21 February 2017

5 Myths Debunked About Mental Illness



By Barbara Odozi



With the increasing focus on mental health issues across the world, various studies are being conducted to better understand the problem and to come up with appropriate treatment measures. Some of these studies have revealed that a significant percentage of the United States population suffers from severe mental health issues. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately one in five American adult experiences mental illness in any given year.
Despite the fact that a large population in the U.S. suffers from mental illnesses, there is still a lot of stigmas attached to mental disorders. In fact, there are several myths that continue to be prevalent in the society regarding such disorders. However, not only are most of these myths absurd and false but many are contradictory.

In the current article, some of these common myths have been debunked using facts to help the readers in enhancing their knowledge about mental illness so that they can assist people living with such conditions, in a better way.


1. Mental health issues do not affect children

It is incorrect to believe that mental health issues do not affect children. Children, too, can and do, experience mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety. According to the NAMI, one in five children between 13 and 18 years of age have, or will have, a mental illness. In fact, 50 percent of all lifetime cases related to mental illness begin by the age of 14.


2. Mental illness is a sign of weakness

An individual diagnosed with a mental health problem is often wrongly thought to be weak due to a lack of understanding. In fact, mental disorders can affect any individual from any age group, caste, creed or culture. Since the risk of developing a mental illness is dependent on various factors such as genetic, biological, social and environmental, it cannot be a sign of weakness.


3. Mental illness makes a person mad and dangerous

Since mental illnesses weaken a person's emotional and mental capabilities, this, in turn, can result in disruptive behavior patterns that can negatively affect his or her life. The person might even face difficulty in interacting comfortably with people around him or her. However, any dramatic change in one's behavior is interpreted as a sign of madness. Consequently, the person is deemed to be a danger to society. This is not at all true as dealing with a mental illness is in itself a huge challenge.


4. Taking a pill is the best treatment

Since mental health conditions affect every individual differently, there may not be one best suitable treatment plan that can work effectively for all. This raises the need to customize the treatment according to the needs of every person. Though medications are popularly used during the treatment, using a combination of medications and therapies, such as cognitive therapy, can work as the best treatment for a person with an illness such as depression or anxiety.


5. Mental illness makes the person incapable of performing at work or school

Irrespective of the fact whether a person is healthy or depressed, managing stressful situations is difficult for every individual. Therefore, it is wrong to say that a person with depression is prone to fail at work or in school, or in meeting family responsibilities. In fact, a majority of them excel in their fields. In certain cases, the person can be so brilliant that it is hard for people to even realize that he or she is dealing with any mental health problem.


Seek treatment to rediscover life

Besides inpatient treatment at a specialized hospital or medical center, one can also help the person with a mental illness in recovering faster by offering love, support and care. It is also essential to enable the person to live a normal life like others by providing the required treatment and encouragement.

If you or someone you know is dealing with a mental health issue and is looking for details, contact the Texas Mental Health Recovery Helpline. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-596-4708 to connect with the facilities offering the best mental health treatment program.

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