5 Misconceptions Regarding Mental Illness


Depression, anxiety, schizophrenia – these are only three of the many mental illnesses that are affecting the global population. In the United States alone, 18.1% of adults are affected by anxiety disorders1. As many as 50% of patients who have depression will also suffer from some anxiety disorder. Even though the statistics are quite alarming, less than 60% of the population are obtaining the treatment they need to recover from these mental conditions.

Even though many campaigns have been launched to help make the world more aware of the dangers that depression and other mental illnesses pose, and that treatment can help to ease these symptoms, many people still feel alone and unsure of what to do next. This is largely due to incorrect information that has been spread regarding mental conditions over the years.

Here, we take a look at some of the common misconceptions that you might have heard regarding depression, anxiety, and other types of mental conditions.

Misconception 1: You Cannot Recover From A Mental Illness

Sadly, many people think that being diagnosed with or experiencing symptoms associated with mental illness means they are ill-fated for life. The truth is, depression and other mental illnesses can effectively be treated. While some conditions do not have complete cures, there are various ways to manage such conditions. Studies have shown that it is vital for individuals with depression to become part of a treatment strategy. Different types of treatments have been developed and continue to develop as research advances.  A combination of psychotherapy, along with antidepressants, can yield effective results in people with symptoms associated with these conditions. It has also been found that many alternative forms of therapy can yield fruitful results as well.

Misconception 2: You Can Snap Out Of Depression Without Treatment

Another common thought that many people have is that they will be able to “snap” out of depression and other mental illnesses, rendering the need for treatment useless. However, this is not the case. Depression is a real disease that affects the way a person thinks due to changing the chemistry in our brains. The condition is classified as a mood disorder and can even be disabling in severe cases. Treatment is needed to ensure a person can overcome the negative way of thinking and better cope with their everyday situations.

Misconception 3: Mental Illness Causes Violence

Another common misconception about mental illness is that people who suffer from these conditions are violent. Sure, about 5% of violent acts may be linked to certain mental illnesses, but many other factors cause people to become violent too. It has been found that a person who has a mental illness is also far more likely to become a victim to violence than become a violent individual themselves.

Misconception 4: Mental Illness Only Affect Adults

Even though adults are more commonly affected by depression and anxiety, as well as other mental illnesses, it is important to note that children can also experience these conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 10% of children under 17 years of age have been diagnosed with ADHD. Depression affects around 3.2% of children and anxiety an estimated 7.1% of individuals younger than 17 years. Many children who experience behavior disorders will also suffer from symptoms that are associated with anxiety or depression as well.

Misconception 5: People With A Mental Illness are Weak

Unfortunately, society has already created this image that may cause some people to think that they will be looked upon as being weak if they admit to their mental illnesses and undergo treatment for the condition that they have developed. The truth is, millions of people have mental illnesses, and many of these individuals have incredible mental strength. Mental illness does not make you weak, and it does not mean you have weak mental strength.

Concluding Thoughts

Mental illnesses are real and can be deliberating. These conditions can also affect any person – young or old. Treatment can effectively alleviate symptoms, but most people with mental illness are not being treated. Unfortunately, many myths have been spread about mental illnesses, and many of these false facts are causing people to hesitate to undergo treatment for their condition.  If you or someone you know needs help, please know we are here.

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