RETHINK MENTAL ILLNESS: DEBUNKING MENTAL ILLNESS MYTHS

July 7th, 2015

Mental illness affects many individuals and families across the globe. According to the World Health Organization, one in four people in the world is affected by a mental or neurological disorder. Though there are many types of treatment available to those who experience mental illness, there is still stigma around the issue that affects the way people perceive and talk about mental illness.

Below, we debunk 5 common myths about mental illness:

Myth #1: Mental illness is a sign of weakness.

Mental illness is not caused by a personal weakness. Many mental health disorders are the result of a combination of factors that are biological, psychological, and environmental. Mental illness can affect any person regardless of their personal strengths or characteristics.

Myth #2: Those who suffer from mental illness can decide to just “get over it.”

Just as an individual cannot “get over” diabetes or heart disease, a person who experiences mental health issues cannot just get over their issues. Like many other health conditions, mental illness is a medical condition that requires adequate, and sometimes ongoing, treatment.

Myth #3: Therapy is a waste of time and medication holds you back from being yourself.

There are many different types of treatment options for those who experience mental illness. Since each case is unique, effective treatment varies from person to person. It is unfair to say that one treatment method is ineffective or dangerous as each person will respond differently to therapy, and different treatments work for different symptoms.

Myth #4: You can tell if someone has mental health issues.

Even when a person seems happy or continues to be social, this does not mean that they cannot experience mental health issues. Mental illness affects many Americans each year, regardless of their status or circumstances.

Myth #5: It is easy for most people with mental illness to seek help.

The World Health Organization reports that about two-thirds of people with mental illnesses do not seek help from a health professional due to stigma, discrimination, and neglect. Even when a person recognizes that they may have a mental health issue, they might not seek the help that they need due to fear of being judged or lack of support.

Get Help for Mental Illness

Do not let the myths and stigmas of mental illness stop you from getting the help you need. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, it is time to speak with a mental health professional.

Another common misconception about mental illness is that there is no access to care for those who need it. Now, with the Affordable Care Act, you cannot be denied coverage or charged extra for pre-existing conditions, including mental health issues. If you have a qualified health plan, mental and behavioral health services are covered. Also, many mental health care facilities will work with you in order to help you get the care you need.

Treatment for Mental Health Challenges

The David Lawrence Center is dedicated to inspiring and creating life-changing wellness for every individual. David Lawrence Center offers comprehensive inpatient, outpatient, residential and community based prevention and treatment services for children and adults experiencing mental health, emotional, psychological, and substance abuse challenges. For more information, please contact us by calling (239) 455-8500 or through our website here.

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