What does mental health remind you of? Bunch of mad people spending their entire lives in mental hospitals? It is astonishing to see the attitude of people towards mental health ,especially given the high number of myths associated.
Myths related to mental health are extensive and unless these myths are busted or not properly brought to awareness of how wrong they are; they might lead to serious consequences for the people involved.
Here we deal with some of the basic myths related to mental health.
- MENTAL ILLNESSES ARE NOT CURABLE
Probably the oldest myth associated with psychiatric disorders. The fact remains that mental illnesses have known causes - genetic, biological, situational and many others - and they have well defined symptoms which can be treated. One really has to go out and see what is causing the disorder and with the help of a professional find the best way for treatment and cure. There is always a cure available; one just needs to seek help for it.
- PEOPLE WILL CALL ME "CRAZY"
Crazy is a generic term. We all tend to be a little bit crazy at times. Infact many people take it as a compliment! Jokes apart, no one will brand you if you seek help for discomfort. Just because you fracture a leg, you don’t become lame forever; if you have a temporary discomfort in one ear it doesn’t make you deaf; so similarly, having a mental difficulty doesn’t make you crazy. It is just like any other disorder, you are diagnosed, assessed and treated. As simple as that.
- I CAN HANDLE MY OWN PROBLEMS-ALWAYS
No one is doubting your ability and a part of the sentence might actually be true. We all have certain coping mechanisms and we try our best to cope with issues. Sometimes it might work. However when the problem persists despite your efforts to combat it,it is then when the professional should come in. We all have limitations and seeking help doesn’t in any way signify that we are weak. It just highlights our efforts to lead a happy and healthy life.
Imagine this; you experience some discomfort in your stomach, you try your best to take the right antacids and the usual course you take when your tummy aches; but what happens when the pain persists for over a week. You need to go see a doctor and it might be possible that the doctor diagnoses a severe stomach infection. After all you DID need a professional’s help. similar is the case for mental disorders and discomforts.
- IT IS UNCOMMON, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME
The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) Bangalore estimates that over two crore Indians need help for severe mental disorders, while a further five crore suffer from mental illnesses considered not very serious. These figures do not include the age-progressive disorders such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons. The numbers say it all.
- I WILL BE HOSPITALIZED, CHAINED, THAT WILL BE THE END OF IT ALL.
Thanks to crappy cinematic portrayals, this myth has become a belief. Most of the mental disorders do not require hospitalization. Hospitalization is needed only in extreme cases where the person is a risk to themselves or to others (suicidals, extreme schizophrenia, extreme depression and the likes). Otherwise hospitalization is hardly the route taken. And absolutely no one requires to be bound by chains.
All in all it has to be realized what our troubles are and seek help for it. Mental health is necessary not only for everyday functioning but also for leading a satisfactory, happy and healthy life. It is woven into our well being.