflicted with mental illnesses. This is furthest from the truth as many treatments, solutions, and medicines seek to alleviate mental issues.
Many therapies don’t involve drinking medicine under treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). But there are also medically prescribed drugs that can help with it. People are reported to fully recover from mental illnesses through constant therapy and consistent intake of the appropriate medicine. To say that there’s no cure for mental problems sweeps the medical industry’s efforts to do something about it.
Myth: Therapy Doesn’t Work; You Only Need Medicine
This one is a myth that’s perpetuated even by those already with mental illnesses. But each person is different and has different reactions to therapy and medication. To truly recover, it’s critical to try a combination of both. Finding the best medicine and best treatment strategy to keep your mental health is essential to recovery. It’s important not to neglect one for the other. Therapy does work, and so does medicine. A combination of both might work even better.
Myth: It’s Impossible for Children to Have Mental Problems
Young children are often ignored for mental health discussions because they “haven’t experienced enough.” But remember that there are many factors to psychiatric disorders, and some of them are genetic rather than social. Most mental health issues can have symptoms beginning from a young age.
That’s why it’s critical to get the necessary medical help, as it will address whatever problems there are and lead to less worry and pain as the child grows up. The unfortunate truth, however, is that very few children are diagnosed correctly. The myth that children can’t have mental problems should be abolished, as it’s a myth that’s very dangerous.
If you have mental health problems yourself, don’t worry. It gets better, but you need to make an effort. And part of that effort is understanding mental health itself, even for those who don’t experience it.