Mental Health Showdown: Myth vs. Fact

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Stereotypes. Misunderstandings. Labeling. No matter which word a person may choose to use, all three are inaccurate and potentially harmful to …

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Stereotypes. Misunderstandings. Labeling. No matter which word a person may choose to use, all three are inaccurate and potentially harmful to their victims. Individuals with a mental health diagnosis and are seeking treatment are often criticized and judged with false information. Maintaining good mental health is positive for everyone, no matter the demographic. Today, we will be clearing up the clutter on the top myths related to mental health.

Myth: “People with mental illness are violent and unpredictable.”

People with mental illness are just like everyone else on this planet. They are no more violent than people without mental illness.

Myth: “Mental illness is the same as mental retardation.”

Mental illness and retardation fall under two entirely different categories. Mental retardation patients face limitations in intellectual functioning. Mental illness patients are characterized by changes in their thought, mood, and behavior – not by limited intellectual functioning.

Myth: “Mental illnesses are brought on by a weakness of character.”

Weakness in character has absolutely nothing to do with mental illness. Research has proven genetic and biological factors related to the cause for schizophrenia, depression, and even alcoholism. Common human experiences such as the loss of a loved one or a job can also lead to the development of mental illnesses.

Myth: “Children can’t get mental illnesses. Bad behavior only comes from bad parenting.”

Children can receive a clinical diagnosis, just like adults. The President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health released a report that indicated 5-9 percent of children experience serious emotional disturbances. As we explained in the previous myths, mental illness can have various causes including genetics, social occurrences, and the environment.

For more information, visit Samhsa.gov.

The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 877-845-5235 for more information.

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