Often when someone is diagnosed with a mental health disorder they may be less likely to seek help as a result of the stigmas surrounding mental illness. In order to defeat the stigma we have to educate ourselves to know myths vs. facts.
Myth 1: People with mental health problems are violent, unpredictable
Fact: People with mental illness are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to people with mental illness. People with mental illness are actually 10 times more likely to be victims of violent acts.
Myth 2: Mental illness is a character flaw/weakness and can be overcome with willpower
Fact: Mental illness is not a character flaw or weakness. Mental health problems can be caused by genes, trauma, injury, physical illness or brain chemistry. Just as you cannot will a broken bone to be better, people with mental health problems need medical attention/help.
Myth 3: People with mental health problems cannot handle the stress of daily life and there is no hope for them to recover
Fact: With the proper treatment, people with mental health problems can be as productive as anyone else.
Myth 4: You can tell if someone has mental health problems
Fact: Mental health problems are very common. 1 in 20 Americans live with a serious mental illness and 1 in 10 young people have experienced a period of major depression. Just because someone is social does not mean that they do not suffer from anxiety or depression.
Myth 5: There is nothing you can do to help someone with mental health problems
Fact: Friends, family and loved ones can be important influences to help someone get the treatment they need. You can help someone with mental health problems by: reaching out and letting them know you are available, treating them with respect as you would anyone else, and not defining them by their illness or using labels such as "crazy".