Mental Health Myths and Facts
The stigma surrounding mental health illnesses has become a global public health concern, as there is a major misunderstanding surrounding common mental illnesses, such as anxiety, depression and OCD. Historically, the world has prioritized physical health, without much regard for the state of our emotional well-being, limiting access to quality mental health care.
What is Mental Health?
Our mental health is the state of our emotional and mental well-being. A mental illness is a health condition that involves shifts in emotion, thinking, or behavior, and occurs when the brain does not function properly. There are a variety of kinds of mental illness that can affect people of any age, race, gender, occupation, ethnicity, social status, sexual orientation, or religion.
Your mental health may be suffering if you notice a lack of effective functioning in the following day-to-day abilities:
- Ability to work, do schoolwork, or be a caregiver
- Ability to maintain healthy relationships with your loved ones
- Ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity
Mental-illness-related stigma has been identified as a major barrier to treatment and recovery. Stigmatizing attitudes or behaviors by healthcare providers have led to a lack of attention for patients’ medical needs, mismanagement towards patients with mental illnesses and even social marginalization in some instances. These attitudes may also be one reason why staff shortages in psychiatry exist, as careers in psychiatry have historically been viewed in a negative way.
As the perception of mental health in our society evolves, many myths surrounding mental illness have been debunked.
Myth: Mental health problems are rare and will not affect me.
Fact: Mental health problems are actually very common, as nearly 792 million have some form of a mental disorder. That is slightly more than one in ten people globally. In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, indicating the lack of access to treatment in our country.
Myth: People with mental health disorders are violent and unpredictable.
Fact : Individuals with mental disorders are no more inclined to be violent than any average person. In fact, people with mental health problems are significantly more likely to be a victim of violence than a perpetrator.
Myth : There is no hope for recovery for an individual affected by a mental illness.
Fact: Studies indicate that people with mental health disorders who seek treatment can get better, and many make a full recovery. Today, there are more treatments and services than ever before, and they are proven to be effective.
Myth: Children don’t experience mental health problems.
Fact: From a very young age, children may show early indicators of mental health illness due to biological, psychological, or social factors. 50% of mental health disorders show its first symptoms before the individual turns 14, and 75% of mental health disorders begin before age 24.
Myth: Mental health problems are from personality weaknesses or character flaws. These individuals can “snap out of it” if they try hard enough.
Fact: Mental health has nothing to do with being lazy or weak. Mental health disorders are a result of biological factors, life experiences, and family history. Individuals may recover from mental health illness through a variety of treatments.
Mental Health in 2021
In the last 50 years, there has been a major shift in society’s perspective on mental health. Now, people are becoming more supportive of mental health illnesses, and there are more treatment options available than ever before.
As recent as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and the 2021 French Open, high profile athletes such as Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka have shifted the national conversation towards mental health problems. In an unprecedented move, both Biles and Osaka stepped down from international competition to prioritize their mental health. Their actions have inspired millions of people and athletes who have struggled with their mental health, and it has encouraged a more holistic approach towards mental health and well-being.
Contact Mile High Psychiatry
At Mile High Psychiatry, we are working every day to destigmatize the attitude surrounding mental illnesses. If you believe that you or a loved one may be suffering from any kind of mental health disorder, please contact us, or call (855) 270-4471 to make an appointment today.