4 Mental Illness Myths You Should Know About

The subject of mental health and mental illness has become a more common topic of discussion amongst the people of today’s generation. People with mental illnesses are becoming less of a foreign topic and acceptance of these people is something that is encouraged. Though society is moving in the right direction toward spreading awareness for mental health/mental illness, there is still a lot of educating to be done on the subject matter. 

Here are four myths debunked to help anyone who is currently misinformed on the truth about mental illnesses:

1. Only Certain People Experience Mental Health Problems

This is a commonly believed myth that there is still confusion around. It is widely assumed that only people who have experienced trauma, have a difficult living situation, are under large amounts of stress, have a genetic predisposition, etc. are the ones who experience mental illness. This belief is primarily false. Although these people are often prone to suffer from a mental illness, a large portion of sufferers are average people who live an otherwise healthy and “normal” life. This is why it is easy for society to dismiss mental illness in people who do not show obvious causes for it. 


2. People with Mental Illnesses are Dangerous

In the world today, everyone is aware of the devastating tragedies that have unfortunately become all too prevalent in communities around the country. The rise of suicide, homicide followed by suicide, and genocide rates have made their way to the top of our list of concerns. The reason for this is strongly debated, but the lack of mental health treatment for these individuals is a factor that they consistently have in common. However, with that being said, not all mentally ill individuals are dangerous. In fact, many are not. Each person is different in what they are experiencing, and dangerous tendencies only become evident when the issue goes without treatment for too long. In this case, it is important to encourage the people close to you who struggle, to seek help when issues first arise. 

3. Addressing Suicide Makes the Situation Worse

Countless individuals go each year feeling overwhelming feelings of loneliness because they feel as though they have nobody to talk to about their struggles. When suppressed, these feelings can lead to suicidal thoughts. Talking about the issue and addressing suicide will make an individual less likely to follow through with the act. Allowing harmful thoughts to be neglected without venting or release is when the idea of self-harm becomes the strongest. Talking about it and bringing it to their awareness that they have someone to seek out in case these thoughts become persuasive, is beneficial to them.

Anxiety is very prevalent amongst this generation and more people are being diagnosed with this disorder every year.


4. Depression and Anxiety Are Not Serious and Are Overdiagnosed

Nearly everyone is aware of depression and anxiety being common diagnoses for people with mental illnesses. Anxiety is very prevalent amongst this generation and more people are being diagnosed with this disorder every year. Depressive disorders are not far behind. This does not give society or any person the right to diminish these illnesses. As said before, every person’s experience with mental illness is different, and they may experience a wide range of severity levels. These diagnoses are umbrella terms, and no individual’s illness is exactly like the next. It is important to treat each diagnosis seriously. Throwing around these words has caused these disorders to lose significance. Nevertheless, these are still disorders, and joking about serious issues can only be detrimental to the well-being of the individual.

It is critical to educate and inform those around you of the importance of being an advocate of mental health. Speaking about it is a form of supporting the people who experience it. Living in a culture of “one-up-ing” one another on each other’s problems only triggers and instigates harm. Instead, just listening and offering support or a shoulder to lean on can make a difference. 

If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or mental distress, here are some free helpful resources:

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741