Our understanding of mental health has come a long way, however there are still some popular misconceptions. Below are just some of these myths – and why you shouldn’t believe them.
Mental health problems are a sign of weakness
Sadly, there are still many people that see mental health problems as a form of weakness rather than an illness. Many strong and successful people fall victim to crippling mental health problems such as depression and anxiety as this article at Medium shows. Such mental health problems are often the result of a mix of trauma, genetics, and bad brain chemistry. Overcoming a mental health problem requires more than inner strength – like an illness it often requires medicine and professional help. There’s a huge difference between lacking willpower and having a mental block.
Children cannot suffer from mental health problems
You don’t have to be an adult to suffer from mental health problems. In fact, half of all mental health disorders show their first signs before a person turns 14. If your child’s behaviour is concerning you, it’s possible that they may have a mental health problem that requires treatment. There are specialist therapists such as The Potter’s House Stone Mountain that can help in these instances. Don’t just expect your child to grow out of such behaviours.
People with mental health problems cannot be trusted to hold down jobs
This relates back to the idea of mental health being a sign of weakness. Some employers can be very uncompassionate towards employees with mental health problems – if an employee needs to take a day off for their mental health, they may be seen as not being able to hack it. In reality, most people with mental health problems can still be very good workers. Depressive and psychotic ‘episodes’ should be treated much like physical illnesses and a worker should be allowed to take time off to recover.
Taking drugs for mental health problems will turn you into a zombie
Drugs like anti-depressants don’t work for everyone. However, the idea any mental health drug will turn you into a zombie is rubbish. Mental health drugs can work brilliantly for some people and help them to live more normal lives. In fact, it can be life-saving for people with conditions like schizophrenia. Don’t reject pills just because you’ve heard bad stories from other people as it may not be the same case for you.
Once you get a mental illness, you have it forever
There is some truth to this – most mental illnesses and conditions cannot be ‘cured’. However, much like an allergy or physical condition like arthritis, mental illnesses can be treated and prevented to stop them flaring up. By finding ways to avoid triggers and by finding ways to stop episodes quickly in their tracks, you can keep the mental illness at bay. In other words, if you’re currently feeling very depressed or anxious, this isn’t a feeling you have to live with forever – it can be contained, allowing you to feel normal, by getting the right treatment.
What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments below. I really would love to know.
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