Individuals suffering from mental health issues often find themselves fighting a battle on dual fronts: both against the symptoms and effects, as well as the societal stigma surrounding discussion of the disorder itself. As their impact moves more prominently to the forefront of overall individual health, it’s important to open the dialogue to relieve the stigma surrounding these disorders. Learn more about common mental health myths surrounding the disorders and those affected by them below.
Common Mental Health Myths
Myth #1: You can prevent or fix mental health disorders if you try hard enough.
While a stable environment and healthy lifestyle behaviors can impact this aspect of your health, these disorders can occur due to chemical makeup, genetics, and environment combined. Trauma or injury can increase the risk of a person developing a disorder. Finding the right medication, therapy, and self-care are essential to managing a mental health disorder. Think about it this way: You wouldn’t ask a person with high blood pressure to “snap out of it.”
Myth #2: These disorders aren’t common.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five people in the United States are diagnosed with a mental health disorder. That’s 43.8 million American adults.
Myth #3: Someone with a mental health disorder won’t be able to lead a “normal” life.
Although having a disorder may alter some aspects of life, managing the condition through treatment and self-care can alleviate or reduce the severity of symptoms. Similar to someone managing high blood pressure, proper treatment and healthy lifestyle changes are important.
Myth #4: I can’t help someone struggling with a mental health disorder.
Of course you can! Helping someone can include being a source of support, talking with them about treatment options, and listening to their perspective.
Myth #5: Talking about a disorder makes it worse.
Everyone’s experiences are different. It’s OK to reach out to someone struggling emotionally or who has been recently diagnosed with a disorder. Asking “What can I do to help” or just listening can be the best source of support. Talking about symptoms help to normalize these disorders and minimize the stigma surrounding mental health.