Judged. Mocked. Discriminated.
These are real battles people with mental illness deal with every day because of stigma from society.
In fact, the Department of Health, as cited by Philippine Star in their article DOH: It’s time to talk about, address depression made an alarming statement, “We need to start talking about depression to end the stigma surrounding mental health because, when left unattended, it can lead to suicide.”
You can help your struggling friend, workmate, or family member with mental health problems. You just have to be willing to learn, unlearn, and relearn hard truths about it.
Take time to check out these 10 common myths on mental illness debunked by Beyond Small Talk hosts Peter Kairuz, Sonjia Calit, and Zenia Panahon.
Myth #1: Mental health problems can only be experienced at a certain age.
Truth: Mental health problems could manifest at any age. According to Mayo Clinic in their article Mental illness in children: Know the signs, like adults, children can also develop the same mental illness such as anxiety disorders, Schizophrenia, and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Myth #2: People with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable.
Truth: Not all who people who have mental health problems act violently. It still varies on the condition and MentalHealth.gov says in their article Mental Health Myths and Facts, “only 3%–5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness.”
Myth #3: People with mental health problems cannot deal with jobs and/or school.
Truth: There are people with mental health issues who are highly functional and productive members of society. This is why you should be sensitive to signs of mental illness in your loved ones.
Myth #4: Personality flaws are often cause of mental health issues. You could snap out of it over time.
Truth: Mental health issues can be sourced from different factors such as genetics, environment, socio-economic standing, and temperament, says Zenia Panahon.
Also, you can’t snap out of it. You need professional help and ongoing family support which are both vital toward healing from mental health issues.
Myth #5: Once you experience mental health problems, you will never get out of it.
Truth: Mental illness is treatable. If you seek help and gain support, you can recuperate from it.
Myth #6: Taking medications is the only answer.
Truth: Some recover from mental health issues solely with the help of friends, family, and mental health professionals, but there are others who also need medication.
Myth #7: It is impossible to prevent mental illness.
Truth: You cannot really control life’s trials and challenges, so there are times that it may push you to your limit.
But, Mayo Clinic explained in Mental Illness that “If you have a mental illness, taking steps to control stress, to increase your resilience and to boost low self-esteem may help keep your symptoms under control.”
Myth #8: Mental illness is a form of brain damage.
Truth: Brain damage is physical. Mental health is how you feel, behave, and think as a person.
Myth #9: I can’t do anything for people who have mental health issues.
Truth: You can do something about it by being a good support system to them. Show your support by learning how to deal with your loved ones who have mental health issues and accompanying them when seeking professional help, Zenia Panahon explained.
Myth #10: If I seek help, others would think I’m crazy.
Truth: When you seek help, you are investing in taking care of yourself, says Zenia Panahon.
Do you still have questions and clarifications?
If you’re facing an overwhelming barrage of challenges because of the pandemic and don’t know how to handle it, we want to pray for you. Just call the CBN Asia Prayer Center at 8-737-0-700.