Mental Health Assumptions and Facts

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Mental Health Assumptions and Reality:1
Mental Health Assumptions and Reality:1


       Mental Health Assumptions and Reality:1 

  • There is a difference between assumptions and realty. Simply, assumption is what you think without evidence, and  realty is, what the thing is in real with evidence. 
  • Now, It is time, people understand what being mentally  ill, really means.

Assumption 1:

People with Mental Illness are dangerous , violent and unpredictable:

The  majority of people with mental health problems  are not violent and only 3%–5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.


Assumption 2: 

   Mental health problems don’t affect me.

Mental health related problems are actually very common.
       Annually, about:
  • One in 10 young people, experienced a period of major depression.
  • One in 25  lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It accounts for the loss of more than 41,000 American lives each year, more than double the number of lives lost to homicide.

Mental Health Assumptions and Reality:1
Mental Health Assumptions and Reality:1 

Assumption 3: 

      Most Homeless People Are Mentally ill.


              Most Homeless People Are not Mentally ill.

  • It is wrong to assume, most homeless people are mentally ill or that they became homeless, because of mental illness.
  • Only 30-35% of homeless people suffer from severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, bipolar disorder and major depression. 
  • We all see the occasional mentally ill homeless person shouting obscenities or nonsense, clearly in extreme need of psychiatric help.  

Assumption 4: 

 Mental Illness and Physical Illness are  different. 

   Mental illness can have medical symptoms and       Medical illness can have mental symptoms.
  • Common mental illnesses like depression have body aches, pain, gastrointestinal problems, disturbed biological functions such as  sleep disturbances, appetite changes, sexual problems and more. The stress of coping with  medical illness can lead to mental illness.
  • The mind and body are intertwined and tend to push and pull on each other rather than acting independently. People who don’t understand mental illness usually  say that , the symptoms are “not real” or “in your head. In reality , the mind affects the body and body affects the mind. They are complimentary to each other.
  • For example, mothers who suffer from postpartum depression, people make them feel something is “wrong with them” rather than accepting it as an illness to be treated.

 Assumption 5: 

People with Mental Illness  always need Medications.
  • Medicines Are Not Always Necessary.
  • Psychotropic medications such as antidepressants are a popular way to treat mental illness, those not familiar with it, assume drugs are necessary and that mentally ill people take them their entire lives. It is not true.
  • People have used psychotherapy alone to treat mental illness or a combination of therapy and medication. In many cases, patients prefer  therapy only, not any medicines at all, like in case of mild depression.

Assumption 6: 

Children don’t experience mental health problems.
Even very young children may show early warning signs of mental health problems.
  • Mental health problems are often clinically diagnosable, and can be a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors. Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24.
  • Unfortunately, less than 20% of children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need. Early mental health support can help a child before problems interfere with other developmental needs.

 Assumption 7: 

People with mental health problems, even those who are managing their mental illness, cannot tolerate the stress of holding down a job.

People with mental health problems are just as   productive as other employees.
  • Employers who hire people with mental health problems report good attendance and punctuality as well as motivation, good work, and job tenure on par with or greater than other employees.
  • When employees with mental health problems receive effective treatment, it can result in:
  1. Lower total medical costs
  2. Increased productivity
  3. Lower absenteeism
  4. Decreased disability costs

Assumption 8:  

Personality weakness or character flaws cause mental health problems. People with mental health problems may be in trouble, it if they try hard enough.
Mental health problems have nothing to do with being lazy or weak and many people need help to get better.
Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
  • Biological factors, such as genes, physical illness, injury, or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

 Assumption 9: 

  White People Suffer More from Mental Illness.


      Minorities Suffer More from Mental Illness.

  • Due to economic and cultural disadvantages, that cause increased stress, minorities are more vulnerable to mental illnesses such as depression.
  • White people receive more treatment for mental illness because they tend to come from privilege that makes them more open to and able to access it. This breeds the assumption they must be more predisposed to mental illness. They do not, however, suffer from it the most.
  •  Unfortunately, cultural stigma regarding counseling and medication prevents many ethnic minority individuals from seeking mental health treatment.
  • As per American Psychological Association, African Americans are most at risk and have limited access to mental health care. 
Mental Health Assumptions and Reality:1
Mental Health Assumptions and Reality:1 


Assumption 10: 

There is no hope for people with mental health problems.  Once a friend or family member develops mental health problems, he or she will never recover.

Studies show that people with mental health problems get better and many recover completely.
  • Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and they work.
  • You probably know someone with a mental health problem and don’t even realize it, because many people with mental health problems are highly active and productive members of our communities.

                                Will be continued in second part….                                            


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