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  • A man by the name of Thomas Szasz published a book in 1961 called, The Myth of Mental Illness,

  • discussing his belief that mental illnesses were unnecessary diagnosis used to excuse the behavior of moral and socially deficient people.

  • Some people still have this view of mental illnesses,

  • but the majority of the public have gotten to understand over the years what a mental illness is really about.

  • Although we have come to a better understanding of it, there's still tons of myths about it that can have harmful effects on the treatment of those with psychological conditions.

  • So, today, we'll be talking about 5 harmful myths about mental illnesses.

  • 1. People with mental disorders are likely to be violent.

  • The Sun, a newspaper in the United Kingdom, released an article saying that over 1,200 had been killed

  • by people with mental illnesses in the past 10 years in England.

  • The statistics were true, but what they failed to inform was that 97% of the accounted deaths were from suicides.

  • In actuality, criminal behavior in people with mental illnesses is very small,

  • and mentally ill people are the ones who are more likely to experience domestic violence and sexual abuse.

  • They're more likely to suffer an intense psychological reaction to being victimized.

  • 2. People can pull themselves out of a mental illness if they really wanted to.

  • A popular myth, especially with people with depression and anxiety,

  • is just that the person is being over-sensitive and could easily fix the problem.

  • This is where the phrases, "They just want attention" or "They like feeling miserable" come into play.

  • Mental illnesses often have a genetic factor that influences the predisposition and chemical imbalances that can't easily be conquered by sheer willpower.

  • It's difficult to even take the first step by seeking help,

  • and working up the courage to even admit to yourself that there's a serious problem.

  • Finding a therapist and having to go through a trial and error process that takes up a large amount of time is difficult as well.

  • Some people even choose to fight it themselves.

  • Dealing with a mental illness can be scary, emotionally draining and exhausting.

  • Having to pull yourself together and fighting through, while taking any ounce of support you can get... is quite difficult.

  • 3. Love and support are the absolute cures to mental illnesses.

  • Therapists and doctors will always tell you that social support is a very important factor when it comes to the recovery process,

  • but it may not always be the surefire way to fix someone's mental illness.

  • We've all seen movies where a child with a serious behavioral problem or a girl who suffers from emotional outbursts

  • is made completely better by the end of the movie

  • because someone went out of their way to inspire a sudden realization that they, too, can be loved.

  • It's a touching concept, but if you expect this in real life, you'll be thoroughly disappointed.

  • They can be afraid of rejection in socialization. Although it's great having someone helping and supporting you along your fight, showing that they care about you,

  • a mentally ill person could have a hard time even believing that in the first place.

  • Expecting progress from showing love and affection on the same level support every single day will be harder,

  • especially on a particularly bad day for the person that's being helped.

  • 4. Having a mental illness is a social death sentence.

  • The awareness of mental illnesses and what causes them has more than doubled since the 1950s.

  • Mental illnesses have become highly aware of and have become more acceptable.

  • More so than physical illnesses in some cases.

  • Some even see it that having a mental illness is a sign of a greater understanding of what it means to be a human being.

  • Ardilla Gomez found that even living near a place that offers mental health services can raise the rates of acceptance and understanding from 21% to over 80% of the population.

  • People without mental illnesses are understanding what some people go through and are willing to go out of their way to help if they can.

  • 5. You will become your label.

  • This is a big fear when it comes to making the decision of going to a mental health professional.

  • Instead of a person, you'll feel labeled as a manic-depressive, an anorexic, a schizophrenic, etc.

  • Some clients end up feeling like they aren't seen and valued as a person.

  • Rogerian therapists have pushed for first-person terminology. For example, instead of "an autistic child" you use "a child with autism".

  • This puts emphasis on the person and not the illness.

  • Some researchers have even debated if telling their clients their official diagnosis is beneficial for their recovery process.

  • If the client is feeling like the mental disorder itself is the only thing that his or her therapist or doctor is focused on,

  • it's highly recommended that they find a new one.

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B1 US mental mental illness illness people understanding mentally ill

5 Myths about Mental Illnesses

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/04/03
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