Thursday, April 11, 2019

J - Just Myths #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness

Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increase the burden: It is easier to say "My tooth is aching" than to say "My heart is broken".

Challenging irrational beliefs about mental health is as much a part of raising awareness about mental illnesses as talking about disorders, syndromes and treatment plans.

Here are a few common myths people have about mental health/illness that prove to hurdle in the recovery of most survivors.

"People with Mental Illness are at fault because they don’t have enough willpower to change"

Most caretakers, families and friends of survivors and general public believe that those who struggle with depression can just will away their symptoms but are too lazy and unmotivated to do so. Blaming someone for struggling with  a mental health issue is like telling a cancer survivor she is dying because she doesn’t want to live badly enough. Mental or not, illnesses can come without just cause. People sometimes exacerbate this by judging the mentally ill as melodramatic or too stubborn to change.
This isn’t true.

"People with Mental Illness are dangerous and violent"

Often people believe that mental health survivors can physically harm themselves or others, which is true only in some cases and not all. Most media reports disproportionately on cases where people with mental health conditions commit violent acts and almost demonises them. The film industry and TV industry often depicts villains as psychotic.

However in reality people with Mental Illness are more likely to be victims. Mentally ill people are actually more likely to be victims of violence, according to a study published in the American Journal of Mental Health.

"People who look or act happy/normal aren’t  mentally ill"

People who don’t understand mental illness look at several suicide or mental breakdown victims and think, “Everything seems to be going great for him. How could he be depressed?”
Actually most mentally ill people don’t act or look a certain way and often are also successful, wealthy and active and yet some issue afflicts their mind and thought process. Remember people with mental illness are not “crazy.”

"Having a positive attitude can cure depression"

Depression is not something that somebody can just will away. Often, people have this misconception that if a person is depressed they need to just “be positive” or try their best to “shake it off”. Depression is not simply a feeling of sadness, but a serious medical condition that affects the biological functioning of the body. Cognitive therapy and medications can help address the underlying symptoms and causes of depression.

"People with a mental illness lack intelligence"

Intelligence has nothing to do with mental illnesses or brain disorders. Just like general population many people with mental disorders are brilliant, creative, productive people and some are not brilliant or creative. Certain mental illnesses may make it difficult for people to remember facts or get along with other people, making it seem like they are cognitively challenged. Overall, the level of intelligence among people with mental illness likely parallels the patterns seen in any healthy population.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.


This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.


  1. There are so many myths and misconceptions surrounding mental health. Further is mental health care easily and freely available in our country? Thanks for choosing this topic. We need to spread awareness.

    1. That is true Mahesh, lack of awareness further compounds the problem, health care is scarce and rare.

  2. You know, it never fails to amaze me when people refer to a mentally ill person as mental or psycho. Especially in our country people are ignorant. And the minute people get labelled as mental are a psycho they start building a taboo around his and start ostracizing him. People need to be educated about mental illness a lot before it is recognized as an ailment just like other physical ailments. And yes, depression, OCD etc cannot just be wished away.

    1. You are right Jai often it happens due to apathy or lack of awareness but Sometimes it also happens due to wrong set of beliefs like tantric and astrological practices used to get rod of psychological issues or believing that these illnesses simply do1 exist if we exercise and think positive.

  3. We have so little idea of mental illness that all sorts of misconception and misinformation flourish. Without proper diagnosis and medication, nothing else will work. When a person is stabilised on medicine other approaches like positive thinking, will power etc will come into play. Our ignorant society beat up a mentally ill, make fun of them, throw them out of home. It is unfortunate and sad.

  4. Your posts should reach far and wide. I sometimes wish we could have compulsory TV classes for the population which they have to watch. I know thats radical but the myths are just spreading. I know what it is like to wake up and do normal things like brushing my teeth or even eating when I am going through an episode. My awareness makes me fight it but still, it is so very difficult to cope. Do carry on blasting all myths.

  5. Kudos to you for busting these awful myths. Mental illness needs to be taken seriously but also the stigma must be curtailed.

  6. I hate it when I hear people saying those with depression should just "get over it". If it was that simple, then they already would have. No one wants to be depressed

    1. Absolutely Debbie,they don't say that about physical illness.

  7. Thank you so much for this post!
    I play computer games, and too often they try to make them scary by setting them in asylums (who even calls them that any more?), or with dangerous "insane patients."
    Each time I refuse to play, of course, and contact the companies who made the games to tell them why.
    Mental illness are illnesses, not entertainment, and if they wouldn't feature a scary bald cancer patient, or a person with epilepsy having a seizure, then what makes mental illnesses fair game? Most people with mental illnesses are more a danger to themselves than others. They are not scary.
    Most are not "insane."


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