Myths And Misconceptions About Mental Health

Here are a few common myths and misconceptions about mental health. Understanding mental health better will help everyone to take steps to seek care and even prevent them. Myths like these are sometimes the reasons people with mental illness are misunderstood and stigmatized.

MYTH: Mental illness is caused by a personal weakness.

Reality: Mental illness is not a character flaw. It is an illness that has nothing to do with being weak or lacking willpower. Although people with mental illness can play a big part in their own recovery, they did not choose to become ill and they are not lazy because they cannot just snap out of it.

MYTH: If I seek help for a mental health issue, others might think I’m a wimp or even crazy.

Reality: Seeking appropriate help is a sign of strength, not weakness. No one should delay getting treatment for a mental health problem that is not getting better, just as one would not wait to take care of a medical condition that needed treatment. The wisest, most courageous way to cope is to seek help, especially since early treatment can produce more positive results.

MYTH: Mental illness is a single, rare disorder.

Reality: Mental illness is not a single disease but a broad classification that contains many disorders. Anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, personality disorders, eating disorders and attention deficit disorders are life altering for many Nepalese.

MYTH: People with mental illness never get better.

Reality: With the right kind of help, people with mental illnesses often recover and go on to lead healthy, productive lives. While the illness may not go away, the symptoms associated with it can be controlled.

MYTH: People with mental illness are poor and/or less intelligent.

Reality: Many studies show that most people with a mental illness have average or above-average intelligence. Mental illness, like physical illness, can affect anyone regardless of intelligence, social class or income level.

MYTH: People with mental conditions are violent and dangerous

Reality:The vast majority of people with mental health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Instead, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.

MYTH: People with mental illnesses can’t work

Reality:You may already have someone with mental illnesses at your work and would not even realize it. Most workers successfully manage their illness without it impacting on their work. Some may require workplace support for a short period of time, while a only minority will require ongoing treatment and may not be able to do the work while on treatment.

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