Myths and facts about mental health

1st myth:

The mental illness means that guy is crazy and he is not really sick. A little control of himself, and discipline is all he needs to put some order in his life. We all pass difficult times but we managed to get out of it. Why would it be any different for him?

Reality: recent studies have revealed that a complex combination of genetic, biological, physical, and social would be the main elements contributing to the mental illness. There is no simple answer, but we can say that the ways in which the brain and body interact between them will have an impact on the symptoms. In addition, the mode of life, the family environment, the economic situation, the abuse of alcohol or other drug use, stress levels and the experience of traumatic events can influence the onset of symptoms or cause a relapse.

When a person breaks a leg, we know that she is hurt because she has the leg in plaster and it moves with crutches. We do not expect that it runs the marathon " exercising a bit of control over itself "; we do the blâmerions not if it was unable to get rid of his crutches. A person suffering from a disease patient suffers as much as a person who has fractured his leg, except that it did not plaster us saying that she is injured.

Mental illness has nothing to do with the " personal discipline ". Many mental illnesses are treatable, a combination of therapy, medication and support can prove to be very effective.

2nd myth:

The addiction to drugs and alcohol is caused by a lack of will.

Reality: This is false. Once again, research has shown that addiction to drugs and alcohol is caused by a variety of factors. Genetic factors, the social environment (e.g. family or friends), and perhaps an existing mental illness such as depression (called a concurrent disorder) can all contribute to addiction.

People who are dependent on substances will experience changes and the way their body feels the pleasure will be altered. When a dependent person does not consume drugs or alcohol, biological process and chemical is not satisfied, resulting in a significant state of lack. These gaps are not only emotional, but also physical. It requires a lot of courage, therapy and medication to overcome all the influences that have led to the addiction; it takes more than a little willpower.

3rd myth:

People with mental illness are less intelligent and are poorer than the rest of the population.

Reality: Completely false. Mental illness does not differentiate between the level of intelligence, socio-economic status, demography, education, religion, or sex. It can strike anyone, anywhere. No one is immune. Mental illness not treated, it can interrupt the personal journey and the possibilities of employment of a person; hence the importance of an assessment and therapy early.

4th myth:

Bad parenting causes mental illness.

Reality: We would like to repeat that mental illness is a condition which is complicated, resulting from a combination of genetic and biological factors and the social environment. Experts agree that many mental illnesses can be treated with the help of medication, therapy and support. Families also play a key role in participating in the healing process.

5th myth:

People with mental illnesses are violent and dangerous. If we rely on what the media tell us; it is not surprising that people are afraid when they meet someone who seems crazy.

Reality: This fear comes more media than reality. In truth, it is that the media have very little incentive to tell the story of the people non-violent with mental illness. However, statistics show that as a group, people with a mental illness are not more violent than any other group of the population. This would be instead of the people with mental illness who would suffer most as victims of violence than the general public because of the side effects caused by poverty, a nomadic way of life and problems of consumption of drugs and alcohol.

6th myth:

If a person is suffering from schizophrenia, she has multiple personalities. I've seen movies that prove it.

Reality: don't let Hollywood influence our understanding of schizophrenia; this disease has nothing to do with the disorders multiple personality. Schizophrenia is a brain disease a chronic that affects the ability to distinguish the true from the false. Thus, people with schizophrenia can have seizures, psychotic in the course of which they will suffer from hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. A proper treatment could, however, relieve these symptoms and prevent relapses. A person who has multiple personalities and suffers from a rare condition called multiple personality disorder.

7th myth:

Treatments with electroconvulsive therapy, are like torture. These types of treatments are inhumane, outdated and completely ineffective. They should be used to punish people and not to help them.

Reality: Few films produced a few years ago to support this point of view. However, research has shown that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is very effective in helping to treat some types of depression that do not respond to other methods. At a meeting of the TEC, the patients are asleep using anaesthetic and muscle relaxants are administered before the treatment. Once awake, patients have no recollection of the therapy.

8th myth:

Once you receive the diagnosis that you are suffering from a mental illness, you are crazy for the rest of your life.

Reality: If you have diabetes, can you have a normal life? No, of course not. Thanks to proper treatment and a healthy lifestyle, people with a physical illness such as diabetes can fully live their lives. Mental illness can also be treated. Through thorough assessment, treatment and appropriate support, people with mental illnesses can live a happy and productive life.

9th myth:

Everyone becomes depressed in age, this is part of the aging process.

Reality: We want to be clear about this myth, it is false. Depression is not an inevitable part of aging. This is not normal for an older person to lose interest in activities she used to love, to have sleep disorders or suffer a loss of energy unexplained. If an elderly person you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it may in fact be depressed. It is necessary to consult a physician to determine if the person suffers from depression or something else.

10th myth:

People with mental illnesses can't keep a job. It is also unfair to the other employees having to work with someone who is suffering from a mental illness because they may be afraid of upsetting the person. This creates a work environment tense for everyone.

Reality: The number of people absenting from work because of mental illness is not as high as for people with chronic diseases such as diabetes. In fact, most people are unaware that a colleague suffers from a mental illness and no special provision needs to be made. One of the main concerns for employers would be to ensure that the work environment is not stressful. Jobs very stressful events can serve as triggers for mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, depression and other diseases such as heart disease.

Employers ' socially responsible should support their employees by reducing as much as possible the stressors in the work environment and in helping those who are recovering from a mental illness in the hiring or reintegrating them into the workplace.

Prejudice and discrimination

These myths and many others marginalise people with mental illness from the rest of society. By continuing, we make a proof of discrimination against these people because they feel isolated and humiliated. If our society minimizes the impact of these diseases in our communities, we need to know the reality and change our own behavior.

What can we do to help?

Put an end to prejudice

We need to adopt new attitudes before they can change our behaviour. Take a step back and be more aware of our thoughts and opinions to be erroneous, that perpetuate the myths surrounding mental illness, and correct them. We can make a difference and remove the stigma that exists today.

  • To increase our awareness, we need to ask ourselves the following questions. Is it that we act as well with people suffering from mental illness?
  • Is it that I have stereotypes?
  • Is this what I trivialize or belittle their health problems?
  • Is it that I have an attitude offensive?
  • Is it that I deal with patronizing people with mental illness because unconsciously I think that I am "better" than they?