Mental Health Awareness Month
As a mental health professional I look forward to May each year! Mental health and wellness isn’t spoken about nearly enough, and when it is, there’s often much stigma and misinformation involved.
Let’s kick off the month by debunking some mental health myths! While each person’s experience with mental illness is unique, these are some common misconceptions:
Truths about these misconceptions:
❌“Mental illness is a weakness.”
✅ Mental illnesses are medical disorders and have nothing to do with being weak or strong.
❌”People with anxiety just need to relax.”
✅ Chronic anxiety can be debilitating. Treatment is often multifaceted and isn’t an order to “relax.”
❌”People with depression are just lazy.”
✅ Laziness is a choice; depression is not. Sometimes depression is reactive and sometimes it has no traceable origin.
❌”Therapy is for broken people.”
✅ Talk therapy is a means by which people can explore beliefs, behaviors, emotions, relationship issues, and somatic responses. Nothing has to be “wrong” with you to seek therapy. Oh, and no one is ever “broken.”
❌”Medication is for crazy people.”
✅ Psychotropic medications can be help restore the balance of neurotransmitters within the brain, and are common in treatments for various mental illnesses. Taking medication doesn’t make you “crazy.”
❌”People with mental illness lack willpower.”
✅ Recovering from mental illness often takes so much more than willpower. Mental illness is not something that you can escape if you just “try hard enough.”
🤔 Can you think of any other myths that perpetuate mental health stigma? Feel free to share your thoughts below.