Nobody would understand or listen to my problems. They thought I was overreacting when I said I was anxious and depressed. I reached out to helplines, and then to a rehab clinic, which helped me realise that I was not alone, and I could recover. – Molly
Mental health is something that has become much more prevalent in recent years – people are speaking up, and seeking help, and it is finally beginning to get the attention it needs and deserves.
However, there are still common misconceptions and stigma surrounding mental health, which are largely based on outdated information and assumptions about mental disorders.
Here at the Executive Rehab Guide, we are determined to address the stigma and bust the common myths about mental health.
If you are struggling with mental health and addiction problems, please do not hesitate to reach out for support.
Call us today on 0808 1150 446.
7 common mental health myths:
1. Only certain people get mentally ill
There is a lot of stigma surrounding this myth – that only those who have had troubled past or are weak struggle with mental health.
A common misconception is that mental health is a test of strength, and mental illness is a weakness and inability to cope with normal struggles.
The reality is, anyone can suffer from mental illness. A mental disorder is not a lifestyle choice or a sign of poor character.
In the same way that someone with diabetes or a broken leg cannot just recover overnight, those with mental health issues will need time to recover from their condition too.
Life is full of hardships, and tough times – no one can honestly say that their life has been entirely perfect from the moment they were born.
Struggles are everyday, suffering from mental health is common too.
1 in 4 people worldwide experience mental health issues at some point in their lives. (Global Health Metrics)
Read the full report here.
Rather than being a weakness, fighting and combatting mental illness is a sign of great strength.
2. Physical health problems are far worse than mental health problems
This is completely untrue. All illnesses, whether physical or psychological, should be treated equally and with just as much medical care and attention.
So many people believe a severe physical illness like cancer or Parkinson’s to be worse than mental health issues, because they are physically debilitating and often fatal.
While physical conditions are serious, mental health is just as serious, and can also be fatal.
Mental health issues manifest themselves both psychologically and physically, and while they are not always ‘seen’, mental illnesses like anxiety and depression are just as serious as physical illnesses.
3. You cannot recover from mental illness
While many suffer from mental disorders for a prolonged amount of time, they are not permanent and will not last a lifetime.
Each and every individual experiences mental illness in their own way – for some, they may experience episodes, and for others, their mental illness may be more prolonged.
Recovery is more than possible and is a journey rather than a destination.
Seeking treatment for your mental health and addiction problems is vital to beginning on that journey.
4. People choose to drink and take drugs to deal with mental illness
This is one of the most harmful myths regarding mental illness: that people choose this lifestyle and choose to drink and take drugs to self-medicate.
Addiction and dual diagnosis is a chronic and serious disease that is not someone’s fault or choice.
For those with serious mental health issues, they feel they have no choice at all in fact, which can lead to a reliance on drugs and alcohol. More about dual-diagnosis.
If you, or someone you know is suffering from comorbidity – addiction and mental illness – it is vital that you call us today on 0808 1150 446.
We will be able to get you the help you need.
There is little help available for mental disorders
While in the past, mental health was brushed under the carpet, that is not the case now.
There is so much help available that can help individuals come to terms with and begin to recover from their mental disorders.
Support for mental health ranges from charities to local NHS services and support groups, to private residential rehabs.
Charities like MIND will have information about local support groups in your area. Find your local group.
Here at the Executive Rehab Guide, our addiction specialist team are here to help, wherever you are and whatever your circumstance.
Call us today on 0808 1150 446.
5. You only need a therapist if you have no friends
There is a significant difference between talking through your condition with a therapist and speaking with friends.
While communicating your feelings to loved ones such as friends and family can be helpful in a number of ways, a trained consultant psychiatrist can diagnose mental health conditions specifically, and help you get to the crux of your thought and behavioural patterns.
CBT for example, concentrates on the individual, and on developing constructive tools and ways of dealing with cravings and destructive thoughts.
6. Eating disorders are a lifestyle choice
This is one of the biggest and most toxic myths surrounding eating disorders.
Eating disorders are among the most complex mental illnesses to treat, and they can be fatal.
If someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, they have not chosen to suffer like this, and they need support and help to find treatment, rather than stigma or assumptive claims.
7. Mental health can be cured with willpower
Much like the myth that mental disorders are a lifestyle choice, this is also a harmful and completely false idea.
Mental health issues are not a choice, and neither can they be cured with willpower, or because someone wants to get better.
They are far more complex than that. Mental illness and addiction are chronic diseases that need to be medically treated.
We are here to listen
Mental health issues are often misconceived, but we are here as an ear to listen.
Our addiction specialist team are friendly unsympathetic and will provide impartial and confidential advice about treatment and services to best help you recover.
Call us today on 0808 1150 446.
See more like this:
- Dealing with the stigma of addiction
- How to approach a loved one about their addiction
- Addiction and shame
- Overcoming fears about rehab