10 common myths about mental illness

The petrifying highs, the distressing lows, the erratic anxieties, and the baffling mood swings are not a passing phase. These experiences are serious and need attention. Though mental illness can strike anyone, many people suffering from it find themselves alone, excluded from many aspects of the society.

The social stigma attached with mental disorders makes it difficult for the patients to reach out for treatment. But people need to understand that mental illness is not a choice, but a disease. It is time to bust the myths around mental illnesses that prevent the patients from seeking treatment. Some common myths are:


Myth 1: Mental illness is more than just a passing phase

Fact: Mental illness is a real illness that causes acute distress, affecting the very life of the sufferer. It does not go away on its own and needs a proper medical treatment just like any other physical disease.

Myth 2: Mental illness is a defense against poor behavior

Fact: People suffering from mental illness may have weird behavioral patterns, which might be away from the usual. But it is important to remember that it is not the person, but the illness which is behind such behaviors. It is important for others to realize his/her mental condition and offer a proper care.

Myth 3: Mental illness is caused due to bad parenting

Fact: Mental illnesses are not caused by a sole factor. There can be numerous causal factors like genetics, environment, biology, and life experiences. In fact, parents and other family members are a support in the recovery process.

Myth 4: Mental illness like depression is meant for adults and not for kids

Fact: It is wrong to infer that only adults suffer from mental disorders. In fact, the symptoms of many mental illnesses first appear during childhood. Though the symptoms may be different in children, they need immediate medical help as a mental deformity in them can  impair their learning, coping mechanisms and growth process.

Myth 5: People with mental health problems are violent

Fact: People with mental illness are no more violent than the ones who are not suffering from any kind of mental disorder. In fact, people with mental illness are more likely to harm themselves or be harmed by others, rather than harming others.

Myth 6: People with a mental illness are psycho and should be kept in hospital

Fact:  Many people who have a mental illness struggle with depression and anxiety. They should be treated in a hospital as long as the treatment requires them to stay there. With appropriate treatment and recovery programs, they can live successfully in the community.

Myth 7: Mental illness like depression is just a normal part of the aging process

Fact: Depression does not come with aging. It can affect people of any gender, age, race, caste, and social strata. If older adults are suffering from depression, they need medical support just like anyone else.

Myth 8: People with mental illness are incapable of working

Fact: Workplaces, today, are filled with people who are suffering or have experienced mental illnesses. Mental illnesses do not signify a person’s incapability to work. He/she can work with the same zeal and vigor, if supported by colleagues and the management.

Myth 9: People with mental illness can never get any better

Fact: With sophisticated and customized treatment programs, people with mental illness can recover. Today, medical science has made many advancements in treatment procedures which help a person get back to his normal life and lead a productive life. Comprehensive treatment programs teach them techniques to manage their symptoms to get back on track.

Myth 10: Mental illness cannot affect me

Fact: Mental illness can affect anyone. According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about one in five adults suffered from mental illness in 2014. A mental disease can strike anyone, including a family member, a friend or a colleague.

Time to change the archetypical mindset

Mental illness is not uncommon; it can happen to anyone. But the prevalent social stigma attached to it can deeply impact the life of a suffering individual. If you or your loved one is suffering from any mental illness, it is time to break the barriers of silence and face the reality.

Don’t hesitate to call the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline to speak with our representatives who are available to hear your woes and suggest the best mental health centers depending on the problem and other prevailing conditions. Chat online or call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 to take the first step towards a joyful life with some of the best mental health programs.