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Debunking Common Misconceptions About Mental Health

By Oreoritse Tariemi
09 May 2022   |   12:09 pm
In recent times, mental health has moved from the sidelines to the forefront of health-related discussions. An individual's state of mental well-being is now receiving increasing attention and research to seek out new ways to guarantee quality mental health. However, it is unfortunate that some of the stigmas associated with a past where people with…

[FILES] Mental health

In recent times, mental health has moved from the sidelines to the forefront of health-related discussions.

An individual’s state of mental well-being is now receiving increasing attention and research to seek out new ways to guarantee quality mental health.

However, it is unfortunate that some of the stigmas associated with a past where people with mental conditions were shunned still exist. In this article, we have chosen seven common misconceptions about mental health and debunked them with proven facts.

  • Only adults suffer mental health problems:

Mental health issues are not limited to adults alone. In fact, recent data from The National Alliance on Mental Illnesses estimate that 16.5% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder in 2016 (7.7 million people).

Another estimate from the American Psychiatric Association reveals that fifty per cent of mental illness begins by age 14.

  • Individuals suffering from mental illnesses are dangerous:

People suffering from mental health conditions are even more likely to experience some form of violence rather than perpetuate them. Symptoms of mental health illnesses can cause undue stress, confusion and weakness, leaving them vulnerable to harm.

The truth is people suffering from mental illnesses will likely harm themselves over others.

  • Mental health conditions are not real:

They are, in fact, as real as they can get.

While the signs and symptoms of these conditions may not be physically seen, they exist, and people suffering from them also feel the pain associated with them. 

The stress from mental illnesses could even cause your body to react physically.

  • People with mental health conditions cannot maintain a job:

Individuals suffering from mental health disorders can effectively function and carry out daily activities when properly managed. Stressful situations are difficult for everyone, mental health conditions or not.

  • Depression can be prayed away:

Rather than be considered a spiritual attack, depression is, in fact, medically caused by many factors, including genes, physical illnesses, trauma, and brain chemistry.

Depression cannot be wiled or prayed away; rather, it is a serious condition that affects the body’s health and would require treatment and proper management.

  • Mental health conditions are permanent:

Not all disorders are permanent. Some disorders may require lifelong treatment, commitment to therapy and medications. Advancements in medical treatments have also allowed the successful treatment of some of these conditions. 

  • Individuals with mental health problems cannot be helped:

Mental health disorders require proper diagnosis and care. This is where family and friends come in; not only are they the first to notice changes in behaviour, they can also advocate for them. 

Mental health consists of various conditions and diseases that may affect an individual’s mood, behaviour, and cognitive processing. The misconceptions associated with these conditions have largely been responsible for the stigmas associated with them.

By debunking these misconceptions, it allows for better treatment of individuals with these conditions and progress in medicine. 

In this article