6 Myths About Mental Health Disorders
Despite one in five Americans suffering from mental illness every year, stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health disorders are still highly prevalent in our society. Debunking myths about mental health disorders is critical towards ensuring that those affected by these conditions seek adequate treatment. Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently seen myths about mental health disorders and find out what the real facts are.
Myth 1: Therapy is a waste of time
Fact: Therapy is a highly beneficial way to prioritize your mental health, especially for those who have a mental health disorder. Therapy can help:
- Enhance communication skills
- Improve quality of life
- Develop coping strategies and skills
- Increase self-awareness
- Teach you to make healthy choices
- Resolve internal conflicts
Myth 2: Only veterans and military personnel experience PTSD
Fact: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect anyone who has undergone a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, a natural disaster, or the loss of a loved one. People may also develop this condition from witnessing traumatic events, like police, firefighters, and paramedics. It may take months or even years before symptoms occur, and people affected tend to experience a wide array of symptoms. Common signs that you may have PTSD include:
- Intrusive thoughts
- Flashbacks of the event
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Frequent nightmares
- Experiencing triggers
Myth 3: Children don’t experience mental health problems
Fact: Children can experience several mental health disorders from as early as two years old. In fact, 17.4% of children aged 2-8 have a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder. The most frequently diagnosed disorders among children ages 3-17 include:
- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Behavior problems
Not only are mental health disorders commonly seen in children, but many of these conditions can also occur together.
Myth 4: Mental health disorders are a sign of weakness
Fact: Mental health disorders are an illness, just like diabetes or heart disease. People with mental illness are unable to “snap out of it,” similar to how those with a broken leg are unable to walk on their leg. Seeking treatment does not make you weak, but rather, it improves your overall well-being and can enhance your quality of life.
Myth 5: People with mental health disorders are violent
Fact: The antiquated belief that people with mental health disorders are violent has been proven false time and time again. Instead, research indicates that people with mental health disorders are more likely to be victims of violent crime than those of the general population. Unfortunately, the stigma that people with a mental illness are violent is still widely prevalent. To debunk these notions, we must address these stigmas and eliminate treatment barriers to mental health services.
Myth 6: You can never recover from a mental health disorder
Fact: Although suffering from a mental illness can feel debilitating and overwhelming, recovery is possible. Recovery will look different for everyone, as it is a journey about self-awareness, change, and the discovery of new values and interests. Nowadays, there are numerous treatment options for mental health conditions, so don’t give up if you or your loved one hasn’t found the right treatment yet. Other factors that can help recovery from a mental health disorder include:
- Satisfying work
- Developing resilience to stress
- Strong support system
- Financial stability
Treat Your Mental Health With Mile High Psychiatry
If you or a loved one believe that you may have a mental health condition, Mile High Psychiatry (MHP) is here for you. At MHP, we are working to destigmatize the beliefs surrounding mental illnesses so that more people seek and access the treatment they need. Our practice offers a combination of therapies and medications to help our patients recover from mental illnesses. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.