Common Myths and Facts about Mental Health

Myth: Children don’t experience mental health issues.

Fact: Young children show signs of mental health concerns. These conditions are caused by nature, social, and psychological factors. The onset of most disorders begins in the adolescent stage. For example, the onset of anorexia nervosa is between 14 and 20 years of age.

Myth: There is nothing you can do for a person with a mental health issue.

Fact: Social support plays a significant role in helping the individual in the treatment process and recovery. Research studies have proven that having friends and family as a support system during the recovery is more effective than dealing with mental health issues alone.

Myth: People with strong social connections and support don’t need counseling or therapy.

Fact: The social system plays a huge role in supporting and helping individuals. However, counseling and therapeutic intervention are essential, as psychologists will use different approaches tailored to their needs to empower the person to function on their own. Friends and families can become biased or judgmental in the process of helping the person with mental health issues, whereas a psychologist provides a non-judgmental, unbiased, and confidential space for them to confide and equip them to face their challenges.

Myth: A mental health disorder is a sign of weakness.

Fact: This myth is the most damaging and dangerous myth that hinders people from reaching out for help. Mental health is not about weakness; it is not something the individual chooses to feel, think, or behave. In contrast, identifying the mental health issue and coming out to seek support and help is a sign of strength. Mental health disorders are caused by various factors like genetics, environment, early life experience of abuse, and trauma. Each individual experiencing these disorders will respond and react to them differently.

Myth: Mental health treatments don’t work.

Fact: Empirical studies have disproved this myth. Cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, solution-focused brief therapy, and the list goes on are the results of extensive research and proved to be effective in treating mental health conditions. Counseling and therapy are collaborative efforts taken by the psychologist and client. If one of them doesn’t make any effort, the treatment can become ineffective. For example, a client will be assigned homework, and if they don’t do the homework, it can affect their progress.

Myth: People with mental health issues don’t work effectively.

Fact: This myth sends a discriminatory message. Most people with mental health conditions are employed; there are people who live with depression and anxiety and manage their symptoms through medications, counseling, or therapy. The intensity of a mental health condition can affect the way an individual functions in their workplace. However, in severe cases, they will require hospitalization or intense care. In the mild to moderate level, many individuals are willing to work and work efficiently.

Myth: No preventive measures can be taken to protect people from developing psychological conditions.

Fact: Being diagnosed with a medical or mental health condition is out of our control. However, we don’t stop taking care of our bodies; the same is true for mental health, taking active steps to promote and enhance one’s mental health and emotional well-being.

Myth: Everyone can handle their own mental health.

Fact: When someone breaks a bone, nobody expects them to walk or do things on their own. They need care and support to gain back their ability to walk and function on their own. The same expectation should be placed on mental health conditions as well. When the disturbance prolongs, persists, and disrupts the functionality of the individual in their social, occupational, and other areas of life, they need a psychologist who can help them.




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