Learn more about Myths Dealing with Mental Health

Mental Health.gov compiled a list of 9 commonly believed myths about mental health and provides facts to prove them wrong.  Many people have learned inaccurate information about people with mental health issues for a variety of reasons.  Whether it be because of how media displays mental health, or a lack of experience and exposure with the population.  Listed below are 2 of the myths on the site to see more visit MentalHealth.gov.

Photo Credit: shenamt via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: shenamt via Compfight cc

Myth: People suffering from a mental illness are weak and chose not to work hard enough to fix the problem.

Fact: Having a mental health problem has nothing to do with a person’s character.  Or whether or not someone is lazy or weak.  Many different factors contribute to mental health problems such as the following:

  • 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
  • People with mental health problems can get better and recover completely from a disorder much like someone can improve after having a broken arm.

Myth: I can not do anything that would make a difference to a person with a mental illness.

Fact: Family and friends can really influence a person with a mental illness.  56% of the population of people with a mental health disorder do not get the help they need.  Fewer than 20% of children receive the treatment they need according to the mentalhealth.gov.  Family and friends can really create an impact and here are some ways you could help:

  • Helping them access mental health services
  • Doing your part by educating yourself and those around you about mental health
  • Keeping in mind that people suffering with a mental illness deserve respect
  • Refusing to define them by their diagnosis or using labels such as “crazy”
  • Making sure they know you are available and willing to help


Can you think of any other myths surrounding mental health? Let us know in the comment below.

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Hi! The moderator is a research team member with a background in behavioral health. We're here to help answer your questions and stimulate some great conversation! We don't provide therapy and are not available 24-7 so please if you are in crisis, go to our crisis page: https://sova.pitt.edu/i-need-help-now We look forward to talking to you!

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