Myths about Mental Illness

 

Making you AWARE of myths about mental illness...

There are countless myths about mental illness that have no basis in truth. In fact, there are more treatments and services available to those with mental illness than ever before. And they work. Here are a few myths about mental illness and the facts that tell the true story.

Myth: People with mental health issues are violent and unpredictable.

Truth: The vast majority of those suffering from mental illness are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent, and only 3-5% of violent acts can be attributed to serious mental illness. In fact, those with mental illness are 10 times more likely to be the victim of violence than the regular population.

Myth:
I can't do anything for a loved one with a mental health problem.

Truth: Oh, yes you can. Friends and loved ones can make a huge difference for the one suffering from a mental health issue. Only about 44% of adults with diagnosable mental health problems, and 20% of children and adolescents receive the needed treatment. Friends and family members can be important influences in helping loved ones get the services they need.

1. Let them know you are there for them and willing to help.
2. Help them access the needed mental health services.
3. Learn and share the facts about mental illness.


Myth: Prevention doesn't work. It is impossible to prevent mental illness.

Truth: Prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders focuses on addressing known risk factors. Exposure to trauma can affect the chances that children, youth and young adults develop mental health problems. Promoting the social-emotional well-being of children and youth can lead to:

 1. Higher overall productivity.
 2. Better educational outcomes.
 3. Lower crime rates.
 4. Improved quality of life.
 5. Increased life span.
 6. Improved family life.


Myth: There is no hope for people with mental illness. Once a friend or family member develops mental health problems, he or she will not recover.

Truth: Studies continue to show that people with mental health problems get better and many recover completely after treatment. Recovery refers to the process in which people live, work, learn, and participate fully in their community. There are more treatments, services, and support programs available than ever before.

Myth: Personality weaknesses or character flaws cause mental health problems. People with mental illness can snap out of it if they try hard enough.

Truth: Mental health problems have nothing to do with being lazy or weak, and people need help to get better. Several factors play a role in the development of mental illness, including:
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 1. Biological factors such as genetics, physical illness, injury, or brain chemistry.
 2. Life experiences such as trauma or abuse.
 3. Family history of mental health problems.


People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely!