It’s no secret that mental illness rates have been rising quickly over the past several years. These rates also show no signs of slowing down. There are more and more discussions surrounding mental health than ever before so it’s no wonder that some myths have become accepted as fact on the topic. While it’s a good sign that society is discussing topics such as mental illness, self-care, and seeking therapy at higher rates, myths can be detrimental to people’s wellbeing. These myths can cause people not to seek help, to keep their problems to themselves, and to feel abnormal or bad that they are struggling with a mental illness. It’s important to recognize a myth for what it is— untrue – and then offer facts in place of said myth.
Common Mental Health Myths
Myth: Happy People Don’t Struggle with Mental Health
Sometimes the people who seem the happiest are the ones struggling the most on the inside. You should never assume that just because someone looks happy or seems to have everything they want that they don’t have bad days or have a mental illness. Some people are just better at hiding things or are less likely to open up to others. Assuming someone has it easy can be very hard for someone who is struggling deep down. It will also make it less likely that this person will open up to you. It’s best to assume nothing, have a non-judgmental presence, and be a trustworthy person should someone come to you with their struggles.
Myth: Mental Illness is Rare
Mental illnesses are actually extremely common, so much so that they are one of the most commonly diagnosed health conditions. It is true, however, that some mental illnesses are rarer than others. While discussions surrounding mental health have become more frequent in recent years, there used to be a bigger stigma around the topic because people thought they were the only ones with a mental illness. The more people talk about mental illness, the easier it becomes, and the less alone people are likely to feel. For more articles and advice about mental health, visit https://www.mytherapist.com/advice/.
Myth: More Effort and Hard Work Will Make Mental Illness Go Away
People cannot control their mental illness no matter how hard they work to make it go away. In fact, working hard just to end up feeling the same can actually make people feel worse about themselves. There are lots of techniques, methods, and types of therapy that assist with symptoms, but mental illness itself can’t be wished away. No one wants to live with a mental illness and having one is never a choice or anyone’s fault.
Myth: It’s Not Possible to Heal from a Mental Illness
Recovery and healing from a mental illness is very possible. The process of recovery will look different for everyone because it depends on the condition and treatment chosen. It also depends on the person as everyone is different. Some people recover faster than others, but all timelines for healing are normal. Not everyone will heal completely from their mental illness, but there are many ways to ease symptoms and improve quality of life. All improvements should be encouraged and celebrated equally. You can even vent out your inner thoughts at sites like The Doe.
Myth: All Kids Have Good Mental Health
Even kids can struggle with their mental health. In fact, many people start showing early signs of mental illness while they are children. Every child has a unique experience growing up and may be exposed to certain environmental conditions or trauma that others aren’t. Some children even have a predisposition to mental illness. Kids should be taken just as seriously as adults are when discussing mental health concerns.
Myth: You Must Use Medication to Recover from a Mental Illness
Medication is an option for treating mental illness, but it’s not the only one. One should always talk with their doctor before choosing a medication for treatment of a mental illness. There are many other choices for treatment including various types of therapy, support groups, self-help plans, and more. Since every person has unique needs and will respond to treatment differently, there is no one-size-fits-all type of treatment plan, and this includes medication. Recovery isn’t all about what methods are used, but what methods work the best. At the end of the day, all that truly matters is feeling better.
While there are many myths surrounding mental health and mental illness, being aware of these myths will be helpful to everyone. It’s important to be aware of what you say when discussing mental illness with others. As innocent as intentions might be, myths have a lot of power to do great damage. If something isn’t verifiably true, or if you’re just unsure about its truthfulness, it’s better to not share it with others.
When it comes to mental health, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Do plenty of research, be careful with your wording, and try to stay clear repeating things that didn’t come from a trusted source or mental health professional. If you hear or see someone repeating a myth about mental health, try and politely remind others it isn’t true and present facts in its place. The more others are educated on mental health, the better and safer the world becomes for everyone.