Mental Health Myths

People with mental health problems are born this way

It is impossible to establish with accuracy what caused a mental health condition. Read more here.

Mental illness is caused by chemical unbalance

There are many factors that can contribute to the development of a mental condition:

– biological causes like brain injury, genetic inheritance and chemical unbalance

– psychological factors like traumatic or stressful experiences, dysfunctional learned associations and cognitions, distorted perceptions and maladaptive behaviours

– social and cultural factors such as poverty, disadvantaged social class, unemployment, discrimination/prejudice, inequality/unfairness

– spiritual disconnection from self and the others

Mental Health problems run in families

Mental health problems can affect anyone irrespective if they have a family history or not, in the same way people that have family members struggling with a mental health condition do not necessarily get ill themselves.

Children don't have mental health problems

Children are more sensitive than adults and, as they are still in development, they lack resources to cope with life adversities. Insecure attachment, performance anxiety, issues of belonging and inadequacy as well as neglect, abuse and overcontrolling parenting can leave children feeling lonely, fearful and traumatised and can impact their mental health throughout the years.

People with mental health problems are aggressive and dangerous

People with mental health problems are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. In fact, less than 5% of violent acts are attributes to people with mental health problems and they are 20 times more likley to be victims of aggression than the other people.

You can always spot a mental health problem

Often mental health problems are concealed. Stigma prevents people from talking about their experiences. The sooner someone becomes aware of what makes them unwell the better the outcome.

Mental illnes cannot be prevented

Mental health problems can be prevented. When poeple live in caring, compasionate and trauma free surroundings they  experience less anxiety and depression, they can improve family life and the overall quality of life and increase their lifespan.  Similarly, a low stress environment and good social support and fair treatment are known to increase productivity, to offer better educational outcomes, to ask for a lower health care costs and lead to stronger economies and lower crime rates.

Mental illness cannot be cured

With the right support mental health problems can be overcome and people can regain their wellbeing and balance in life. 

Medication is better than therapy

Psychotropic medication can help reduce some symptoms temporarily by changing the hormonal levels in the brain, but it does not cure a mental health condition for good. Therapy can also help improve mental health through changing thinking and behaviours, healing painful memories from the past and building confidence, self-esteen and a strong sense of self-worth. 

Better stay away from someone with mental health problems

It is very helpful to be there for people when they go through difficult times. A smile, an encouragement and a little sign of care and compassion can make a massive difference. See more resources here