6 misconceptions about mental illness that you need to know



Mental illness is a condition that continuously or frequently disturbs one’s emotions and mood.

We are all familiar with the term ‘mental illness’ or ‘mental disorder’ but do not accept it as a natural body reaction like that of a physical disorder.

There are numerous myths on mental illnesses and their treatment. Knowing more about these myths can encourage people to seek treatment for mental illnesses, which can improve their functioning as well as their physical health and quality of life.

So, here are some of the common misconceptions people make that you need to stop believing.

Myth 1: There is no hope for people with mental health problems. Once a friend or family member develops mental health problems, they will never recover.

Fact: Studies show that people with mental health problems get better and can recover. There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and they can help the individual heal from emotional trauma and related mental health illnesses.

Myth 2: Therapy and self-help are a waste of time. Why bother when you can just take a pill?

Fact: Treatment for mental health illnesses varies depending on the individual and can include medication, therapy, or even both. Many individuals also prefer to work with a support system like a self-help group during the healing and recovery process.

Myth 3: Anyone can develop a mental illness.

Fact: There is no immunity to mental illness. Not everyone develops a mental illness during their lives, however we cannot get vaccinated for the same either. No experience is lesser than another and can lead an individual to feel troubled or emotionally disturbed. This is when we need to look for signs and symptoms for metal health illnesses and seek professional help.

Myth 4: Mental illnesses are brought on by a weakness of character.

Fact: Mental illnesses are a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors, often beyond an individual’s circle of control. No character specifications are defined in mental health dictionaries and hence weakness of character can’t qualify as a trigger for mental illness.

Myth 5: Mental health treatment is very expensive and often not fruitful.

Fact: Mental health treatment is looked at as less affordable, however at the same time it is also neglected more than anything else. More than being expensive, it is looked at as less necessary and that is why it seems more expensive to pay a minimum amount to a psychologist than paying it to a physician. Sessions with therapists start from minimum affordable ranges and all that is required is to look at it as being more important and less of a taboo.

Myth 6: Prevention doesn’t work. It is impossible to prevent mental illnesses.

Fact: Prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioural disorders focuses on addressing known risk factors such as exposure to trauma. This can reduce the chances that children and young adults will develop mental health problems. Promoting the socio-emotional well-being of children and youth leads to:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved academic performance
  • Balanced lifestyle outcomes
  • Better family dynamics etc.


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