The term mental health refers to our emotional, social and psychological well-being. It can affect how we think, feel and act. There are a lot of stigmas and there are also many misconceptions people in society may have about mental health. In order to raise more awareness of mental health and break down on the misconceptions surrounding mental health, here are the top 5 misconceptions about mental health that everyone needs to know about.
1. Mental Illnesses Don’t Exist
There are some people in society that believe mental illnesses don’t exist. This may be because they believe it is to do with people’s own mind and their way of thinking. It may also be because it is not a physical illness where the symptoms and effects are visible such as eczema which causes the skin to get itchy, red and cracked.
However, mental illness is very much real and does exist. Mental illnesses affect people in different ways. Similarly to physical illnesses, mental health problems exist on a spectrum and the severity of it depends on the individual themselves and their circumstances.
2. Mental Illness Is A Sign Of Weakness
This is another big misconception people may have about mental health and mental health problems.
Those suffering from a mental illness does not mean that they have a flaw in character or does it mean that they are a weak or a bad person. The causes of mental illnesses can vary from genetic, biological, social and circumstantial factors, therefore, anybody can develop mental illnesses. Some people actually become mentally stronger due to the experiences they go through.
Mental illnesses can affect people of all ages, gender, and background. In fact, mental illnesses can affect 1 in 4 people in the UK.
3. People With Mental Illnesses Are Violent
This is a common misconception for those with mental illnesses. This misconception may have arisen due to the idea that those with mental illnesses cope by abusing drugs or alcohol.
People with mental illnesses are more likely to have been victims of violent crimes than the general population. Getting rid of this misconception is critical is breaking down on the stigma and common misconceptions that society has about mental health.
4. Mental Health Problems Last Forever
People in society may believe that mental health problems last forever. However, this is not the case.
With treatment such as therapy or medication, mental illnesses are treatable and complete recovery is also possible. There is always help and support available to help those with mental illnesses on the road to recovery and to enable them to have healthy and fulfilled lives.
Again, the severity of mental health problems varies from one person to another. Treatments that may work for one person may not work for someone else – those with mental health problems may need to try a few different treatments before they find what works best for them.
5. People With Mental Health Problems Are Unable To Work
This misconception may or may not be true depending on the individual themselves and the severity of their mental illness.
Referring back to the first point in this article (mental illnesses don’t exist), mental health problems vary a great deal and exist on a spectrum. The majority of people with mental illnesses are able to continue working and fulfill their responsibilities.
Because many people with mental health problems go about their daily lives as normal, those closest to them may not pick up on their mental illness and it may go unnoticed.