The Biggest Myths About Mental Health

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Mental health is a field surrounded by controversy. That’s because, unlike most diseases, you can’t easily dissect someone’s brain and point to something and say “there’s the anxiety” or “there’s the depression.” 

Because of this, the field of mental health is rife with mythology. Even practitioners admit that a lot of what they do feels like hocus pocus. Because mind and body aren’t the same thing, they struggle to come to effective clinical diagnoses, even with all their modern instrumentation. 

In this post, we take a look at some of the myths that currently dominate thinking about mental health and then dispel them. 

Myth 1: Mental Health Problems Last Forever

Some people believe that mental health problems last forever, but that’s rarely the case. Yes - people can have relapses. But many people can go through both depressive and anxious disorders and then come out of the other side happy and relaxed people. 

You can probably think back to episodes in your own life when you had depression. It lasted for a while, but then it went away. 

Myth 2: Mental Health Problems Are A Sign Of Weakness

Many of the strongest people in society develop mental health problems. Celebrities who have done amazing and courageous things with their lives are often very public about their depression and anxiety. Stephen Fry is a good example. 

Mental health problems are usually a sign that something has gone wrong in either your thought processes or your environment. It doesn’t mean that you are a weak person. 

Myth 3: Interventions Don’t Work

Many people assume that things like therapy or treatments described by don’t work. But, again, that’s wrong. It turns out that rummaging around in your psyche and going through various treatments can provide powerful relief for a variety of mental health conditions. Around 70 to 90 percent of people say that they feel better when they have a proper mental health plan in place. 

Myth 4: Mental Health Problems Are Inevitable

Many people have a fatalistic view of mental health. It’s like cancer, they tell themselves. You can’t do anything to stop yourself from getting it. 

But that’s not true of either cancer or mental health problems. There are preventative steps that you can take. 

Here are some of your options: 

  • Reduce your exposure to stress. High levels of stress put you at much greater risk of mental illness. 

  • Live a healthier lifestyle. The better the food you eat and the more exercise you get, the healthier you will feel overall, both mentally and physically. 

  • Embrace positive life situations. Try not to get involved with negative things such as gangs or gossip groups. 

  • Avoid traumatic experiences if you don’t. Don’t get involved with dangerous or risky people. 

Myth 5: Mental Health Problems Are Rare

Mental health disorders are incredibly common, especially in the west, according to The number of people with mental health issues is rising faster than the population in most developed countries. So it is perfectly normal for you to develop a mental health condition.

If you're struggling or know someone who is struggling, you can contact Lifeline (within Australia) at 13 11 14.

And until next time...
Stay Curious!

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