Myths and Misconceptions Regarding Mental Health

Myths and misconceptions regarding mental health are prevalent across the all cultures, castes and communities. The most common myths seen across are:

Is mental illness a “real” disease?

Yes! Mental illness is no different than cancer or diabetes. It has both genetic and biological causes and can be treated.

How do I help a friend, family member, someone I know may have a mental health problem?

Knowing the signs and symptoms of someone with a mental health problem is the first step. First aid in mental health problems, conducted by Department of Mental Health Education, NIMHANS teaches people how to help someone showing signs of a mental health problem or going through a mental health crisis.
One of the ways you can help someone who you think is going through a mental health problem is encourage them to see their family doctor, a psychologist, or a qualified mental health therapist.
Another way to help someone going through a mental health problem is to simply listen (without judging) and reassure them that you will help them get the help they need.

Why is it so hard to talk about mental illness?

It’s hard because there’s such a stigma attached to it. A stigma is the product of myth and misunderstanding. It causes people to fear and reject those who live with mental illness. Society doesn’t view mental illness and physical illness in the same way. Just as people can recover from heart disease and recover from their condition, they can recover from mental illness to lead full, balanced, and productive lives.

If a person is strong, can’t they beat mental illness?

Mental illness is not caused because someone is weak or there is something wrong with who they are as a person. A person can’t just “snap out of it”.

Who is more susceptible to mental illness?

Mental illness can happen to anyone, of any age, culture, education, and income level.

Once someone has been diagnosed with a mental illness, will they ever get better?

With support and treatment, people with mental illnesses can lead full and productive lives.

These are just a few. Do you believe in them? If yes, then you can self-rate yourself and bring the change in your attitude and beliefs.