Mental Health

Debunking 7 Myths Associated With Mental Health!

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Mental health issues have a long-standing stigma surrounding them. People suffering from mental health problems tend to face constant bias and discrimination primarily due to the many myths associated with mental health. Busting these myths and spreading awareness about these issues is the only way to eliminate the stigma and encourage people to seek help. So, to dispel common misconceptions, here is a list of the top 7 myths about mental health and the truth behind them.

Myth 1: Mental health problems are a sign of weakness.

Fact: Many people believe that if a person is strong, they’ll never suffer from a mental health issue. A mental health problem is not at all related to lacking willpower or being weak. Just like anyone can suffer from a physical issue, anyone can develop a mental health condition too. Some of the factors that can contribute to mental health problems include:

  • Biological factors, like physical illness, genes, brain chemistry, or injury
  • Family history of Mental health problems
  • Life experiences, like a history of abuse or trauma

Myth 2: People suffering from mental health conditions cannot work

Fact: It is widely believed that those who are suffering from mental health issues, even those actively managing their problems, cannot withstand the stress of a full-time job. This is absolutely inaccurate. People with mental health problems can be just as productive as others. Although it should also be noted that in the long run, without adequate care, mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety can have an impact on a person's sense of self-worth and identity at work, ability to perform productively, and ease of retaining or obtaining employment.

Myth 3: It is not possible to prevent the development of mental health conditions. 

Fact: Many factors such as strengthening emotional and social skills, healthy sleep patterns, creating a positive school environment, developing loving and supportive family relationships, and seeking support and help early on can help ensure mental well-being. Prevention of emotional, behavioural and mental disorders focuses on addressing known risk factors like exposure to trauma that can increase the risk of developing mental health problems. 

Myth 4: Mental health problems cannot be cured.

Fact: Many studies show that people suffering from mental health issues can get better and even recover completely. Recovery is the state where people, who were once suffering from mental issues, are able to work, learn, live and fully engage in the community with complete zeal. However, it is vital to keep in mind that the meaning of ‘recovery’ can vary from person to person. Some people might consider recovery when they start feeling exactly how they used to feel before their condition developed. On the other hand, others might consider recovery to be the relief they get from symptoms and lead a satisfactory life even if it is different from what it used to be. 

Myth 5: People suffering from mental health issues are unpredictable and violent. 

Fact: The majority of individuals suffering from mental health issues are not likely to be any more violent than others. Only 3%-5% of all violent acts are caused by those suffering from major mental health conditions. Moreover, in most cases, people suffering from a mental health problem pretend to be perfectly fine externally. They can be highly productive and active members of the community, which makes it difficult to identify their condition. 

Myth 6: Therapy and counselling do not work.

Fact: Treatment for mental health issues varies from person to person and could include therapy, medication or a combination of both. Moreover, many individuals need a support system to heal and recover. Another misconception is that only those with no friends require the assistance of a therapist. However, there is an ocean of differences between speaking to friends/family members and structured counselling therapy sessions. While both can be helpful in providing relief from symptoms, a trained therapist can address issues in a constructive way. Also, it is not possible for everyone to open up in front of friends as they do in front of their therapist.

Myth 7: Mental health issues are rare.

Fact: This is a false statement as currently, there are 450 million people globally suffering from one or more mental health problems. One of the most widespread mental health disorders is depression, which affects over 264 million individuals worldwide. 

With the prevalence of mental health problems rising day after day, it has become more important than ever to educate yourselves and those around you on the subject. Only by eliminating the myths, misconceptions and stigma associated with mental health can people feel comfortable enough to step forward and make an effort to get the assistance they require. If you are suffering from a mental health issue and need professional help,

Consult An Apollo Pyschologist


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.


Mental Health

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