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10 Myths & Facts about Mental Illness

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Mental Health (MH) issues are quite common. Still, due to the stigma associated with it, a lack of understanding, and restricted access to professional care, only a few people come forward and seek help to recover from these issues. Often, MH myths lead to social stigmas that can put you in distress and worsen your condition. This article will elucidate some common myths versus facts about Mental Health.

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Contents

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Common Mental Health myths busted

This section showcases some Mental Health myths and corresponding facts. 

Myth 1: Mental Health issues are prevalent among adults only

Fact: Anyone who has the ability to think can suffer from Mental Health issues. The behavioural changes in a child from time to time are owing to mental stress and other natural transitions. Their inability to express issues in words may make you believe they are normal, especially in the early part of their childhood.

Trauma and mental stress faced by children in early times can have severe consequences in the later part of their childhood and adulthood. Studies suggest that the symptoms of Mental Health disorders in more than half of the cases start at the age of 14. Timely medical attention and treatment can help kids recover from mental illness and behavioural disorders.

Myth 2: People with severe Mental Health issues are violent and unpredictable

Fact: Only a small margin of people suffering from certain complicated mental illnesses tend to show violent and unpredictable behaviour. Most people suffering from mental issues behave normally. For example, individuals having the most severe conditions like schizophrenia are mostly non-violent because they live in a state of fear and are more confused than others.

As per studies, the incidents of violence in people with a brain disorder are not higher than those among the general population. People who suffer from psychiatric disorders tend to avoid people and often find it difficult to communicate their thoughts with others.

Myth 3: Mental Health issues are rare

Fact:  Cases of mental illnesses and behavioural disorders are as common as other diseases like diabetes, heart disease, etc. People with MH issues are highly functional. However, they tend to be afraid of the social stigma and usually do not share their problems with others.

Studies show that the prevalence of MH issues in adults, even with kids is very high. It suggests that about one in five adults experience MH issues, while one in six kids go through major depressive disorders.

Myth 4: There is no hope and recovery for someone with a mental illness

Fact: Due to the social stigma and lack of awareness, it gets difficult for people to recover from MH conditions. But the fact is adequate treatment plans are available for mental illness issues, and people have recovered from such disorders completely. The progress of such recoveries is often related to the emotional support they receive from people who are part of their environment. Sometimes offering care proves to be better than any medicine that can create miracles.

Myth 5: People with mental illnesses cannot function properly in society

Fact: Most people suffering from MH issues are highly efficient and talented. They are often the most valued members of their families and communities. The existence of MH condition does not necessarily mean somebody is weak or lacks competence.

On the other hand, it requires a lot of strength and courage to recognize the condition of the Mental Health of your near and dear ones and offer a caring hand to them to overcome such a predicament.

Myth 6: Mental Health issues cannot happen to me

Fact: Mental Health issues often trigger by one’s environment and are not the sole result of a particular genetic predisposition. You may also develop MH issues at some point in life, but the important thing is to acknowledge and address them, just as you usually do with your physical problems.

Nobody chooses to be sad. Some people feel it occurs when you allow yourself to wallow in your grief or misery. But, in reality, MH disorder is a medical condition in which the structure of your brain, chemistry, and function, are adversely affected by environmental or biological factors. A stressful school, career, or personal life may wear anyone out and can lead to mental illness. If you feel that you are experiencing it, make an appointment with your doctor immediately.

Myth 7: There are no preventive measures for mental illnesses

Fact: Measures such asstrengthening social and emotional skills, seeking help & support from others, developing supportive relationships, a healthy lifestyle, etc., can help. Not expecting too much from life, living each moment to the fullest, and being joyful and content should be the mantra of life.

Children and adolescents who do well in the face of adversity typically have a natural mental resistance combined with an agile and supportive relationship with family and friends, resulting in a combination of protective factors to support mental well-being.

Myth 8: Only irresponsible fathers and mothers cause mental issues in children

Fact: Bad parenting can never be the only cause. Though it can cause mental trauma in children and worsen their mental health if left unattended. While children progress to adulthood, there are other contributing factors for MH disorders which may include poverty, unemployment, exposure to violence, and migration. Caregivers' support can be critical in assisting teenagers to overcome whatever challenges they face, but it is only one of many contributing factors that can lead to MH problems.

Myth 9: Only people who do not have social support need help 

Fact: There is a difference between structured therapies provided by specialists and assistance from untrained friends. Both can help people with mental illness in different ways. However, a trained therapist can deal with issues constructively and logically in ways that even the best friends cannot match.

Therapy by a qualified person remains confidential, objective, and entirely focused on the needs of an individual according to his or her condition. It won't be possible in an informal environment comprising untrained friends.

Myth 10: It is in the genes!

Fact: Most educated members of society have doubts about the hereditary nature of mental illness. This myth often causes the exclusion of people or families from the mainstream by attaching a social stigma to them. But experts are not sure about the significance of genetics in determining the risk of developing mental illness. Having a family history of Mental Health illness does not always guarantee that you will inherit it too.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers about mental health and mental health myths.

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What do you mean by Mental Health?

Mental health encompasses emotional, physical, and social well-being. It impacts our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, as well as our ability to cope with stress, interact with others, and make healthy decisions.

How can mental illness be prevented?

MH conditions can be prevented by building skills in social and emotional well-being, seeking support, fostering positive family relationships, promoting a supportive school environment, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Is there any hope for recovery from mental illness?

The progress of such recoveries is often related to the emotional support patients receive from people who are part of their environment. However, medication, counselling, peer support, and offering care can help a person recover from mental illness.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

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