There are still huge misconceptions around mental health, we are here to help bust some mental health myths.
Myth 1. Mental health problems are uncommon
1 in 4 people in the world will be affected by a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives. Currently, a staggering 450 million of us are experiencing mental health problems right now, at this very moment (we’re not alone!).
The World Health Organisation explain that:
“Mental illnesses are among the leading causes of ill health and disability.”
Myth 2. People with mental health conditions can’t work
This is a terribly persistent myth, one that suggests those of us that live with a mental health problem can’t hold down a job. We might have a severe condition that impacts on our ability to work or to work full time, however, the majority of us with mental health conditions can be just as productive as those without.
Myth 3. Mental health problems are a sign of weakness
This is frankly ridiculous, and is like saying someone with a physical health problem, like a broken leg, is just weak! Mental health disorders are illnesses not signs of poor character. Similarly, people with depression, for example, can’t simply ‘snap out of it’ as much as someone with diabetes or cancer can immediately recover from their condition. If anything the opposite is true; living with a mental health condition takes a great deal of strength.
Myth 4. Only people without friends or family need therapists
There is a monumentally huge difference between structured therapies and having a natter with friends. Both can help us in different ways, however, a trained therapist can address issues constructively and in ways that even our best of friends can’t match. We don’t always feel comfortable opening up entirely to our nearest and dearest, while therapy is confidential, objective and entirely focused on us as individuals.
Myth 5. Mental health problems are permanent
A mental health diagnosis is not necessarily a life sentence, we are all unique and different and our experiences with mental illnesses are the same. Whilst many mental health conditions are ongoing, we might have periods where they lie dormant, or we might find medication, therapy, or other treatments help to restore balance.
Remember: It is worth noting that recovery has different meanings to different people, some may view it as a return to exactly how things were before they felt symptoms. For others, recovery might be a relief from symptoms and a return to a satisfying life, however different it may be. Recovery essentially involves achieving a full and satisfying life!