Five common myths about mental health

Mental health is still seen as a very ‘taboo’ subject all over the globe. It can be hard for people to comprehend the idea of mental health problems without having experienced it themselves, and this can often lead to stigma and the concept that if you can’t see the illness, it doesn’t exist.

Whilst there is tolerance in the world about mental health, there are also quite a few myths that have popped up about it. We take a look at the top five below as suggested by Rethink Mental Illness.

1. There are reasons behind your mental health problems

Although some problems with mental health can triggered by a particular event, this is not always the case. Some instances of mental health will have no obvious cause and it can be because of physical factors, such as genetic make-up or traumas to the brain.

2. Having depression is the same as feeling sad

When someone says they are feeling depressed, it’ll sometimes be them trying to express that they are feeling sad. What some people won’t realise is that being sad and being depressed are two very different things. Everyone has ups and downs in their life but being depressed can affect your ability to do simple daily tasks such as making a cup of tea.

3. Only adults experience real mental health problems

Some will say that children and young people are too young to experience any real sense of mental health issues and it will often be mistaken for them being attention-seeking or overreacting about things. According to Rethink Mental Illness, as many as one in ten children and young people will experience mental health issues which are genuine.

4. Only weak people get mental health problems

Time to Change suggest that one in four of us will experience some form of mental health problem in our lifetime. Regardless of whether you’re particularly strong-minded or confident, mental health issues can affect anyone at any time.

5. Mental illness is an excuse for being lazy

It is very common for an individual to assume that people with mental illnesses are lazy. If you are being affected by your mental health, it will make you more lethargic and it will be harder to get out of bed in the morning. It can also affect your ability to go to work.

With mental illnesses being invisible, it can be incredibly difficult for someone who hasn’t experienced it to assume that people with a mental health issue have all of the above. If we can change just one attitude towards mental health, and eliminate these myths, we would have made a massive difference.

To read more about common myths and other facts about mental health, you can check out the Rethink Mental Illness and Time to Change websites.