Mental health disorders are serious conditions that affect millions of people. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 6.8 per cent of American adults (about 19 million people) have a mental illness. The stigma of such illness is fading, and people realize they need to talk about it. There are countless misconceptions about mental health, so read on to learn what’s true and false, then talk to a friend or family member about their own experiences. Mental health disorders are one of the most common reasons people visit their doctor. The treatment costs anywhere from $30 billion to $100 billion per year.
The biggest myth about mental health is that it’s a condition that people are born with, or “curable,” rather than something that can be added, managed, and prevented. Many people, including the general public, believe this is a claim. Mental health disorders affect 1 in 5 Americans.
Mental health is a topic that many are stigmatized. Many people believe that it is a weakness, an illness that is only suffered by a few. The stigma surrounding mental health is prevalent, especially when mass shootings occur. But it is real, and many people who struggle with mental health conditions are able to live full lives. However, mental health stigma often makes it difficult for people to receive professional help.
Mental health impacts us in more ways than nearly any other area of health. As a victim of it, we all know the impact it can have on us personally and on members of our community. But mental health misconceptions and stigmas also affect us. Some of these are harmless, but others can hinder our ability to get the necessary help.
Myths and Misconceptions
There are a few key myths and misconceptions about mental health disorders. These myths and misconceptions can be misleading, leading the general public to have misconceptions and beliefs about them, which can influence their perceptions, attitudes, and behaviour toward people who have the illness and their families. These myths and misconceptions also can affect how the public views mental disorders. Understanding the myths and misconceptions about these issues can help clear up misperceptions and prevent misunderstandings, which can lead to stigma and discrimination and hinder effective interventions, services, and support for people who have mental health issues.
The scientific method involves investigating and explaining the natural world, but myths and misconceptions tend to prevent people from understanding scientific concepts. Myths can twist basic facts into unfamiliar and often inaccurate images, and misconceptions can misconstrue these myths. Scientists and teachers share scientific information with young people, and the general public often falls prey to these myths and misconceptions. Most myths are harmless, but some can be deadly. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to identify and combat them.
3 Mental health challenges
Anxiety is a mental disorder marked by excessive worry, nervousness, self-doubt, and fear—especially when there’s no apparent reason to feel this way. While anxiety can be a symptom of other conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s often the result of chemical imbalances in the brain or stress that occurs from a specific situation.
Depression is a real problem that a lot of people struggle with, and it’s a disease that can cause a number of different problems, including:
- Sleeping problems
- Lack of appetite
- Feelings of sadness
- Self-image problems
- Thoughts of suicide
Attention deficit hyperactivity
Attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) is a chronic condition that causes a child or adult to be overly active or easily distracted. It is one of the most common behavioural disorders doctors treat and affects up to 3% of school-age children. Children with ADHD often struggle to pay attention in school and remain still during activities. They may have a hard time controlling their impulses, be impulsive, and have trouble organizing their thoughts. These children may get easily bored, have low self-esteem, and become easily frustrated.
Myths and misconceptions about mental health are widespread, and this can cause real harm to those struggling with such illness. Many misunderstandings about mental health exist, leading to us being afraid to seek help or not knowing where to turn for help.