8 Big Myths About People With Mental Disorders

Woman with wet head.

Mental disorders are a phenomenon that remains deeply stigmatized, partly due to lack of knowledge. Under this label of “mental disorders”, many people group all kinds of confusing and sometimes aberrant concepts that, in practice, only serve to exclude.

Myths about people with mental disorders that you should reject

Many times the idea of ​​mental disorder has been used simply as an adjective that speaks badly of people and gives reasons to fear them, it is worth having a little more information about it. Below you will find several myths about people with mental disorders

1. They are irrecoverable cases and can only stagnate or worsen

It is true that the fact of having developed a mental disorder is something that is difficult to forget, but that does not mean that its symptoms cannot subside until they almost disappear. This, of course, varies largely depending on the problem presented in each case, but it must be taken into account that there is no category with clear limits that delimits what it means to have a disorder or not to have one.

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For example, symptoms do not have to disappear completely to recover in the same way that there are many people who, due to their way of life, do not have problems with fear when entering a plane.

2. They do not understand what is said to them

Having a mental disorder does not imply that there is also intellectual disability. The majority of these types of patients are perfectly capable of understanding any explanation and even pretending not to have any emotional or cognitive problems during a conversation.It is advisable not to treat these people with condescension and paternalism which in practice are insulting.

3. They lose touch with reality

The belief that “madness” consists of cutting off all contact with reality is nothing more than an excuse to stigmatize people with mental disorders, a way to remove them from public life and to ensure that their interests cannot change society in favor of more inclusive values.

In the same way that for centuries homosexuality was marginalized because there was the power to criminalize behaviors that conflicted with the nuclear family model, today there is talk about the supposed lack of judgment of these minorities to deprive them of many rights (in favor of the rest of the people).

Of course, there is no rational reason why people with mental disorders should be grouped together. under the label “madness” and are attributed the inability to defend their own interests anywhere and anytime.

4. They are hooked on medication

On the one hand, it is absolutely false that the fact of having a mental disorder means generating a dependency relationship with a psychotropic drug. Many people decide not to take medication or your disorder is of such low intensity that the use of these substances to treat it is not even considered.

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Furthermore, even if a person develops addiction to a drug, this does not make him or her acquire a lower moral rank. Many times this bond of dependency appears relatively quickly and in situations of great difficulties and a lot of pressure. Partly, Drugs are a response to the need to create people who adapt to a society who is not willing to change too much for them.

5. They are violent people

Although people with mental disorders have extra reasons to experience anxiety, that does not mean that they channel this discomfort by directing it against others. In fact, in many cases their tendency is to isolate themselves so as not to cause discomfort to your friends and family.

6. Mental disorders are an emotional problem

This is one of the classic interpretations of a trend of “alternative therapies” that consider that diseases and disorders arise from unresolved emotional conflicts. Not only is it completely false, but it is also an extremely harmful idea, capable of causing great pain to patients and families, or even leading to death.

The reason is that they hold the individual responsible for what happens to them, which in practice means that If there is no improvement, the situation is seen as something for which the patient is guilty for not wanting to face those internal problems.

7. They can cure their disorders by talking about them

Simply receiving information or putting what you feel into words does not mean recovering. Mental disorders are beyond language and although modifying beliefs helps, recovery comes through other means, such as through the adoption of different habits, techniques that are applied at home, etc.

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Thus, advice is not an option, because disorders do not arise from a lack of information or the absence of rationality. Smokers continue to consume cigarettes even though they know perfectly well that it is harmful, and the same goes for mental disorders. Even despite recognizing those actions and thoughts that are not appropriate, they manifest themselves, since there is no control over them at the time the symptoms manifest

8. Part of the symptoms of mental disorders are wake-up calls

Some believe that people with mental disorders enjoy making this a part of their identity to others, as if they talk about these kinds of problems for the pleasure of feeling the attention of the rest or, perhaps, his admiration. However, this is a clearly solipsistic conception of what it is to experience a disorder.

In the same way that a bad experience at work makes us talk about it, mental disorders, whose symptoms can be more painful and frequent than a fight from the boss, naturally make us want to talk about it at times.