#Mythbusting | Debunking Fifteen Mental Health Myths

Hello World 💜

Welcome back to my blog! Despite only being officially diagnosed with Mental Health in the last seven years (firstly with my misdiagnosis of Depression and Anxiety to later being rediagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder) I find it really infuriating when it comes to educating myself on my condition that there are so many articles and theories based on myths and lies that have been spread around the internet by quack doctors. This doesn’t help whatsoever with regards to creating and enabling more discrimination and potentially dangerous ‘treatments’ for those with Mental Health who are being influenced into believing make believe cures due to these imbeciles.

With that being said, I have spent hours combing through disgusting studies, theories and treatment ideas in order to debunk these horrible individuals. Why? Because Mental Health is Health, we need a healthy mind in order to be the person that we were born to be. We are not the villains depicted in Hollywood movies, we are real people who battle and struggle to survive on a daily basis. As a result, for the purpose of my blog post today, I am going to be debunking 15 of these godawful myths, either through my own experience or from the knowledge of my peers as well as organisations such as Mind and Samaritans.

We know the truth because we live through it.

** TRIGGER: there will be mentions on Self Harm, if you are struggling please seel help, you can call Samaritans on 116 123.

Number one | people with mental health are violent

This myth is built on by the negative representations suggesting that each villain in a Hollywood Movie or Television Show commits horrific crimes against humanity simply because they have a Mental Health diagnosis. When you watch any crime show, the criminal is either depressed, schizophrenic, has PTSD, bipolar or even a psychopath and so forth. And when this is reiterated with our own police forces and newspaper outlets by declaring a murderer or rapist with a Mental Health condition all it does is that it adds to the hysteria that having Mental Health automatically makes you a bad person. When in reality, the majority of those with Mental Health have never committed a crime or been violent to others but instead have been a victim of abuse and criminal acts.

Number two | you just need to snap out of it / man up

These two phrases are infuriating and up wholly insulting to every person who has Mental Health, you would never tell a person on crutches to just “snap out of it and walk normally” so why tell someone with Mental Health to do so?

Number three | people with mental health can’t / refuse to work and claim beNefits

Just because someone has depression doesn’t mean they are unable to work, in fact in the UK a company can be sued on the basis of employment discrimination for either failing to provide work, employing or firing someone as a result of their Mental Health. With medication, therapies and education, as well as having open dialogue with an employer means you can work – I work, I’ve worked since I turned sixteen despite my diagnosis. I would also say this can also be dependent on individual conditions, but many can and do work from home either creating their own businesses, blogs and YouTube channels.

Number four | only teenage girls self harm

This is another myth that is humoured by television shows like Thirteen Reasons Why – no matter your age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and so forth, people can and do self harm, it’s not just restricted to teenage girls. Self harm, for those who harm themselves, do so as a coping mechanism for their triggers etc.

Number five | you can die from a panic attack

This is simply not true, a panic attack is your bodies natural way of fighting off fear, however for some who fail to recognise natural fear will go into a state of shock with loss of breath and an increase in heart palpitations until your brain can regulate again and recognise the fear- this will not kill you!

Number six | BPD MAKES YOU AN ATTENTION SEEKER

I’ve been called this, I’ve also been called obnoxious – for those who truly know me will know that I’m neither of these assumptions. I have never gone out of my way to seek attention, if anything I’m an introvert who processes thoughts and emotions on a different scale to those who don’t have BPD.

Number seven | only thin people can have an eating disroder

Again, this is another thank you to Hollywood and Television by depicting and associating eating disorders with those battling anorexia and bulimia who are often a young teenage girl. Yes these three things can be linked but those who are on the heavier side can also have an eating disorder. Eating disorders are about control as well as the relationship you have with your body and food. I have an eating disorder but I’m also a UK Size 18 but the relationship I have with food is unhealthy but it’s been my way of having a sense of control in my life when at times the control has been taken from me – including being abandoned and abused. By controlling the food I have, I get a say.

Number eight | panic attacks and anxiety are the same thing

Anxiety can effect anyone at anytime at any age, and it’s primarily the result of when our feelings are becoming overwhelming. Whereas a panic attack is a symptom and takes place when our minds believe we are under attack.

Number nine | only military personnel / veterans can be diagnosed with ptsd

In really simple terms, PTSD is about trauma, and any person can go through trauma in their lives. A women who suffers a miscarriage can be left traumatised by the loss, survivors of rape, childhood abuse, domestic violence, those who’ve been in a car accident or any sort of experience that can leave a person traumatised can be diagnosed with PTSD.

Number ten | you have to be vain to have body dysmorphia

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a serious condition and many will refuse to ask for help in case of others assuming that the individual is vain, when in actual fact the person genuinely believes there is something physically wrong with them.

Number eleven | only people who cut themselves self harm

Again completely not true, self harm can be a wide variety of coping mechanisms with regards to overwhelming thoughts and emotions. From cutting, to refusal to eat or binging on food, from not washing to being overly sexually active, from over spending, to binging on drugs and alcohol and even pinching and burning of skin to name a few examples.

Number twelve | Mental health is a choice

Whoever came up with this myth needs to go to hell, I would never wish my diagnosis, my trauma and triggers as well as my self harm and suicide attempts on anyone – not even my worst enemy. We are not a fashion accessory, we are real people who are fighting for survival and should be treated with respect.

Number thirteen | Mothers with post natal depression do not love their children

PND is common, 1/10 will go through this condition when their baby is between four and six months old. Many new mothers may struggle with trying to bond, but this in no way makes you a bad parent or makes you love your child any different. In a sense your mind is still trying to regulate itself from the trauma of birth and the sleepless nights and that’s ok. Besides, there is no such thing as the perfect mother.

Number fourteen | willpower can cure MENTAL health

This is not true whatsoever, there is no magic bullet cure for Mental Health, if anyone says otherwise they are simply a quack who wants to make a quick buck out of your suffering and will undoubtedly make your condition far worse.

Number fifteen | Mental health is a weakness

I would never call my BPD a weakness, I see it as my personal strength of survival, that I’m still alive despite my past traumas. My BPD makes me stronger everyday and I am grateful for my diagnosis saving my life.

Those are my fifteen debunked Mental Health Myths, I’d be lying if I said those were the only myths, unfortunately there are many others but at least this will start a conversation in debunking further quackery with regards to our Mental Health. If you want to learn more aborut Mental Health speak to your real doctor or even charities such as Mind and Samaritans instead of the idiot on social media trying to sell you a cure for $100 a pill.

Until next time,

Love, Leo x

7 comments

  1. Awesome post and very informative. I was a cutter in high school. And as a guy I had body issues , so this really hits home

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  2. I’m absolutely horrified at the thought that some people believe any of these. Whoever could even suggest that a parent with PND might not love their children? Thank you for sharing, I hope many people read this and have their awareness raised.

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  3. This is really great Leo! It’s crazy how misunderstood and stigmatized mental health still is in this day and age. Thanks for addressing some of the misinformation out there!

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. I worked in a mental health hospital and have dealt with my personal issues as well and I think Mental health is not discussed enough. I appreciate you for sharing this post 🙂

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  5. Thank you for putting all of this out there and shedding a light on this conversation. These myths are not only inaccurate but they are damaging for those who are trying to work through their own struggles. For example, if everyone is telling someone dealing with depression to just ‘snap out of it’, they are less likely to approach the people in their life for help when needed.

    Like

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