We’re mythbusting some common mental health misconceptions during Mental Health Week (9-15 October 2016). Education and understanding are vital to help empower people with mental illness.
MYTH: Mental illness only affects a few people.
MYTH: Depression and other illnesses, such as anxiety disorders, do not affect children or adolescents. Any problems they have are just a part of growing up.
FACT: Children and adolescents can develop mental illnesses. Depression is one of the most common conditions in young people and increases during adolescence.
MYTH: Depressed people are just lazy or weak. They need to pull themselves together and stop feeling sorry for themselves.
FACT: When people are clinically depressed, they can’t ‘snap out of’ it anymore than they can ‘snap out of’ an ulcer or diabetes. Although we don’t know the exact cause of clinical depression, we do know it is a medical illness with biological components. We also know that genetics and certain brain chemicals play a part. In short, we know enough to treat it effectively. Source: West Virginia University
MYTH: Some people are just worrywarts, and there is nothing that can really make any difference.
FACT: Therapy can help you reduce worry and suffering and learn a different relationship to your own thoughts, regardless of your temperament and how long neurotic habits have been in your life. Source: The Anxiety and Depression Association of America
MYTH: People with mental illness are violent.
FACT: People with a mental illness are no more violent or dangerous than the rest of the population. People with a mental illness are more likely to harm themselves – or to be harmed – than they are to hurt other people.
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800