Myths Regarding Mental illness

1. Once a person gets a mental health illness he/she is useless for life.

Truth - There is a 100% cure if a person is treated in time.

2. The medicines for mental illness are sleeping pills and once started have to be taken life long.

Truth - Medicines and treatments have evolved since the 1970's. No longer sleeping pills are the 1st stage of treatment.

3. People with mental illnesses are aggressive or violent.

Truth - Its only in the higher stages of a mental health illness that a patient shows polarized behavioral pattern. Either they are violent or they are completely aloof from the world.

The great majority of people who suffer from mental health illness, don't reach this stages and are fighting the psychological and emotional issues.

4. If you are positive, eat well and sleep well, you won't be affected by Mental illness.

Truth - thats not completely true. Mental health illness can affect even the most organised minds. Its dependent on -
a. genetic strength one person possess.
b. reaction to a particular stress.
c. personality.

5. A person seeking treatment for mental health illness is "mentally weak".

Truth - Some of the most brilliant minds in the world have suffered from mental health illness. Beethoven,Winston Churchill, Kurt cobain, Van gogh, Jim Carey, Princess Diana, Charles dickens, Dilip Kumar, Dharmendra are all known to have battled some form of mental health illness.

6. Mental health illness is madness.

Truth - Wrong, mental health illness is an psychological, emotional and behavioral reaction to the stress around you. It can range from depression to schizophrenia.
Off all the hundreds of disorders under mental health illness, only one or two can be classified as "madness".

7. Once you have suffered Mental health illness, you cannot work again.

Truth - People who have recovered from mental health illness, with proper encouragement and environment tend to give much better performance.
Since they have seen the negative side of things, they tend to be more capable of fighting things.

8. Medicines are not safe and a waste of time.

Truth - Not everyone requires medicines.
Not everyone needs to take medicines for life.

If you consult a good psychiatrist in time, even counselling can help you over-come the issues.

9. Children don't experience mental illnesses.

Truth - studies show that 20% of the world wide depression happen in children below 15.
ADHD, autism, learning disorders, behavioral disorders, opposing parents authority, violence... are present in a lot of children.
Sadly parents and teachers don't look into it with logical view point and are blinded by myths.

10. Psychiatric disorders are not true illnesses like heart disease or cancer; people who have a mental illness are faking it.

Truth - Mental health disorders seem invisible because there are no tests to show their presence in the brain.
Recently PET scans have been used to show patients the difference in brain activities during normal state and psychiatric illness state.
One can search the internet and take a look at those PET scans.

PET Scans are expensive ranging upto 30 thousand rupees per scan. Hence getting such tests done isn't feasible for most patients.

Mental health illness are very much like a broken bone or a gastric problem. There is a microscopic physical hurt in the brain, that leads to change in chemical production.


written by -

Dr.Hemant Mittal
(Psychiatrist, Motivational Writer and Counselor)

email –
website –
twitter- @sai_ki_artist
(feel free to ask your questions/feedback through email)

Clinic Address - Mind Mantra, 15,
shreeji plaza,
plot-24, sector-25,
opposite seawoods station,
Seawoods (east), Navi Mumbai, Thane, Mumbai

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