When COVID-19 happened, it seems everyone’s world stopped. From working on site, now, we are sitting in our houses doing the work but for some, the pandemic is an unfortunate thing. It causes millions of job losses as well as it takes a toll on our mental health myths.
Staying at home is not fun at all, for others maybe it is. But, as we stay longer in our abode, it unleashes the demons that once we control because of the reality of responsibilities and expectations we face every day.
Mental health has been rising popularly because every one of us can relate to it. Though some have believed that it is just a phase of being a person. Having mental health issues is not a joke nor a myth that you just shrug off. Also, you need to know what is a myth and the truth about it.
Some of the common myths on mental health are: Mental health is only affecting women, it doesn’t affect anyone, and it is a sign of weakness.
Also, mental health problems result in bad parenting, people cannot work properly if they have mental issues, and they are also unpredictable and violent.
In this article, we will walk you through the common mental health myths.
10 Common Mental Health Myths
A wide range of emotions, images, and memories may be evoked by this, and not all of them will be pleasant.
Mental illness is shrouded in a myriad of misconceptions, stereotypes, and preconceived notions. As a result, people with mental illness and the loved ones who care for them face stigma, discrimination, and social exclusion.
Mental health has gradually emerged from the shadows over the past few decades. In recent decades, our mental health has been receiving more attention than it has received for millennia.
However, there are still a lot of myths out there. We’ll clear up 10 common misunderstandings right here.
Myth 1: Mental health problems don’t affect me.
Mental health problems are, in fact, a very common problem. In 2020, about one in five American adults will have had a mental health problem. One in six young people has had a major depressive episode at some point in their lives.
One in 20 people in the United States had a serious mental illness, like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression at some point in their lives.
Suicide is a common cause of death in the United States of America and people between the ages of 10 and 24 died from it. At least 45,000 American lives lost because of suicide in 2020. That’s more than double the number of people who will die from homicide.
Myth 2: Mental health problems are a sign of weakness.
This is like saying a broken leg is a sign of weakness. Mental health issues are illnesses, not character flaws. Neither people with depression nor those with diabetes or psoriasis can snap out of it. Fighting a mental illness takes a lot of strength but it’s not a sign of weakness.
Myth 3: Children don’t have mental health issues.
As soon as a child is born, he or she may show signs that something is wrong with their mind. Often, these mental health problems can be diagnosed by a doctor. They can be caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors.
Before a person is even 14 years old, half of all mental health disorders show signs. Three-quarters of mental health disorders start before the person is even 24 years old, too.
Unfortunately, only half of kids and teens who have mental health problems get the help they need. Early help with mental health can help a child before his or her problems interfere with other developmental needs.
Myth 4: Mental health issues last a lifetime.
A mental health diagnosis is not a death sentence. Each person’s experience with mental illness is unique. Some people have episodes and then return to “normal.” Others may find relief in medication or psychotherapy.
Some people never fully recover from a mental illness, and some people’s symptoms worsen over time. The take-home message is that many people will recover.
Remember that “recovery” means different things to different people. Some may view recovery as a return to pre-symptom feelings. For others, recovery means symptom relief and a return to a fulfilling life, whatever that means.
Recovering from mental illness includes living a full and satisfying life. Many people admit that their road to recovery has not been easy. While full recovery takes time, positive changes can occur along the way.
Myth 5: People with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable.
More than 90% of people who have a mental illness aren’t violent, and only 3% to 5% of violent acts can be linked to people who have a very serious mental illness.
People who have severe mental illnesses are more than 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crimes than the rest of the people in the world.
You likely know someone who suffers from a mental health problem and you don’t even know it. Many people with mental health problems are very active and productive members of our communities.
It’s a myth that people who have personality flaws or character flaws have mental health issues. People who have mental health problems can get out of it if they work hard enough to get out of it.
Myth 6: Mental health problems are uncommon.
The statement is now perhaps more false than ever. In 2001, the WHO estimated that 1 in 4 people worldwide will experience mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.
450 million people currently suffer from this. Mental disorders are among the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide, according to the WHO.
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders, affecting over 264 million people globally in 2017. A more recent study, focused on the US, concluded that the number of adults suffering from depression tripled during the pandemic.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) affects approximately 6.8 million adults in the United States or more than 3 in every 100 people.
Myth 7: Schizophrenia patients have dual personalities.
The misnomer schizophrenia means “mind splitting”. As the essence of the disorder, fragmentation and disintegration of the mind and behavior were what Eugen Bleuler tried to capture when he coined the term in 1908.
Schizophrenia is defined by “distortions in thinking, perception, emotions, language, sense of self, and behavior.” Delusions and hallucinations are examples of distortions. Schizophrenia is distinct from dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder.
Myth 8: Only females suffer from eating disorders.
Eating disorders are often associated with young, white, wealthy females. However, they can affect anyone. A 10-year study found that eating disorder demographics are shifting. Males, low-income individuals, and those aged 45 or older saw the greatest increases in prevalence.
Other research shows that males account for 10–25% of anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorders.
Myth 9: Adolescents with mental health issues are the result of bad parenting.
The well-being and mental health of adolescents, their caregivers, and the relationship between them can be affected by a variety of factors, including poverty, unemployment, exposure to violence, migration, and other adverse circumstances and events.
Young people in loving, supportive homes can suffer from mental health issues, as can those in homes where the caregivers need help to maintain a healthy environment for adolescent development.
Caregivers can play a crucial role in helping adolescents overcome any difficulties they may face with the right support.
Myth 10: People with mental health conditions cannot work.
There is a long-standing myth that people with mental health issues are incapable of holding down a job or contributing to society. This is a complete fabrication. Indeed, someone with a severe mental illness may not be able to perform their job duties regularly.
Most people with mental health issues, on the other hand, are just as capable of being productive as those who aren’t affected by mental health issues.
According to a 2014 U.S. study, mental illness severity was linked to employment status. Employment rates decreased with increasing mental illness severity.
People with severe mental illness were less likely to be employed than those without mental illness, those with mild mental illness, and those with moderate mental illness, who were all higher than the national average of 54.5%t.
People with mental health conditions were less likely to get a job as they got older, according to researchers who studied the effect of age.
One percent of people between the ages of 18 and 25 had a serious mental illness, while those between the ages of 50 and 64 had the same rate of employment.
Mental Health Issues: Think About These Ideas
There is a stigma attached to mental illness that prevents people from receiving the help and support they need. They avoid treatment because they are afraid of what others will think of them.
In many cases, their condition worsens. The stigma of mental illness can lead some people to take their own lives because they are afraid to seek help.
Identify whether or not you or a loved one is showing signs of mental illness by keeping an eye out for the following indicators:
- A sense of sadness or depression.
- Inability to focus.
- Irrational emotions (like fear, guilt, sadness, or anger).
- Disappearance from friends and activities.
- Mood swings of the extreme variety.
- Abuse of alcoholic beverages or illicit substances.
- Hostility or violence that has no apparent cause.
- An inability to deal with your emotions or stress.
- Delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations are all examples of mental illness
- The thought of harming oneself or someone else.
You shouldn’t be ashamed to seek assistance. Nobody should be embarrassed or ashamed of having a mental illness. The more you know about mental health issues, the better you will be able to help yourself and others. It may even save lives.
Misunderstandings about mental health are commonplace in the general population. Because of this, mental illness has a negative connotation. This stigma keeps people from seeking the help they need. It’s the only way to break the stigma is to learn as much as you can about it.
Mental health issues are common, but treatment is readily available. Dispelling common misconceptions about mental illness is the best way to do this.
There are still mountains to climb in our understanding of mental health issues, despite the progress that has been made in recent years.