Misguided “Facts” About Mental Illness

“We separate problems with the brain into neurological and psychiatric, and it’s because it’s stigmatised still. Mental illness is still stigmatised. Imagine if we treated people with cancer like that. Just because your personality changes and your behaviour changes, all of a sudden you are put in a different category.” ~Susannah Cahalan

One of the biggest misconceptions about mental illnesses is that it’s just in our heads. It’s not. It’s so much more than that. We’re not making excuses for our weaknesses or failures. It’s not as easy as getting up off the couch and getting a job. We are dealing with internal demons that we have no control over.

Another huge misguided ‘fact’ is we can’t hold down a job or take care of ourselves and our families. Uh, no. We can do these things. We have to deal with all the emotions and all the other thoughts in our heads. It’s a constant battle of wills, so to speak.

One of my favorites: anyone with a mental illness has a propensity for violence. Really? Because it seems to me that anyone with or without a mental illness has a disposition for brutality. It’s more about human nature, not directly mental illness.

Everyone’s experiences are different even if they’re diagnosed with the same illness. Remember that it’s anguish on a day to day basis even if we have smiles on our faces. We are not faking it. The illness is real.

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