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6 Myths About Mental Health And Why Everyone Should Care For Their Mental Health

Mental health

Mental health is as important as physical health. Yet it is something that is neglected. Mainly because it is intangible and because of the stigma attached to it. Men, in patriarchal societies like India, are expected not to be expressive of their feelings and put up a brave face even through challenging situations. In fact, according to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health, men with mental illnesses are less likely to have received mental health treatment than women in the past year. And, that is why probably men are more likely to die by suicide than women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hence while understanding the myths about mental health is essential for everyone, its even more important for men. Being brave and facing situations is a virtue. But it is also important to process our feelings more healthily. An excellent place to start is by understanding the myths surrounding mental health.


1. Poor Mental Health is a Sign of Emotional Weakness

Just like physical health, mental health too needs to be treated by professionals. On average, mental and behavioural disorders are present in about 10% of the adult population worldwide. Having poor mental health does not make one emotionally weak. Many people with poor mental health can be emotionally strong, while someone with excellent mental health can be emotionally fragile. The two are not necessarily interrelated. In fact, mental illness such as depression is associated with fatigue and low energy – which are physical aspects.


2. People With Mental Health Challenges Can't Hold A Job or Manage Responsibilities

People with mental illnesses have the potential to work at any level depending on their own abilities, experience and motivation. This myth exists because there are a lot of stigmas attached to mental health and because of a lack of awareness.


3. If You Have Poor Mental Health You Might Be Violent In Your Behaviour

Popular culture has often depicted people with mental health issues as being violent or displaying extreme behaviours. Hence it is assumed that violent and extreme behaviour is a by-product of poor mental health. Accordingly to a study by the American Psychological Association, only 7.5% of crimes are directly related to symptoms of mental illness.


4. Psychiatric Medication Should Be Avoided

Due to the lack of awareness about psychiatric medication, many people tend to believe that it is harmful. Many think of them as merely "happy pills" or recreational drugs that give people with mental illnesses an easy way out of dealing with their problems. But this is untrue. Psychiatric medication is a true science that deals with mental health problems in the same manner that we deal with other tangible health problems.


5. A Psychologist and A Psychiatrist Are The Same

Psychiatrists are medical doctors while psychologists are not. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication; psychologists can't. Psychiatrists are licensed professionals who can diagnose illness, manage treatment and provide a range of therapies for mental illnesses. Psychologists focus on providing psychotherapy (talk therapy) to help patients.


6. Mental Health Problems Are Permanent

Mental illness is most often not 'permanent'. Their effects are not consistent over time. However, the pattern of impairment and functioning can persist over a period of time.

As we celebrate Father's Day, it's important for men to take special care of their mental health. Only if they care for their own mental health will they be able to care for those who matter to them.


In case you need to seek help, don't hesitate and get in touch get in touch with the following helplines which will provide you support and guidance: https://www.unitedgmh.org/mental-health-support/india https://thelivelovelaughfoundation.org/helpline.html http://itsoktotalk.in/find-help/


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