5 Myths Stopping You from Seeking Treatment for a Mental Health Disorder
Can you separate a mental health fact from fiction? Mental health disorders affect one out of every ten Americans, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, yet there are still many hurtful attitudes around mental illness. Because of stigma and discrimination, many individuals suffering from psychological disorders don’t seek the treatment they deserve.
It’s time to spread awareness.
MYTHS ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS
Debunking myths about mental health disorders is critical to getting people the help and understanding they deserve. At Emerald Coast JourneyPure, treating co-occurring disorders is a focus of our residential rehabilitation program.
Here are some of the most damaging myths about mental health:
- Myth: Mental illness isn’t real. Many people claim that mental illness is “fake” and isn’t comparable to a “true” medical illness. However, mental illness is a brain disorder, which is a legitimate medical illness like heart disease or diabetes. This disorder is caused by genetic, biological and psychiatric factors that must be addressed by professionals in a safe, private setting.
- Myth: Mental illness is a sign of weakness How often have you heard someone use the phrase, “Man up?” Though used arbitrarily, these words have unintended consequences. Today, the prevailing attitude is that vulnerability is a bad thing and that feelings of sadness are “just in your head.” The reality is much more complicated, because mental health disorders literally alter thinking, mood and behavior.
- Myth: There is no treatment for mental illness. Issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, trauma, panic attacks and bipolar disorder can be treated with professional counseling and therapy. In many cases, prescribed medication can alleviate the symptoms of psychological disorders. Medical research and psychiatric studies continue to brighten our understanding of the brain and its many functions.
- Myth: Mental illness cannot affect me. Mental health disorders do not discriminate – anyone can be affected at anytime. A single, traumatic event such as an accident might be enough to trigger PTSD or similar psychological issues. Furthermore, many people with a mental illness are not aware that they are suffering from a sinister yet treatable disease.
- Myth: Mentally ill people are unpredictable, violent and dangerous.Television and film portrayals often paint people with mental illnesses as violent or unpredictable. However, there is little evidence behind these media generalizations. People suffering from mental disorders are every day people, including mothers, fathers, children, neighbors, teachers, pastors, servicemen and women, law enforcement, governing officials, celebrities and more.
If you believe you are suffering from a mental illness, it’s critical to get the help that you deserve. You didn’t choose to suffer, but you can choose to get treatment.