Top 10 myths about mental health

4 Jan

Myths unicorn

What are the top ten myths about mental health? What are the “zombie facts” about mental illness – the ones that keep rising from the dead again and again no matter what evidence is put forward to show that they’re unfounded rubbish? I decided to ask Twitter.

I threw a few of my favourites into the pot, using the hashtag #Top10Myths, to start the debate off, including these ones:

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People with depression just need to pull themselves together/man up & they’ll be fine”

“Anyone who commits a heinous crime must be mentally ill” (which I’ve explored in several previous blog posts, such as this one and this one)

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And here’s what came back from the wonderful Twitter people. Some real corkers and brilliant insights into the prejudice and stigma surrounding mental illness. Well worth a read! Here are a few examples:

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“Eating disorders are ‘diets gone wrong’, and only affect priveleged young girls who want to be attractive.” Bexatron (@DuckBeaki)
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That people with MH issues can’t be good parents.” Rachel Gall (@MissusGall)
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“That being a bit fastidious is ‘OCD’.” Manchester Mind (@ManchesterMind)
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“That we’re fascinating and creative and having bipolar is a total blast.” Chikakane (@Wondermare)
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“The classic has to be schizophrenia = multiple personalities.” Lord Rantsalot (@LordRantsalot)
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“Bipolar disorder is basically being a SUPER CREATIVE GENIUS! then depressed sometimes.” Seaneen (@brain_opera)
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Take a read and see what you think. Do you agree these are myths? Or do you really think they’re true?Myth vs truth

If you have any of your own myths about mental health to add, tweet me (@Sectioned_ – remember the underscore) using the hashtag #Top10Myths, or comment in the blog below.

I’ll be putting them together into a top 10 – or, better yet, putting a selection to the public vote and see which ones are most popular. Watch this space for more.

And remember, you can tweet me or comment below.

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6 Responses to “Top 10 myths about mental health”

  1. annabelwilletts 5 January 2013 at 12:32 am #

    My mental health myths:

    You managed to get out bed, make yourself look presentable… There’s nothing wrong with you, just get on with it.

    People with mental health conditions are just attention seekers.

    Depression is just feeling sad.

    Everyone has depression sometimes.

    Get a grip, pull yourself together etc.

    Depression is not a physical illness just mental.

    Anti-depressants are addictive.

    **great job on this!!**

    @annabelwilletts on twitter

    • Sectioned 6 January 2013 at 12:03 am #

      Brilliant! Thanks for your comments 🙂

  2. physiotom 6 January 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    Great article, important that we challenges these misconceptions.
    One other myth is that having a mental health condition explains everything that’s wrong with you. Some people only see the MH diagnosis and nothing else.
    This can be especially true with managing painful conditions. We know mood and mental health can play a big role in pain but that doesn’t mean there can’t be physical factors at play too. After all having a mental health condition doesn’t make you immune to injury – it is possible to have both mental health and physical health issues!

    • Sectioned 7 January 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Yes, exactly. I call it the Magic Wand of Mental Illness where, if you’ve got a mental health diagnosis, you can’t have anything else wrong with you, as if mental illness waved a magic want over you. Professionals call it “diagnostic overshadowing”. Pretty cruddy to be on the receiving end either way.

  3. bpdffs 7 January 2013 at 12:14 am #

    That people with BPD are manipulative attention seekers, deceptive and untreatable .

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