Mental health is a topic that has been greatly stigmatized in the past. Thankfully, this stigma is starting to go away as more people open up about their struggles and seek help. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to destigmatize the topic of mental illness. This blog post will identify a few mental health myths that perpetuate stigma surrounding mental illness, as well as provide ways to overcome this stigma.
Mental Health Myths
Myths are commonly held beliefs that are not true. When it comes to the topic of mental health and mental illness, there are a variety of myths that have contributed to the stigma surrounding mental health. Some of the most common myths include:
Myth: People with mental health problems are dangerous, violent, and/or unpredictable.
Fact: Many people with mental health problems are productive members of society that are not predisposed to violence. Only a tiny percentage of people with mental health problems exhibit violent behaviors as a result of severe mental illness. However, people with mental illness are more likely to be the victim of a violent crime rather than the perpetrator.
Myth: Mental health problems are caused by weak personalities or character flaws, and people can just “snap out of it”.
Fact: Mental health problems, also known as mental illnesses, are just that: illnesses. This means that they are not caused by weak personalities or character flaws. It also means that they require treatment to alleviate symptoms. There have been several factors that have been identified to contribute to mental health problems such as genetics, physical illness or injury, brain chemistry, history of abuse or trauma, and a family history of mental illness.
Myth: There is no hope for someone with a mental illness.
Fact: There have been several studies that have shown people with mental health problems get better with the proper treatment and are able to fully participate in their community. In some cases, an individual can recover entirely from a mental health condition due to the availability of mental health treatments, services, and community support systems.
How to Overcome the Mental Health Stigma
To help overcome the stigma surrounding mental health it is important to talk openly about mental health. The more people talk about mental health as being an important part of overall health, the less stigmatized it will become. It may also be helpful to draw comparisons between mental and physical health, in order to help normalize mental health treatment.
Another way to overcome the mental health stigma is to choose empowerment when talking about your mental health and seeking treatment. This can reduce feelings of shame or guilt associated with having a mental illness because it shows that there are others struggling as well, who have been able to get treatment for their condition. It also helps other people realize they are not alone, and there are resources available to help them.
Reaching out to people with mental illness is another way to overcome the stigma surrounding their struggles. This can be done by offering respect, encouragement, support, and resources that may help them get treatment or cope with symptoms of their condition. You can also help people with a mental illness by learning about mental health and sharing these facts with others to combat misinformation.
Finally, you can join in the conversation about mental health on social media. This can be done by sharing helpful resources, news stories about mental illness, and your own story of overcoming the stigma surrounding mental health problems.
In this blog post, you have learned about the myths surrounding mental health and mental illness. You have also been provided with ways to help overcome these stigmas so that people can feel more comfortable talking openly about their struggles. Through understanding mental health myths and providing ways to reduce the stigma about mental health, it is our hope that someday soon stigma will no longer be associated with seeking mental health treatment.