World Mental Health Day: 7 Mental Illness Myths That Need Unlearning

Oct. 10 marks World Mental Health day. According to the World Health Organization, the objective of observing the day is to raise awareness about mental health issues and mobilize efforts in helping people suffering from these problems. An estimated one in five people in the U.S., or 43.8 million people, have mental health problems in a given year.

The stigma surrounding mental illness still prevails and these negative stereotypes can create a lot of misconceptions and isolate people who have serious mental health problems. Research indicates these stereotypes can pose a “significant barrier to care for many individuals with mental illness.

Here are some myths about mental illness you should unlearn.

1. It’s all in your head

Many people still believe that people who are depressed need to just snap out of it or people with anxiety just need to calm down. Depression and anxiety are serious mental illnesses that manifest in dangerous symptoms, including loss of appetite, indigestion, headaches, etc. People suffering from anxiety can also experience a weakened immune system and cardiovascular issues.

2. People with mental illnesses are often violent

Most people with mental illnesses are not violent. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, only 3 to 5 percent of violent acts are committed by people who are suffering from a serious mental health problem. People with mental health issues are more than 10 times likely to be victims of a violent crime.

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