The Misconceptions About Mental Health

The Misconceptions About Mental Health

Mental health issues can affect the way you think, feel and behave. They can range from common depression and anxiety, to more rare problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Any mental health issue can feel just as bad, or worse, than a physical illness.

woman struggling with mental health issue sitting on the couch

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 millionexperiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. In addition, approximately 1 in 5 youth, aged 13–18, experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. 

There are a lot of different approaches to how mental health illness should be diagnosed, what causes them and which treatments are most effective,” said Bridget DeFiccio LPC, Senior Vice President, Integrated Health, AcendaAnd, unfortunately, there is still widespread stigma towards people with mental health illness and misunderstanding about what different diagnoses mean. 

Here are 6 misconceptions about mental health illnesses:
  1. Mental illness is a sign of weakness. Many people with mental health illnesses are mentally strong. Anyone can make choices to build mental strength, regardless of a mental health illness they may have. 
  2. You can't prevent a mental health illness. Genetics and traumatic events play a role, but you can always take steps to improve your mental health. 
  3. People with mental illness are violent. There are some conditions that cause individuals to be violent, but not everyone with a mental illness has that tendency. The vast majority of people who are treated for a mental or behavioral health issue are not violent. 
  4. When people are mentally ill, they can’t hold down a job or take care of themselves and their families properly. This is sometimes true with respect to the more severe forms of mental illness, but the majority of mental health issues do not inhibit an individual’s lifestyle. 
  5. People can only recover from mental health illnesses with medications. Some mental health illnesses do require medications as a treatment, but counseling and therapy can be a very effective treatment alone or in conjunction with medications.  
  6. Mental health illnesses never go away. Unfortunately, there are some conditions that stay with individuals throughout their lives, but there are many others that can be successfully treated  


“Despite these challenges, it is possible to recover from a mental health illness and live a productive and fulfilling life,” added DeFiccio. “The best place to start is to speak with a mental health professional to get an appropriate diagnosis.” 

Clinicians in our Counseling & Wellness Centers can help you or a loved one work towards mental wellness. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632) for more information about our outpatient therapy and telehealth services. 

Psychology Today