ERG: Get the facts about rehab
For people with drug & alcohol problems

Must Read: Common Myths about Mental Illness

Common myths and stigma about mental health.

Stopping the Stigma: Busting Common Mental Health Myths

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, 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 out-dated 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 truly say that their life has been completely perfect from the moment they were born.

Struggles are normal, 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 serious 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.

Want to know more about your treatment options?

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.

Learn about the impacts of addiction on mental health.

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 – then 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.

Other mental health charities include:Helplines are available for mental health and addiction.

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.

What is a consultant psychiatrist and how can they help?

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:

About the Author

  • Alison is an experienced addiction treatment specialist with over 25 years of experience. She is very knowledgeable about what help is available both privately and within the NHS.

    She is passionate about helping others to beat their demons and to live a long healthy sober life. Alison is a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous and is happy to waive her right to anonymity to help users of this website.

    Alison is a very active and important member of our team at ERG. To talk to Alison please see livechat (bottom right).