There are many misconceptions and myths floating around about mental illness. As a result, discrimination is an obstacle that many people with a mental health condition are forced to face. At LETSS, we believe in breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness. To do so, we have compiled an article on some of the commons myths surrounding mental illness.

Myth 1. Mental health conditions are incurable

There is treatment for mental illness and it does not have to be forever! Nowadays, there are plenty of treatment and support options including therapy, counselling, medication, and other alternatives. The most important thing is to seek help and talk to someone such as a health professional about your options.

Myth 2. Mental illness isn't real

You wouldn't say 'just get over it' or 'you're faking it for attention' to someone with a broken leg and neither should you to someone with a mental health condition. Although the symptoms may not always be physical or obvious to an outsider, mental illness is real and should be taken just as seriously as any other health condition,

Myth 3. Mental illness is for weak people

On average, mental illness can affect one in five Australians at some point in their lives. Given the facts, mental illness isn't about weakness or personality flaws, but rather anyone can be affected by mental illness. The cause of mental illness is complex and can depend on a variety of factors including genetic, biological, social, and environmental factors.

Myth 4. People with mental illness are 'violent' or 'dangerous'

Research has shown that most people with a mental illness are no more likely to be violent than people who do not have a mental health condition. In fact, people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of crime, then they are to be perpetrators of violence.

Myth 5. I can't do anything for someone with a mental health condition

When a loved one gets diagnosed with a mental health condition, you may often feel powerless and unsure of how to help. However, reaching out and being supportive can make a huge difference. As well as being supportive, you can encourage them to speak to a health professional and help them to access mental health care services.

References

(Image from Unsplash by Lina Trochez)

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/causes-of-mental-illness

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/mental-health-problems-introduction/stigma-misconceptions/#.XNFfNY4zaUn

https://psychcentral.com/blog/8-misconceptions-about-mental-health-and-mental-illness/

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/mental-health-myths-facts

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-pubs-w-whatmen-toc~mental-pubs-w-whatmen-myth

https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201511/the-5-most-common-misconceptions-about-mental