8.Myth: One’s sexual orientation defines one’s mental health.
Considering the timezone we are in, it’s a shame to think in such a degraded manner about another human being.
One’s choice of sexual orientation is extremely personal. If your sexual orientation is diverted from the usual, it does not mean you are mentally unhealthy. Homosexuality is no longer considered a form of mental illness by mainstream psychologists and psychiatrists.
Freud (1905) believed all human beings were innately bisexual and that they become heterosexual or homosexual as a result of their personal experiences and social influences.
Also, Freud agreed that a homosexual orientation should not be viewed as a form of pathology.(7)
9. Myth: People with mental illnesses are always violent and unpredictable.
People with mental illnesses are not more violent than people who have no mental illnesses. There are a lot of people who are violent and unpredictable but do not have any mental health issues.
Multiple studies have shown that individuals with serious mental illness are especially vulnerable to being victimized.(8)
People with mental health issues require our support, compassion and kindness rather than being isolated on the pretext of them being violent.
10. Myth: People with mental health needs or ones who have recovered, tend to be second-rate workers.
Studies by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) show that there are no differences in productivity when people with mental illnesses are compared to other employees. (Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, 1999).
Employers who have hired people with mental illnesses reported having no issues with their attendance, quality of work, performance, motivation or punctuality.
11. Myth: Mental health illnesses cannot be prevented.
Mental health issues require us to be sensitive. Once the source of a disorder is clear to us, it can be easily prevented.
Eliminating known risk factors like exposure to trauma or abuse during childhood can successfully prevent emotional, mental and behavioural disorders from taking shape later on in adulthood and thus lower crime rates, promote overall productivity and socio-emotional well being.
As George Orwell puts, “Myths which are believed in tend to become true.” And we do not want that. For mental health issues to be understood, one needs to be free of the myths and misunderstandings around it.
- Vos, T., Barber, RM., Bell, B., Bertozzi-Villa, A., Biryukov, S., Bolliger, I., …Murray, CJ.. (2013). Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990–2013: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease study. The Lancet, 386(9995), 743–800.
- The epidemic of discontinuity in health care; Ferris TG Ambul Pediatr. 2004 May-Jun; 4(3):197-8.
- The pathways to psychiatric care: a cross-cultural study; Gater R, de Almeida e Sousa B, Barrientos G, Caraveo J, Chandrashekar CR, Dhadphale M, Goldberg D, al Kathiri AH, Mubbashar M, Silhan K Psychol Med. 1991 Aug; 21(3):761-74.
- Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, June 2005.
- Child and adolescent mental health
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
- Facts about homosexuality and mental health.
- Victimization and Serious Mental Illness
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