The stigma and misconceptions that are attached to mental health are some of the reasons why people shy away from seeking professional help. The stigma, misconceptions, and myths are false opinions and narratives mainly fueled by ignorance. These are the most common myths and misconceptions about mental health:
All people with mental health illnesses are inadequate
According to this myth, most people with mental health issues are mentally incapacitated and cannot make sound decisions. The myth also alludes that persons with mental health issues are less likely to contribute to a company’s productivity or social setting.
According to a report by SAMHSA, most people with mental health issues are employed and perform their duties effectively. That shows the assumption that people with mental disorders are inadequate is null and misguided on all fronts.
Although some people say and write these words from the point of ignorance, the damage they cause can be irreparable. Many people have lost jobs and other positions since they are incapacitated instead of receiving care.
Mental illnesses are very rare, and such problems cannot affect me
Another misguided assumption about mental health is that illnesses are rare and selective. According to people who uphold that belief, some people can, and others cannot, suffer from such illnesses.
Mental ailments can affect anyone at any point in their lives. Some people get mental health issues during the infant ages, while others suffer from the ailments in adulthood. The assumption that mental health issues are selective is driven by ignorance and superstition. In some cases, mental ailments affect some people so abruptly.
Once someone develops a mental illness, they are doomed forever
According to this misconception, when a person gets a mental health issue should prepare themselves to suffer for the rest of their lives. The misconception further holds that no mental health treatment can help a patient who has been positively diagnosed with a mental condition.
A mental health condition diagnosis does not doom anyone since there are management ways for the same. After a diagnosis, it is recommended that the patient receives adequate therapy from a professional counselor.
It is also advisable that family members and friends create a close-knit relationship with the patient to aid in a quick recovery. The family members are advised to learn more about mental health to help them handle the patient with respect and love. Besides, it is also recommended that one use soft words to describe their condition when addressing them.
People with mental illness or disorders cannot function in society
The misconception about mental health patients’ inability to function in society is so rampant that employers are afraid of hiring them. According to the employers, someone with mental health cannot be depended upon since the situation can worsen without warning. In other cases, there has been a rise in myths that people with mental health issues have low intelligence and, therefore, cannot be productive.
The assumption that a person with a mental health issue can get mental breakdowns anytime and abscond from duties assigned to them is misleading. Although few patients experience constant mental breakdowns, they are minorities and outliers.
Similarly, the notion that mentally ill patients have low intelligence is misguided. Many people who get regular mental breakdowns are some of society’s most productive, charming, and highly functional.
Mental health problems are a sign of weakness
Mentally ill people are considered weak and cannot maintain healthy relationships with others. According to the people, the inability to contain anxiety, depression, and affective symptoms which trigger mental breakdowns is a sign of weakness.
Mental illness is caused by multiple factors and is not a sign of weakness. Some people have a predisposition for anxiety and depressive symptoms, which they have no control over.
In other cases, mental illnesses are caused by the prevailing environment in which the person grew in; thus, it takes time to manage them. Fighting mental breakdowns and holding on for a long time is a sign that one is so strong.
Adverse Impacts of Common Mental Health Misconceptions in the Society
More often than not, society’s misconceptions about mental health and illness run deeper than thought. The effects include:
- Reluctance to seek treatment
The society views mental health patients as irredeemable and leaves them to battle it alone. According to them, spending money on therapy and treatment wastes resources since it would never yield any results. Similarly, mental health patients grow to accept these myths define them and get reluctant to seek treatment.
- Esteem Issues
Another effect of the stigma and myths surrounding mental health is that it crushes one’s esteem completely. Some have accepted the lie that they are destined for failure because they are battling a mental issue. Other people have relaxed and stopped trying because they believe they are not good enough.
Mental health patients are more likely to be bullied, harassed, and assaulted by the public than those without mental health issues. Society uses them as a rug they can toss around without retaliation whatsoever.
- Fewer Opportunities
People with mental issues are openly discriminated against in different fields, including the workplace. An employer would rather hire a rookie and ignore an experienced servant just because they have a history of mental health issues. Besides discrimination in the workplace, mental health patients are also discriminated against during school admissions and in social activities.
- Inadequate coverage by Insurance companies
Another impact of mental health issues in societies is that insurance companies reluctantly cover the patients. The insurance companies which have bowed down to sound politically right believe that there is no perfect medication for mental disorders and hospitals only want to drain them.
The Distinction of Mental Health Myths and Misconceptions. Importance of Studying Mental Health
Understanding the facts about mental health is important since it helps one learn about mental health issues. Besides, learning the facts about mental welfare comes in handy in terms of handling patients. Finally, it is prudent to learn about mental health since it would reduce the misconceptions and myths that have been stumbling blocks in the journey. Take some time off your busy schedule to learn about mental health and debunk myths that have been on social media and social circles for a long.