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    Default Top 10 Mental Health Myths

    The lack of understanding and misconceptions about mental illness can have serious consequences for those looking to clarify doubts regarding any symptoms they or their loved ones might have. These mental health myths contribute to the stigma of mental ill-health, which leads many people to be ashamed, in turn preventing them from seeking help. By trying to dispel these myths we are trying to take one step towards addressing and eradicating this stigma and getting the people suffering closer to help.




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    Myth: Schizophrenia and/or split personality disorder, cannot be controlled or treated.

    Fact: Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that robs people of their ability to think clearly and logically. The symptoms range from social withdrawal to hallucinations and delusions. This is often confused with Multiple personality disorder. Medication has helped many of these individuals lead normal lives.





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    Myth: Anxiety disorders and depression do not affect children or adolescents.

    Fact: Children and adolescents can develop severe mental illnesses as well. About 20 percent of these children receive needed treatment. Left untreated, these problems can get worse. Anyone talking about suicide should be taken very seriously.





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    Myth: Depression is a normal part of growing old.

    Fact: It is not normal for older adults to be depressed. Signs of depression in older people include a loss of interest in activities, sleep disturbances and lethargy. Depression in the elderly is often undiagnosed, and it is important for seniors and their family members to recognize the problem and seek professional help.





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    Myth: Mental illness can be cured with “will power”

    Fact: Will power does play a huge role in the process of recovery and the treatment, but it is not the only thing that a person suffering from a mental illness needs. Ignoring the problem does not make it go away, either. It takes courage to seek professional help.





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    Myth: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), formerly known as "shock treatment," is painful and barbaric.

    Fact: ECT gives a new lease on life to many who suffer from severe and debilitating depression. It is used when other treatments such as psychotherapy or medication fail or cannot be used. Patients who receive ECT are asleep and under anesthesia, so they do not feel anything. Perhaps it's time to stop believing the movies!





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    Myth: Depression is a character flaw, and people who are depressed could just snap out of it if they tried hard enough.

    Fact: Depression has nothing to do with being lazy or weak. It results from changes in brain chemistry or brain function, and medication and psychotherapy often help people recover.





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    Myth: Addiction is a lifestyle choice and shows a lack of willpower. People with a substance abuse problem are morally weak.

    Fact: Addiction is a disease that generally results from changes in brain chemistry. Prolonged substance abuse can result in addiction. This is curable by medication, also therapy. It has nothing to do with morality, although overcoming an addiction requires strong mental power and social support along with the right medication.





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    Myth: People with a severe mental illness, are usually dangerous and violent.

    Fact: Statistics show that the incidence of violence in people who have a brain disorder is not much higher than it is in the general population. Those suffering from a mental illness such as schizophrenia are more often frightened and confused than violent.





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    Myth: Mental illnesses are the result of bad parenting.

    Fact: Some mental illnesses are known to have a physical cause. Genetic susceptibility combined with other risk factors leads to a metal disorder. Therefore, bad parenting doesn’t develop a psychiatric disorder in children even though some personality disorders could find root in improper upbringing.





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    Myth: Unlike 'real' illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, psychiatric disorders are unworthy of medical attention.

    Fact: Research shows there are genetic and biological causes for psychiatric disorders, which can be treated effectively through medicine and counselling. Brain disorders are also legitimate medical illnesses, just like heart disease and diabetes.





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