9MYTHS AND FACTS ON MENTAL HEALTH

There are a lot of myths out there in the public space on mental health. This post is to disprove those myths with facts. If you are a fact-lover, then this post is for you.

  • MYTH: Children do not experience mental health issues.

    FACT: Even very young children may show early warning signs of mental health concerns. These mental health conditions are often clinically diagnosable and can be a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors.

    Sadly, only a few children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health conditions receive the treatment they require. Early mental health support helps children before problems interfere with other developmental needs.

    • MYTH: Mental health issues can not affect me.

    FACT: Mental health issues can affect anyone. In fact, the stats show that One in 6 young people has experienced a major depressive episode.

    • MYTH: People with mental health needs, even those managing their mental health condition cannot cope with the stress of a job.

    FACT: People with mental health conditions can be just as productive as other employees, especially when they are able to manage their mental health condition well. Employers usually don’t know if someone has a mental health condition, but if the condition is known to the employer, they often report good attendance and punctuality as well as motivation, good work, and job tenure on par with, or greater than, other employees.

    • MYTH: Mental health conditions are a result of personal weaknesses or flaws and people can easily snap out of it if they simply put in an effort.

    FACT: Mental health conditions have absolutely nothing to do with being lazy or weak and many people need help to get better. Many factors contribute to mental health conditions, including:

    • Family history of mental health conditions.
    • Biological factors, such as genes, physical illness, injury, or brain chemistry.
    • Life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse.

    • MYTH: People with mental health conditions are often very violent.

    FACT: Most people with mental health conditions are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Only 3%–5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with severe mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crimes than the general population. You probably know someone with a mental health condition and don’t even realize it, because many people with mental health conditions are highly active and productive members of our society.

    • MYTH: Therapy and trying to help yourself is a complete waste of time. Simply take a pill and feel better almost immediately.

    FACT: Treatment for mental health conditions varies, depending on the individual, and these treatments could include medication, therapy, or both. Records prove that many individuals do best when they work with a support system during the healing and recovery process.

    • MYTH: There is no hope for people with mental health conditions. Once a friend or family member develops a mental health condition, they will never be able to recover fully.

    FACT: Studies have shown that a lot of people with mental health conditions get better and many are on a path to recovery. Recovery refers to the process in which people can live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities.

    • MYTH: It is completely impossible for one to prevent having a mental health condition.

    FACT: Prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders focuses on addressing known risk factors, such as exposure to trauma, that can affect the chances that children, youth, and young adults will develop mental health conditions. Promoting a person’s social-emotional well-being leads to:

    • Stronger economies.
    • Increased lifespan.
    • Higher overall productivity.
    • Improved quality of life.
    • Improved family life.
    • Lower crime rates.
    • Better educational outcomes.

    • MYTH: There is no way for me to help someone with a mental health condition because I am not a trained professional.

    FACT: Friends and loved ones can make a big difference. Only 20% of adults received any mental health treatment in the previous year, which included 10% who received counseling or therapy from a professional. Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get the treatment and services they need by:

    • Refusing to define them by their diagnosis or using labels such as “crazy”, etc.
    • Treating them with respect, just as everyone else.
    • Reaching out and letting them know you are available to help whenever they need you.
    • Helping them research and access mental health services. Etc.

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