Do you know the difference between a mental health myth and fact?
Learn the truth about some of the most common mental health myths below
#1 Depression is the same as being sad
People with depression might feel sad, but they also experience a whole range of difficult physical and mental symptoms that can include hopelessness, anxiety, extreme tiredness, no motivation or enjoyment, problems with sleep, eating and concentration, and frightening and negative thoughts.
#2 People with Anxiety should avoid stress
Stress can increase Anxiety, however seeing yourself as fragile, avoiding stress and situations that cause anxiety will only make it worse in the long run. Treatment for Anxiety usually involves gradually and safely exposing you to your fears, so you can learn to cope with and reduce these.
#3 Children will outgrow ADHD
Although ADHD is well known in children, adults can also have ADHD. It is estimated that around 15% of the children with ADHD will continue to have the full diagnosis in adulthood and about 60 – 80% will still have symptoms of ADHD when they are adults. Often, the hyperactivity symptoms of ADHD reduce when children get older, but the inattention symptoms often remain.
#4 Stress is a sign of success
We live in a society where busyness and stress seem to be worn like a badge of honour, showing how important and hardworking we are. However, while a little bit of stress and stimulation can motivate us to perform better, too much stress can quickly overwhelms us and lead us to burn out. So remember to take a break.
#5 People with autism can’t understand emotions
People with autism perceive and communicate emotions differently. They might not be able to detect emotions based on the someone’s body language or tone of voice. However, when emotions are communicated more directly, people with autism are much more likely to understand emotions.
#6 People with Psychosis are often violent or dangerous
While this is how psychosis is often portrayed in films and TV shows, actually people with psychosis are often very frightened and it is more likely that they will be the victim of violence or of harm to themselves than to anyone else.
#7 Everyone is a bit OCD
Lots of people say they are OCD when really they mean they like to keep things clean and organised. In reality OCD is a serious and very distressing illness. People with OCD might have cleanliness rituals but they don’t enjoy them, they do it to relieve frightening thoughts and feelings of anxiety. Someone who scrubs their hands may be doing so because they truly believe that if they fail to wash them properly, they will catch or pass on an illness that will kill those that they love.
#8 Eating disorders are just a phase young people will grow out of
Eating disorders are serious mental health illnesses that are unlikely to get better without specialist treatment. Eating disorders claim more lives than any other mental illness and should be taken very seriously. However, it is possible to make a full recovery with the right support.
#9 People who self-harm are just attention seeking
Self-harming is often a coping strategy that people use to help them manage difficult feelings or experiences, normally this is very private and personal. Sometimes people Self-harm because they find it hard to ask for help in other ways. This doesn’t mean they don’t need someone support or positive attention.
Need help now?
Need help now?
If you need to speak to someone urgently call your GP or family doctor!
NHS 24/7 helpline : 0800 038 5300
Childline up to 19 yrs: 0800 1111
The Samaritans: 116 123
In an emergency go to A&E or call 999