7 Common Misconceptions About Mental Health Disorders

A Baltimore Therapist Sets the Record Straight on Different Mental Health Disorders

Talking about different mental health issues can be difficult for many people. Part of this may come from the negative stigma that still affects people with mental illness today. But seeking treatment for your mental health can help you deal with negative emotions and situations that affect your everyday life. In order to help remove the stigma on these mental health issues, a leading Baltimore therapist reviews the top 7 myths that are still being spread about mental illness today. 

7 Myths About Mental Illness That People Need to Stop Believing

Baltimore therapist examines the most common misconceptions about mental health disorders

people in a casual meeting

Unfortunately, there are still a number of misconceptions and myths surrounding mental illness and the people who are affected by it. In order to erase the stigma that continues to harm people struggling with a mental health disorder, a Baltimore therapist debunks some of the most pervasive myths surrounding them. 

1. People struggling with mental illness are dangerous

The connection between mental illness and violence is typically misunderstood and oversimplified. Contrary to what is often shown in films and TV shows, most people with mental health issues are not violent or dangerous. Only 3% to 5% of patients with a severe mental health disorder have been connected with violent acts. Most people who did commit violent acts were also abusing drugs or alcohol and were not undergoing treatment. 

In fact, people who suffer from serious mental health conditions are more likely to become victims, rather than perpetrators, of violence. Factors such as homelessness or an unsafe living environment can increase one’s risk of becoming a victim of violence. 

2. Children don’t experience problems with their mental health

young child and teacher in classroom

Mental health disorders such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can affect anyone, regardless of their age. While most people associate ADHD with children, there are numerous other mental health conditions that can affect young adolescents. These conditions can interfere with your child’s ability to learn and form friendships. 

If you notice the following symptoms in your child, they might be struggling with a mental health disorder: 

  • Persistent sadness lasting two or more weeks
  • Outbursts and bouts of irritability
  • Dramatic changes in mood or behavior
  • Poor performance in school

3. Having a mental illness is indicative of a personal flaw

The belief that people with mental health issues are simply weak or lazy is still prevalent today. However, people do not develop mental illnesses as a result of any personal flaw or misstep in character. Genetics, trauma, physical illness, abuse, and other factors can increase one’s risk of developing mental health problems rather than a personal fault that someone might have. 

4. It is impossible to prevent mental health problems down the line 

woman practicing yoga

By identifying potential risk factors such as trauma or having a family history of mental illness, you can take steps to improve your mental health and prevent future issues from developing down the line. 

You need to make sure you are following an adequate diet, proper sleep schedule, and exercise routine. Surrounding yourself with positive friends and family members can also help you manage your mental health much easier. Practicing meditation and mindfulness exercises can also help you learn how to calm yourself down during stressful situations. 

If you feel you need counseling or therapy to assist you through some of the events occurring in your life, do not hesitate to reach out to your physician for help. 

5. Some mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, are untreatable

For some people, treating and coping with their mental illness is a long and difficult journey. People with treatment-resistant depression, for instance, do not experience relief from certain types of medication. However, that doesn’t mean that their condition is not treatable. 

There are a wide variety of treatments out there for people suffering from different mental health conditions. With hard work and dedication, it is possible for these people to manage their symptoms and lead healthy lives. 

6. People will fake mental illness for depression

Mental health issues are still widely misunderstood among others in this country. As a result, many people assume that people with depression and anxiety are faking or exaggerating their symptoms for sympathy. But accusing someone of faking mental illness for attention is comparable to believing someone with cancer or a broken bone is faking their health problems. Most people do not seek out attention by claiming to have a mental illness, nor do they wish to have one in the first place. 

7. You just need medication, not therapy

While some people who rely solely on medication experience great results, this is not always the case. Some patients require a mixture of medication and therapy. Others require treatments like TMS or ECT. This all depends on a person’s unique circumstances and needs. 

If you are struggling with mental health issues, it might be time to sit down and talk to a Baltimore therapist. Contact the team at the Psych Associates of Maryland to schedule an appointment


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