How well do you understand topics around mental health? Getting rid of stigmas surrounding mental health has improved a lot in recent years and it’s important we keep pushing in the right direction because many Americans have experienced mental health challenges. In 2014 alone, one in five American adults experienced a mental health issue. Understanding common misconceptions surrounding the mental health field can help you be a better support system for your friend or family member and can help you understand your own mental health journey better. Below are five mental health myths that will be debunked.
Mental Health Problems are Uncommon
Ever since the pandemic, this statement has been far from the truth. In 2020, about 450 million people suffered from a mental or neurological disorder. WHO explains that mental disorders are “among the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide.” Conversations surrounding mental health have only recently been discussed more which allows for more people to reach out for support when they need it. More specifically, two of the most common mental health disorders are depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). If you believe you or a loved one might be suffering from one of these, remember you don’t need to suffer alone. Mental health challenges are very common and reaching out for support can help offer you the support that you may need.
A Mental Health Condition is a Sign of Weakness
This is one of the most common stigmas around mental health even though it is far from the truth. These are medical and biological conditions, not something one chooses. This myth can lead to many consequences, especially for men. They are often told to “man up”, which results in them being less likely to seek help.
Bad Parenting is linked to Mental Health Conditions in Children
As stated above, mental health conditions are medical and often biological. Many environmental factors affect how a child grows up but bad parenting doesn’t singlehandedly cause a child to have mental health issues. While this is a myth, some mental health conditions may have a genetic factor that could be passed down to the child through genes.
Eating Disorders Don’t Affect Males
Even though eating disorders are more common in females, they don’t exclusively affect females. Research shows that males account for 10-25% of anorexia and bulimia nervosa cases. Studies have also found that eating disorders among males have also been increasing in recent years. This myth can be harmful because eating disorders are a serious mental health condition that should be treated properly. It’s important that we don’t categorize this mental health disorder to only one group.
People with Mental Health Problems are Violent
This is another myth that is false. However, this is a stereotype that is often attributed. More than one third of the public believe that people with mental health problems are more likely to become violent. However, only 3-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. People with mental illnesses are actually more likely to be victims of a violent crime.
Connect with Life Balance Therapy to learn more about mental health conditions, especially if you feel that you or someone you love might be experiencing one.