Six Mental Health Myths That Everyone Really Needs To Stop Believing

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Rosie McCall 20 Sep 2018, 10:57

Education, activism, and the good and the bad that is social media have combined in recent years to raise awareness about mental health issues.

While it might be true that we've progressed a lot over the last few years, there are still several myths surrounding mental health that need to be addressed once and for all.

Myth: Mental illnesses are rare.

Fact: If only. One in five US adults will experience at least one episode of poor mental health in any given year.

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That is 43.8 million adults in the US alone. Up the number to 83 percent and you have the percentage of the population estimated to experience a mental health issue at some point during their lifetime, the most common two being anxiety and depression. This is according to a study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology last year.

What's more, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates that one in 25 (or 4 percent) of people aged 18+ will have what can be described as a major bout of mental illness that severely interferes with their day-to-day life every single year. This almost certainly means that someone you know is going through a period of poor mental health. All this goes to show that mental illness is extremely, extremely common.

Myth: Children do not experience mental health issues.

Fact: Mental illness can strike anyone at any time, regardless of their age, gender, race, or sexuality.


Public opinion over this particular myth appears to be changing: A national poll conducted by Kaiser Permanente in 2017 found that 89 percent of the 3,005 adults surveyed accepted the fact that anyone can develop a mental health condition. What's more, it can hit at any age. According to NAMI, one in five teenagers aged 13 to 18 will experience a mental health condition and half of all chronic mental illness starts before a person's 14th birthday. Sadly, adolescent mental health seems to have been getting worse as of late (and it's possibly due to our growing obsession with smartphones).

While mental illness can strike anyone at any time, certain risk factors may make developing a disorder more likely. These include a family history of mental illness, trauma, and a high IQ

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