Myths and Facts about Mental Health

Many stereotypes that cover mental health issues. This creates stigma, discrimination, and isolation in people with mental disorders. They will be increasingly difficult to get good treatment, especially mental health facilities are still lacking in various regions of Indonesia.

Reported by Reader’s Digest and other sources, here are many myths that circulate about mental health and need to be discussed openly:

Myth: None of my family, friends or colleagues have mental health problems.

You are sure? Mental health problems are far more common than many people think. The 2013 Basic Health Research Data (Riskesdas) showed that the prevalence of mental emotional disorders as indicated by symptoms of depression and anxiety for the age of 15 years and over reached around 14 million people or 6% of the population of Indonesia. While the prevalence of severe mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, reaches around 400,000 people or as much as 1.7 per 1,000 population.

Myth: Depression is only experienced by adults.

Many people think that mental disorders cannot strike children. But this is wrong. In fact, it is estimated that 50 percent of mental disorders begin at the age of 14 (although most are only diagnosed years later). According to Dr. Reza Fahlevi, some triggers for mental disorders – especially depression – in children include genetic factors, neuropsychiatric problems (autism, anxiety disorders, etc.), and environmental factors.

Myth: Mental disorders occur because the person is too weak.

Mental disorders are not the fault of anyone. This condition can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or economic status, and you don’t need to feel embarrassed or guilty. Saying that a person’s mental state is caused by one’s own weaknesses will only make the patient feel depressed. Understand that mental disorders can be caused by various factors, such as genetics, poor diet, or major changes that occur in a person’s life.

Myth: People with mental disorders should hide their condition.

Because of the many negative stigmas circulating about mental health, many people with mental disorders prefer to hide their condition. But actually, the best way to get rid of this stigma is to openly discuss mental health issues.

Myth: Mental disorders trigger violence.

Not a few people assume that people with mental disorders tend to be aggressive and rude. According to Mental Health America, about 95 to 97 percent of violent crime is committed by people without mental disorders. In addition, many people with mental disorders have never been abusive, instead they are the victims of violence.

Myth: You can’t prevent mental disorders.

As with other health conditions, mental disorders can appear unexpectedly and occur to anyone. However, there are many ways to reduce the risk of mental disorders, and this can begin when you are young. One of the most important steps in preventing mental disorders is to always live a healthy lifestyle, recognize and pay attention to signs and symptoms of mental disorders, and conduct regular health checks.

Myth: Mental disorders cannot be recovered.

Research shows that people with mental disorders can recover from their condition. They can also work, study and contribute to the wider community well.

Stigmatization of people with mental health problems is still common. You can help eliminate this stigma by not considering mental health as something that is not taboo or needs to be hidden. If you feel family, friends, or even yourself have symptoms of a mental disorder, there is no need to be ashamed to see a psychologist or take advantage of the increasing number of online counseling services.