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Mental Health Myth Busting

Mental Health Myth Busting

Battling with your mental health is often a lonely road for those who go through it. This is because mental health has been misunderstood since the beginning of time. With the rise of the pandemic and isolation, the prevalence of anxiety and depression has increased by 25%. As a result, we’ve been forced to confront our misguided truths about our mental wellness. We’ve come a long way since then, but it’s important to continue spreading awareness about the long-misguided truths we’ve come to know about mental health.

The stigmas that have been built around mental health are often rooted in a lack of understanding. Nonetheless, these perceptions are dangerous and discourage people from getting the treatment they need. Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people, yet over half of them never receive professional help. Why? Fear of being discriminated against. These ideas about mental health have been around a lot longer than the screen you read this on today. You can only imagine the added layers of deception when those mistruths receive a platform. If you’re struggling with severe depression or anxiety, let this be a message that it’s important to reach out for help. You are worthy of it. Our psychologists and counselors in Southlake, TX are waiting to walk you through your journey.

Here's a look at just a few of the misconceptions that damage our society to this day.

Common Myths

"There is something wrong with you if you go to therapy."

WRONG. We have no shame about our broken bones or stuffy noses, but we continue to struggle with our minds in silence. This is an outdated mindset that only further damages our health and continues the cycle of suffering. You don’t need a mental health issue to talk to a professional. In fact, seeking therapy is often used as a preventative measure. Therapy is also a safe place to receive unbiased opinions. We are profoundly influenced by those closest to us. Having a therapist can help you in a way that friends and family can’t.

"Mental illness is a sign of weakness."

WRONG. Many people assume that those who struggle with their mental health are just mentally weak. This fabricated lie leads people who struggle to blame themselves for their condition. In reality, mental illness does not discriminate, and it can happen to anyone. It takes a great amount of strength to show up every day when it feels like the world is weighing on you. Some of the strongest people are fighting silent battles. It takes an even greater amount of strength to ask for help.

"Talking about mental health is attention seeking."

WRONG. The stigma around mental health makes it tough for someone struggling to reach out for support. This skewed mentality that speaking up about your health is a form of attention seeking puts more people at risk for anxiety and depression. There’s a pressure to be positive all the time even if you’re going through a hard time. On the contrary, expressing our negative emotions allows us to move past them instead of stuffing them down. Talking and sharing our stories is also a form of raising awareness. Vulnerability is proven to increase healthy relationships and provide deeper levels of compassion. Say the hard things. You never know who you might help if you speak up.

"Medication is the only treatment."

WRONG. Treating mental health is not a one size fits all process. While medications play an important role for many, they aren’t the only option. Oftentimes, medication is used in tandem with talk therapy. Another great option for treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy, which has been proven highly effective for many people. In any case, your doctor will work with you to come up with a treatment plan that’s personalized to suit your needs.   

"You can’t recover from mental health issues."

WRONG. Recovery may not mean the same thing to everyone. For some, it means they have no symptoms. For others, they want to minimize their symptoms so they can live out a happy life. Mental health problems like anxiety and depression can easily leave you feeling trapped and hopeless. Many of us are fearful that we’ll have to battle these problems forever. While the road to recovery can be long and challenging, there is always hope. As we gain more understanding over the years, our path to recovery gets easier.

"People with mental health struggles are violent and unpredictable."

WRONG. This baseless and dramatized idea that mental illness makes you violent mostly originates from movies and TV. The quality of your mental health does not make you any more or less likely to be violent. In fact, those with mental health struggles are more likely to be victims of violence.

"Mental health is less important than physical health."

WRONG. The reason so many people downplay mental health issues is because they’re difficult to assess or quantify. When we can’t see something with our own eyes, it’s easier to dismiss. Unfortunately, this perception is what leaves so many people with mental health struggles. The truth is our mental health is equally as important as our physical health.

Seeking Help

Treatment saves lives. If you’re struggling and on the fence about whether you should seek out help, please consider booking a consultation. Your mental wellness is essential, and we want to provide you with a solid foundation. We have teletherapy options for those who don’t feel safe coming to the office.

Here at Dr. Messina and Associates, our compassionate team of professionals is qualified to help you. Our psychologists and Counselors specialize in psychotherapy (in-person and online teletherapy options). Our psychologists also specialize in psychological testing in-person at our DFW (Southlake) Offices. Our psychiatrists offer specialized psychiatric services in-person and telepsychiatry online to all residents of Texas. If you or a loved one are seeking help with mental health, we are available to help.

Author
Dr. Michael Messina

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