Dr. Jon Chandler
|Posted on January 11, 2021 at 9:00 AM|
10 myths about psych/mental heal debunked
Let us talk about our pick on 10 common myths around mental health heal that can or have generated the wrong perception about our mental health. Before going ahead, I would also like to add that during these COVID times, it is essential to understand that many mental health issues will likely keep rising more due to economic, health and social problems and we need to have a clear understanding that our mind works like our body: Some wounds heal completely and others may vary depending on the severity, but with help… things may work for the better. Now let us proceed to debunk myths!
• Myth: Mental health issues will not affect me or are rare.
-Fact: They are actually quite common and may affect you without knowing it. The government published a study that shows about 1 in every 5 American adults will experience a mental health issue, at some point in their lives. Children are not immune to them, either, as 1 in 10 young people have experienced depression and about 1 in 25 have lived with another serious mental illness. Just consider that SUICIDE is the 10th leading cause death in the USA. That is far more than homicides each year. Remember: mental issues are not always visible, or easy to spot.
• Myth: There is no hope for people who develop mental disorders as they will never recover.
Fact: Even as a student (everyone in the medical field is technically a student forever) we have already seen people recover from mental illness. Studies have shown that most people do get better, or make a full recovery and can function very well in society. With the appropriate treatments, services and support, recovery, or improvement in quality of life can occur.
• Myth: I can take a pill and not waste time with therapy and self-help.
Fact: Everyone is different and requires treatment according to their needs. Whether it is psychotherapy, medication, or both, varies per person, diagnosis, and treatment plan.
• Myth Mental health disorders are often life-long and difficult to treat
Fact: Not true, as always it varies per person and needs. Some disorders require medications for a period of under a year and some may be extended. Some medications can trigger withdrawal symptoms that can be worse that the original problem. It is important to discuss these issues with your doctor before being placed on a medication for a mental disorder and plan the length of time and tapering of the medication and also discuss therapies available.
• Myth: I can handle my own health problems, and if I can’t ,then I am weak.
Fact: People may have mild mental problems, but do not seek help for it as they have used traditional coping mechanisms (exercise, balanced diet, work, self-help, family/friend time, etc) and can continue with their normal life. Many problems can be mild and be easily solved by these traditional mechanisms.
But when your coping mechanisms are not enough to solve your problems or that your problems overwhelm your coping efforts that is when help is required. This is when your problems do not allow or limit you from doing your regular daily activities. We need to accept our human limitations and seek help when our coping skills are not enough for our problems. It is always better to treat early our problems early rather than later as they may get worse untreated. Just the act of seeking help proves you are not weak.
• Myth: Mental health problem are purely biological or genetic in nature.
Fact: Biological and genetic factors can influence but do not tell the whole picture. Your interaction with the environment and other biological factors can influence the way our mind works. Some mental health diseases can have genetic predisposition but might not necessarily mean you will manifest it.
• Myth: Mental illness can be treated by a preferred medical doctor (primary care physician)
Fact: They can help you with the treatment, but they generally do not have the vast experience as a specialist in the mental health care such as a psychiatrist or psychologist that can provide superior care in this area. This is why in medicine there are many specialties, to address specific issues and needs with the correct treatment and medications.
• Myth: Psychiatry only involves crazy people
Fact: Not necessarily, many patients have other illnesses that are not related to mental health and after correcting the problem or imbalance, they improve. Most patients have a mental illness as a side effect of another health condition.
• Myth: Psychiatrists don’t offer “talk therapy”
Fact: This is a common effective treatment used by psychiatrists. It is used alone or accompanied by other forms of treatments and therapy. Feel free to talk to them, they are there for you.
• Myth: Prevention does not work. Mental illnesses cannot be prevented.
Fact: Prevention is key, focusing on addressing risk factors that can affect the chances that young children or adults develop mental health problems can help to lead a healthier life. Promoting socio-emotional wellbeing in the youth leads to better productivity, lower crime, more success academically and economically, better lifespan and better quality of life.