Every Monday at Minds Like Ours (a non-profit organisation aiming to stamp out stigma surrounding mental health and provide a friendly supportive community) we have our myth busting Monday where we bring to light common misconceptions regarding mental health.
Here are my top 8 (I don't know why 8):
- #1 : Mental health issues are caused by the people suffering from them
- Truth: Although people do need to take responsibility for their own thoughts/feelings associated with their disorder, the fact they deal with MH issues is not their fault! There's a difference between taking responsibility and being the cause.
- #2 : All mental health disorders are lifelong
- Truth: Not all mental health disorders are lifelong. Some are, but not all. MH disorders can be treated with therapy and medication...you can often recover.
- #3 : If I admit I'm struggling with my MH I will be admitted to hospital
- Truth: The minority of MH patients actually receive inpatient treatment. The largest percentage never need to be in hospital, though in some cases it is neccessary for their own well-being.
- #4 : If I can't handle my own MH without help then I'm weak
-Truth: It often takes more courage to seek help than it does to keep struggling. You would seek help if you were physically that ill, so why not for your mental health?!
- #5 : People with mental health issues are violent
-Truth: Statistics prove that those suffering with mental health issues are more likely to be the victim of violence than actually be violent themselves. This is one of the biggest misconceptions.
- #6 : It's always easy to talk about how you're feeling/coping
-Truth: Not everyone knows who they can talk to about these things. Even if someone is surrounded by the most supportive friends/family it can still be so hard to speak up. MH patients often don't feel worthy of the help or try to ignore it in the hope it'll get better on it's own...This is simply not true. It can be so hard to open up and tell anyone, especially those closest how you're feeling when it's negative.
- #7 : If you live with a mental illness then you're weak
-Truth: those with MH issues often find day to day things extremely difficult. These things are often simply tasks the majority of people don't take any notice of such at eating, getting up and looking after yourself. Therefore, it takes great strength and courage to still live your life whilst dealing with MH illness.
- #8 : MH patients can't enjoy life
-Truth: There's a misconception that all MH patients just sit in bed all day every day. In actual fact, the majority of MH patients live their life to the fullest. Their lives may be different to most people's and they sometimes may not be able to do things others can, but most MH patients try and make the most of everyday when they can