The issues and subjects surrounding mental health have always been misunderstood, even up to this day. When it comes to matters about mental health disorders and mental illnesses, many people often consider them taboo topics. Some people find it disturbing or awkward to even open up about their own mental health issues or talk about the subject in general. Furthermore, the lack of knowledge and awareness has made many people clueless about the real issues underlying mental health.
Moreover, the media has also played a big part in spreading these wild myths and misconceptions surrounding mental illnesses. Sometimes, movies and TV shows exaggerate their storylines about people with mental illnesses and often exhibit them as crazy, dangerous, and ‘uncontrollable’ people. Thus, people with mental disorders would choose to hide their condition and not pursue any professional treatment for fear of being judged or ridiculed.
6 Biggest Misconceptions About Mental Disorders
Although recently, there’s been progress in attitude toward mental health, there are still numerous misconceptions that many people believe in and falsely spread. Even if these misunderstandings may sound harmless, they can still be disrupting and can be a huge obstacle for people from getting the treatment and support they need.
Therefore, it’s imperative for you to know what these common misconceptions are, correct them, and help break the stigma. Not only can you help encourage these people to get the support and help they need, but this can also be helpful for yourself.
To learn more, here are the six biggest misconceptions about mental disorders:
All People With Mental Disorders Are Crazy
The first most prominent and most common misconception surrounding mental health is that people with mental disorders are crazy. Some of the famous terms associated with mental illnesses may include ‘crazy,’ ‘insane,’ and ‘paranoid.’ All these words can be hurtful and strongly demoralizing to people with mental disorders. In fact, these are even strong enough to discourage people from coming forward and getting help.
If you’ve noticed, famous depressed people would never even talk about their mental health issues for fear of being termed as crazy and insane. This misconception of leading the public to think that all people with mental disorders are crazy will only ignite more stereotypes of mental health issues.
To clear this misconception, you need to understand first that not all people with mental disorders are crazy. They may experience symptoms of mood swings or delusions, but these will never make a person crazy. However, heavy symptoms, like extreme hallucinations and uncontrollable emotions, are only present in particular mental disorders.
Mental Disorders Are Very Rare
Mental health disorders are pervasive than most of you may assume. Mental health issues may seem extremely rare because very few people talk about them or are upfront about them, in the first place. Another reason is that some people with mental disorders don’t know that they have it due to the lack of knowledge about the subject or its symptoms.
When a person feels depressed, either that person or their families and friends would often view it as a normal feeling of sadness. As a result, the depressed person may not get the help and psychological treatment they need. What’s worst, they may start isolating themselves intentionally or unintentionally.
Mental Disorders Only Happen To Adults
Another big misconception is that mental health issues can only happen to adults. However, according to research, children and teens are more prone to suffering from mental health disorders than adults due to several factors, such as child abuse, peer pressure, parental stress, pressure from school, and increased exposure to social media or news. Moreover, many children and teens with mental health issues are often left untreated and unsupported due to lack of access to medicine or treatment, or simply due to lack of awareness.
If you think about it, when some adults experience symptoms of mental disorders, they can get the treatment they need with or without anyone’s help. Meanwhile, children and young teens may not reach out for medical help unless they tell their parents about it. Unfortunately, some parents are also not knowledgeable or aware enough about mental health issues and would advise their children to just get over them. This, itself, can make mental disorders much worse for children. Thus, as parents, it’s their responsibility to recognize mental health crises, especially with their own children.
Mental Disorders Make People Violent And Dangerous
The belief that people with mental disorders are violent and dangerous is a big myth. Fortunately, this massive misconception is slowly fading out as more people become more aware of the existing mental health conditions.
However, way back when people were oblivious about the different types of mental health issues and their severity, people with mental health disorders would often be viewed as violent and a threat to society’s safety. What’s worse, the media has often portrayed this big misconception in movies or TV shows, which has gained the attention of mental health advocates.
But, the truth is that having a mental disorder doesn’t make a person violent and dangerous, even if they have the most severe mental condition, like schizophrenia. And, most importantly, remember that people with mental health disorders are often the victims of abuse, neglect, and violence, rather than being the offenders.
People With Mental Health Issues Are Incapable Of Functioning And Working
Another old but, still, a popular misconception is that a person with mental issues is incapable of working. While some mental illnesses can make a person disabled or paralyzed, it’s entirely false to claim that all people with mental health issues can’t be productive members of society.
Many people with mental disorders can still hold down jobs, start their own families, finish their studies, and make it through their days with ease, like the people without mental health issues.
Mental Disorders Are Permanent
Contrary to this huge misconception, mental disorders are not a lifetime sentence. People with mental health disorders are treatable. While some mental health issues are chronic, treatments are available and can even help patients cope with the symptoms better and be in control of their disorders. Meanwhile, other mental disorders are short-term, which means they can go away in time.
However, keep in mind that recovery may mean differently for each person. Some may view recovery as being able to return to how exactly they felt before the mental disorder began. For others, recovery can mean being free from the symptoms and living a satisfying life again.
Recovering from a mental disorder isn’t an overnight thing. It may take time, and you may even experience some setbacks. But, always remember that despite taking a long time for you to reach full recovery, positive changes are still bound to happen for you along the way.
Everyone must work together to remove the biggest misconceptions surrounding mental health and mental health disorders. The best way to begin your journey towards removing the stigma attached to mental issues is to keep yourself acquainted and aware of the importance of mental health.
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