Each year, one in five Americans suffer from a mental health condition. Unfortunately, far too many people do not receive the professional treatment that could help them overcome illness. One of the biggest obstacles is the stigma that surrounds mental health problems can prevent people from getting the care they need. These misconceptions about mental illness disrupt our understanding of mental health and treatment. Read on to learn about some of the most common misconceptions and ways you can get help for yourself or a loved one.
1. You’re Either Insane or You’re Fine
Health (both physical and mental) exists on a spectrum. Even people you would consider healthy are not always “totally sane.” Think about it in terms of physical health. You can be an overall healthy person who still experiences joint pain or high cholesterol. Similarly, you can have anxiety or bipolar disorder and still be (in most circumstances) mentally healthy. While some people require comprehensive mental health programs, others can get through daily life more or less like everyone else.
2. Mental Illness Is a Symptom of Weakness
Many people assume that individuals with anxiety, depression, affective disorders, and other conditions are “weak” mentally. Once again, would you consider somebody with a physical illness to be weak? Mental health is not the same as mental strength. Just as people with arthritis can still be physically strong, so too can individuals with depression be mentally strong. In fact, many people living with mental illness are incredibly strong, they just need some help.
3. People with Mental Illnesses Are Violent
Despite public perception that people with mental illness are likely to be violent, research has shown that this is not the case. In fact, people living with mental illness are at a higher risk of being victims of violence rather than perpetrators. That said, risks of violence do increase when a co-occurring substance use disorder is found with mental illness. In these cases, immediate treatment is recommended to keep both the individual and those around them safe.
4.Mentally Ill People Cannot Handle Everyday Responsibilities
The perception that people with mental illnesses cannot complete work leads to systemic hiring discrimination. While it is true that those with mental illnesses have additional hurdles to overcome, most can still function as well as those without mental illnesses. Unfortunately, the idea that mental illness equates irresponsibility makes it harder for those who need help to find treatment.
5. You Can Prevent Mental Health Disorders
Mental health issues usually come about as a result of biological and environmental factors. For this reason, there is rarely any way to effectively prevent a mental health disorder. However, you can educate yourself on mental health so that, should a disorder arise, you can get treatment ASAP. Additionally, you can establish healthy habits like diet and exercise so that you are better prepared to function with a mental illness.
Overcoming Misconceptions About Mental Illness
There are so many misconceptions about mental illness. They greatly affect the way we perceive mental health disorders and our own health. Take the time to recognize these misconceptions and know that it is possible to overcome mental illness. The first step begins by talking with a mental health professional who can help you get a better sense of your mental health and what steps you can take to get back on the road to overall health and wellbeing.
We Can Help You
Port St. Lucie Hospital specializes in mental health services and is located on 20 acres near the beautiful Savannas Preserve. If you or one of your loved ones is struggling with a mental health disorder, we can help. Our 24-hour mental health services are provided by licensed professionals in various disciplines. We tailor our programs to our patient’s needs and will help you every step of the way.
We welcome you to our facility. From support groups to individual therapy treatment options, we are here to fight the battle with you. Reach out to us online today. You can also call us at 772-335-0400.