Everybody nowadays is talking about mental health and how it is crucial for our well-being. Still, nobody talks about the misconceptions related to it and how to clear them out. In a society like ours, there is a stigma attached to mental health and insufficient public awareness. So people suffer a lot. Let’s point out some misconceptions about mental health.
It’s Not Always about the Extreme Issues:
People think that unless you exhibit the most extreme version of a mental illness, you don’t have it. Mental illness is a spectrum ranging from mild to moderate and then extreme levels.
Depression doesn’t Hold People Back:
It is thought that depression is the end of life. A depressed person will always rely on others and roll in gloom all the time. His life is stagnant and all he does is to cry and be sad. THAT’S NOT TRUE. A person would be normal just like others, excelling in studies and job responsibilities.
You’re Fine if You are Smiling:
If a person is smiling or talking or actively participating in life, it doesn’t mean he cannot have a mental health problem. He might only be smiling to avoid your questions. He might be smiling so you don’t take his mental illness for madness. He might be smiling to convince his inner self that he is fine.
These are Resistant to Cure:
The biggest misconception about mental health is that depressed and anxious people do not want to get better. Instead, all they want is to get better, to get out of the darkness and take control over their life. Some days are good and some days are bad, but nothing is worse than disregarding a person as someone who wants to voluntarily wallow in his sadness. Nobody wants to. It’s just a really big struggle.
The Stigma of Eating Disorders:
It is not a choice for individuals to be anorexic or super skinny. They can’t eat because they feel guilty. It’s totally not in their control. They struggle hard with eating and weight management.
Anybody can have an Eating Disorder:
People with eating disorders not always look terribly thin. A person could be struggling even if he looks totally normal. Don’t assume that someone eats a lot just because how he looks. More could be going on underneath the surface than you know.
Seeking Help is Weak:
It is NOT weak to seek help for mental illness, to reach out to people to save them from getting deeper into their thoughts. It actually takes a lot of bravery and courage in these times when mental health is a stigma.
It’s Not Attention-Seeking:
People believe mental illness to be an attention seeking act. What mental illnesses really are; all the attempts to keep attention on themselves so that no one notices they aren’t okay. They are told that their anxiety is something made up to avoid responsibilities. Their mental illness is labeled as fake. And when they don’t speak about their illness they are constantly asked, ‘Why don’t you speak up about it if it’s so real?’ They don’t speak because their feelings are invalidated due to the fact that others are not suffering.
Loved Ones cannot Heal Them:
Sometimes, near and dear ones of the depressed individuals are offended because their presence doesn’t heal them. They feel responsible for improving the mental state. Mental illness doesn’t work like that. It is more like an inner battle. It’s not that they are ‘not enough’; it is just that there are many other factors involved.
Depression is Not an Emotion:
Depression is confused with sadness and that people can get over it in one day. It’s not true. It requires a whole process to get fixed.
The bottom line is DON’T JUDGE because you don’t know what others are going through.