Mental Health Myths and Facts

mental health myths and facts

Mental Health: Six Common Myths and Facts

About 1 in every 5 American adults experiences mental illness in a year’s time, according to National Alliance on Mental Illness. The report also notes that 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. experiences more serious mental illness every year.

What is Mental Illness?

Mental health covers a myriad of issues including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder and certain phobias
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse disorders

There are many misconceptions about mental illness. Here are some myths and facts about mental health.

Myth 1: Mentally ill individuals are violent.

Fact: Mentally ill people are no more likely to be violent and unpredictable than others, but the odds are higher that they will be victims of violent crime.

Myth 2: Mentally ill people can’t deal with the stress of daily life such as holding down a job.

Fact: Those with mental health problems can be as productive as others, including on the job. When treated effectively, mentally ill employees can experience increased productivity and lower absenteeism.

Myth 3: Mental illness is a sign of a person’s weak character or personality.

Fact: Being mentally ill is just as real as having cancer. Contributing factors include brain chemistry, physical illness, trauma, history of being abused and genetic predisposition, as when there’s a mental health problem in the family history.

Myth 4: You can tell when a person is mentally ill.

Fact: Individuals with mental illness problems can look and act “normal”.

Myth 5: A mentally ill person can’t ever get better.

Fact: In fact, people with mental health issues can get better and might even reach full recovery. Treatment, community services and support systems can make a difference.

Myth 6: All a mentally ill person needs is to take the right pill.

Fact: Depending on a person’s issues, treatment can include medication, therapy, or a combination of the two.

Learn More

Other articles that may be of interest:

Depression and Anxiety Symptoms and Treatment

The Vicious Cycle of Poor Sleep, Depression and Chronic Pain

About Barbara Howington

In a 40-year career that began as editor for a college public affairs department, Barbara has been an instructional media script writer, public relations director, marketing manager, account manager, and co-owner of a graphic design, marketing and public relations firm. For the past several years, she has funneled her knowledge and insight into copywriting, her favorite part of every professional position she’s held.