Mental Health: Debunking Myths and Stating Facts
By: Elias Azizi, Contributing Writer
A human’s mind is such an intricate and important system. It’s abilities are simply profound, as it is the control center of the body, so one must always maintain good mental health. Due to the current COVID 19 pandemic, individuals' mental health have started to decay. During these times, mental health is being focused on more and more, since many people around the world are currently facing mental health related issues. Therefore, it is important for one to be able to understand the myths and facts about mental health, so that one can understand it better and be able to identify it in others. In this article, I will be debunking several common mental health myths and stating the facts.
Myth 1: Prevention doesn’t work. It is impossible to prevent mental illness.
Yes, mental illness can sometimes be incredibly severe, and seem unpredictable, but it can be prevented with certain measures and steps. Firstly, a great way to prevent mental illness is by finding ways to boost your self confidence. A lack of self confidence tends to be common among younger individuals, as well as adults. A low self-esteem can be detrimental to one, as it can make them less social, and more prone to other mental illnesses. Therefore, it is important for one to be able to have a high self-esteem and confidence. A good way to boost your self-esteem is by acknowledging any success and rewarding yourself for success. For example, if you aced your most recent math test, that success would increase your self confidence, and you can in turn reward yourself for your great work. These types of small rewards don’t have to be too big. Something as small as a pat on the back is enough to raise one’s self esteem.
Myth 2: Mental illnesses are just an excuse for bad behaviour.
This myth likely describes the behaviour of children and teenagers due to mental illness. Similarly, many people falsely believe that people fake mental illnesses just for attention, which is absolutely incorrect. When it comes to mental illnesses, since they are illnesses that affect the brain, and our thinking, it can sometimes take over our emotions and seemingly manipulate our feelings. Random outbursts in anger or sadness can be caused by mild to severe mental illness. Bad behaviour from individuals with mental illnesses may just be ways to cope with their disorder or a way to suppress the pain and symptoms of a mental illness. If mental illness ever causes one to have a personality or behavioral change, it may be best to seek further medical assistance to understand the true severity of the illness.
Myth 3: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is just a military disease.
This one is obviously extremely false. PTSD is something anyone can have; it all depends on the past experiences that one faced. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is caused when one faces a traumatic, or frightening experience in the past. A traumatic event does not just have to be military related. Other examples of traumatic experiences are things like rape, facing a natural disaster, or getting mauled by a bear. Even individuals who simply observed a traumatic experience can be affected by PTSD; one does not have to be directly harmed or impacted. All humans, and possibly even animals, can be victims of traumatic events, and therefore can be affected by PTSD. Although PTSD is more commonly referred to when talking about soldiers and battles, it is important for one to understand that it can affect anybody of any age.
The three myths stated in this article are not the only ones. There are hundreds of myths related to mental illness, but these three are likely the biggest ones. After reading this article, one is able to further understand the truth about mental illness, and avoid believing any inaccurate myths. The current pandemic that we’re part of is taking a toll on the mental health of everyone. If you and anyone you know is facing a mental health related illness, seek help for them. A common theme in this article is that if mental health becomes too serious, seek help. Mild mental health disorders may seem harmless, but they can develop into more serious dilemmas. During these times, your mental and physical health should be your priority, so make sure you keep them healthy.