10 Popular Myths About Mental Health
Over the last few years, mental health has grabbed the headlines. Because of the pandemic and otherwise, mental well-being is no longer talked about in whispers or hidden like skeletons in the cupboard. After centuries of being taboo, it is slowly but surely being talked about. Many myths still abound. Unfortunately, the archaic thinking and medieval presumptions still have a major shame connected to mental health. Comprehensive knowledge would lead to awareness and then these myths need to be busted. 10 Popular Myths About Mental Health point out that the fabricated truths involving mental well-being need to be cleared.
The mental health of people around the world has taken centre stage after the pandemic.
Let us delve into 10 Popular Myths About Mental Health
1. Mental Health Problems Are Rare
This statement is far from the truth. We brush it under the carpet or ignore the elephant in the room. Depression, the most common mental health problem, has tripled. Presently, 450 million are suffering and the numbers are only going to increase.
2. Mental Illness Can Kill A Person
Even kids facing their first day at school or an exam are having panic attacks. Panic attacks can be absurdly distressing. Panic is an outcome of fear and involves rapid palpitations. Yet, they are not life-threatening.
3. Work and Mental Health Don’t go Together
It is a continual myth that mentally ill people cannot take a job. This is totally false. Persons with severe symptoms temporarily go off the radar. A sizeable number are efficient at their jobs, just like ordinary people.
4. Mental Illness is a Sign of Weakness
This is a common myth and the patient believes that he/she brought it upon themselves at a weak moment. Just like we have heart disease or a kidney stone problem, mental illness is the same. The melancholy mood or irrational behaviour does mark mental illness. It is not an illness anyone wants to have, nor is it the outcome of stubbornness or a grumpy attitude. Just a mental illness. It has nothing to do with a weak character. It is difficult to snap out of. One needs to battle it out.
5. People Will Label me Mad If I Look For Treatment.
When we have a viral, we rush to the hospital for medical help. In the same way, one should not wait to seek treatment for any mental illness. Because of the stigma and lack of knowledge of the mental illness. People view and label it as madness and ridicule the patient. Going for treatment is a sign of strength and not weakness.
6. Stress Leads to Mental Illness
This is true only to a minimal extent. Stress could set off an episode or lead to depression or anxiety. But continual symptoms seem to be biological. There could be myriad reasons for mental illness, but it is still now clear what the exact reason could be.
7. You Can Snap Out Of Mental Illness By Being Positive And Praying.
This could be partially true for a small percentage of people who react impetuously to problematic situations. Mandatory treatment and support can help a mentally ill person recover. To some extent, spirituality and faith can give strength to a few people to snap out of it.
8. Mentally Ill People Are Dangerous
The movies and media have caricatured mentally ill patients resorting to violence and bouts of anger. In reality, the mentally ill are rather quiet and withdrawn.
9. Mentally Ill Patients Are Left On The Streets or Locked Up In An Asylum.
Another exaggerated scenario is that mentally ill patients cannot live peacefully at home, so they live on the streets or in an asylum. 70% of the mentally ill recover and live with their families. Some may need hospitalization for a short period, but they do return home and live a normal life. Few with severe mental health issues leave the house in a deranged state. But if we give them the treatment, it would surely cure them.
10. Mental Illness is Irreversible
It is not the end of the world if they diagnosed someone with a mental illness. Some people probably will go through brief episodes and then bounce back to normalcy. Others may find solace in medication and help them return to their normal form. For chronic mentally ill patients, recovery is just between episodes. But most people recover and lead a normal life.
The bottom line is that mental health conditions are universal. There is a treatment for all kinds of mental illnesses. Instead of propagating the taboo, stigma, or myths, we should draw attention to the reality of mental health issues.
My previous post on the Blogchatter Blog Hop is a Story-Twin Souls- Message in a Bottle and 4 things about today’s world that puzzle me. Let’s Toss-read versus Write.
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