Debunking Mental Health Myths
We have to talk, Squad.
No, we’re not breaking up with you. However, we are breaking up with the stigmas surrounding mental health and mental illness.
Mental health is something many people feel uncomfortable talking about. But why?? Mental health affects us all which means we need to talk about it!
This month is all about awareness, and if we want to be more aware about a topic, we have to educate ourselves and talk about it. Part of the reason there are stigmas surrounding mental health is because there are misconceptions. These misconceptions are based off misinformation and myths.
So, in order to tear down the stigmas, we gotta get our facts straight and debunk the myths. Let’s dive right in.
Myth: Emotional weakness causes mental health problems.
Fact: It is so important to understand people struggling with mental health can’t just “snap out of it.” Mental health issues can be caused by many things. They can be caused by biological factors such as genetics, physical illness, or brain chemistry. They can also be caused by a life experience like abuse or trauma. Anyone can experience mental health problems at anytime.
Myth: Therapy is a waste of time and doesn’t work.
Fact: Treatment for mental health issues depend on the person and the situation. Finding the right psychologist and methods may take time but it is possible to fully recover with the right amount of support and commitment to the process.
Myth: People can tell when people have mental illness because they all look the same.
Fact: Absolutely not. Mental illness doesn’t have one look. The funny one in your squad can have depression and your favorite musician can have bipolar disorder. It may be obvious sometimes, but it isn’t always the case. Make sure to check in on everyone you know from time to time, even if they seem “fine.”
Myth: Mental illness is only found in adults.
Fact: Children are just as likely to be diagnosed with mental illness. First signs for half of mental health disorder show before the age of 14. Mental health disorders can appear in children as a result of biological, social, and/or psychological factors. Unfortunately, about 80 percent of children diagnosed with mental health disorders are given incorrect treatment, or none at all.
Myth: People with mental illnesses cannot work or are not as productive.
Fact: People with mental illnesses can hold down a job and be great in the workplace. They are often punctual, meet deadlines, and get along with coworkers.
Myth: There is nothing loved ones can do to help.
Fact: Wrong! Loved ones are so important in the recovery process! Sure, many people are not mental health professionals, but there are things you can do for the people you love:
- Helping them find and access mental health services
- Educating yourself so you can give them correct information
- Validating their feelings when they confide in you
- Not passing judgement on them
Myth: You don’t need to worry about your own mental health if you feel OK.
Fact: It is also important to take care of your own mental health no matter what. Here are somethings you can do to take care of your mental health.
- Eat well.
- Express gratitude.
- Take a break from
- Talk it out.
- Know when to press pause.
- Get enough sleep.
- Take time for yourself.
- Spend time with loved ones.
Since conversations about mental illness are avoided, many people are uncomfortable when they are around someone with a mental illness. This is understandable – if you have never been exposed to something, it can be scary to face it. But just because it’s understandable, doesn’t make it OK.
We need to be better. This issue is not going away; there are always people who need help. Read, spread credible information, help those in need, and take care of yourselves.