Misinformation on Mental Health
Although the conversation surrounding mental health and wellness is becoming more mainstream, there is still a spread of stigma and misinformation. Debunking these common myths about mental illness and who is affected by it will continue to give people the support, understanding, and care that they deserve.
1. Mental Illness is a Sign of Weakness
It’s important for loved ones to understand that mental illness is not the fault of the person suffering or anyone else. Much like a physical illness or disorder affects your body, mental disease affects your mind. You cannot simply will mental illness away.
2. Mental Illnesses Are a Result of Bad Parenting
While a child’s home life and relationships can influence their psychological development, it can also exacerbate symptoms associated with their mental health issues. However, these situations do not inherently cause the development of a mental disorder. Many mental illnesses are believed to be biological rather than environmental.
3. Psychiatric Medication is Bad
Think of mental health conditions as you would any other physical ailment. For many living with mental illnesses, medication is necessary to maintain their mental health, treat their symptoms, and help them to perform everyday tasks. It is not uncommon for someone with a psychological disorder to use medication in tandem with therapy to improve their quality of life.
4. People With Mental Illness are Dangerous
In recent years, those who commit violent acts have been pegged by the media as “mentally ill” or “disturbed.” It is important that people understand that hate and violence are not synonymous with mental illness.
In actuality, less than 6% of violent crimes in the United States are committed by people suffering from a mental illness.
5. Children Can Grow Out of Mental Health Issues
According to the Child Mind Institute, when most mental health issues that arise during childhood are left untreated, they become increasingly difficult to treat as the child emerges into adolescence and eventually adulthood.
Most mental disorders begin to emerge before the age of 14, making it imperative that young people be screened for emotional and behavioral issues.