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Can We Debunk Myths of Mental Illness?

When people openly discuss mental health, they are often met with awkward silence and stares. Mental illness is a highly stigmatized subject. Unfortunately, myths perpetuate the taboo. People with mental health disorders are written off as crazy and unstable. The misconceptions and stigma can prevent people from getting the help they need and deserve. In this blog, we’ll debunk four myths about mental illness.

Myth 1: “People With Mental Illness Are Dangerous.”

Despite what many think, people with mental illness are not any more dangerous than people without mental illness. According to Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, in cases of serious mental illness (SMI), other mitigating factors could explain most discrepancies between violence in the general population and the SMI population. The only group which was more likely to commit acts of violence were those with comorbid SMI and substance use disorder (SUD). However, with the help of treatment, people with SMI and SUD can get any violent impulses under control.

Myth 2: “Doctors Can’t Treat Personality Disorders.”

People with personality disorders often think that they’re doomed. After all, movies and TV shows write characters with these diagnoses as uncontrollable. On the occasions when these characters get treatment, it’s usually ineffective.

In reality, personality disorders are difficult but not impossible to treat. Talk therapy is the most effective intervention for personality disorders. Additionally, doctors can use medications to treat depressive or anxious symptoms. With proper care, people with personality disorders can live happy, functional lives.

Myth 3: “Prescription Drugs Aren’t Addictive.”

Many people believe that prescription drugs are safer than street drugs because they’re approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, prescription drugs can have a high propensity for addiction.

Some of the most addictive prescription drugs include opioids, stimulants, and benzodiazepines. All of these categories of drugs contain black box warnings, the most serious warning given by the FDA, about dependence and addiction. It’s important for people to strictly comply with their prescriptions and seek out treatment for prescription drug addiction.

Myth 4: “Mental Illness Treatment Is Restrictive and Painful.”

In the media, mental health facilities include padded rooms, lobotomies, straitjackets, and lots of needles. This restrictive and painful image likely scares people away from treatment. In reality, treatment facilities aim to keep individuals comfortable and happy. Often, the facilities follow guidelines dictated by health agencies or accreditation boards. They don’t use outdated practices like lobotomies and straitjackets. Instead, they use humane approaches like medications, therapies, and wellness practices.

Our society paints mental illness in a skewed, incorrect image. People are shamed by myths that just don’t reflect reality. If you live with mental illness, your self-esteem might be impacted by stigmatizing myths. You don’t have to struggle alone, though. The Guest House understands that people with mental illnesses are just that — people. Our amazing staff will treat you with compassion and empathy. You’ll have access to the highest-quality treatments available. Through psychoeducation, you’ll learn the truth about your illness. We remove the shame to promote healing. When you’re ready, call us at (855) 483-7800.