Psychological Disorders: Myths and Reality

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In almost all aspects that beat the human logic like psychological disorder, myths and misconceptions are formulated surrounding that phenomenon. Myths and misconceptions can greatly affect the way people perceive things. In most cases, myths are very different from the true facts but due to the nature of myths, they tend to be more truthful especially when many people believe in them. It is important for people to realize that myths and misconceptions are barriers to understanding the true facts behind a certain phenomenon. One of the phenomena that have myths and misconceptions surrounding it in the modern society is the state of psychological disorder among some members of the society. When humans lack an answer to a social problem, they are more likely to develop myths towards the situation. This explains why there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding mental disorder as we will observe later in to the paper.

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As much as myths offer an explanation of a certain phenomenon, they also cause negative effects in the society. One of the effects of myths is misguided information which can lead to further problems. Myths hide the truthful facts and information from people and therefore it is a barrier of learning how to improve certain conditions. Myths also cause social stigma to the affected people and the families of the affected victims. In this case when a family member gets a mental disorder while a myth states that mental disorders are caused by demonic worship, the family of the affected victim faces stigmatization and rejection by the rest of the society because of a myth that is not substantial.

Dismissing Myths On psychological disorder

In this section, every myth will be disapproved with a fact and information that will change the peoples view on psychological disorders.

Myth: Psychological disorder is very rare

Fact: Psychological disorders are as common as other conditions. According to (Joiner, 2011), out of five people, one person experiences mental disorder at a time in their life. One person in every twenty people gets permanent mental disorder which greatly affects a person’s life. It is important to realize that mental illnesses’ can affect any individual regardless of their age, religion, wealth or race. Mental illness is a medical issue that can be medically improved.

Myth: Mental disorder is caused by poor parenting

Fact: children are no exceptions and they can also get mental conditions. (Thompson, 2007) states that at the age of 13-18 one out of five children is likely to have a mental condition. Besides, 50% of most mental conditions start when an individual is at a young age. As much as an individual’s environment can affect their mental health, it is inappropriate to blame poor parenting to psychological disorders. Biological factors are more likely to cause a mental illness than environmental factors. However, it could also be a combination of both poor parenting and biological factors.

Myth: People with mental problems are pretending in order to have attention

Fact: this is a myth that most people believe. Many people will associate it with pretense. However, no one in their right mind would chose to act in a weird manner and sometimes dangerous to get attention. Mental illnesses affect the individual’s ability to make straight decisions like normal people (Espejo, 2012). Mental conditions are real and they have been there historically. These disorders have been researched extensively to try and establish their causes and their possible treatment. In some cases, mental disorders are only visible to trained personnel and observers but it is difficult to relate to the condition they are experiencing.

Myth: some races are more prone to mental illness than others

Fact: we live in a world with mixed races and ethnicities like blacks, whites, Indians and Chinese to mention a few. We are all equally capable hence it would be unfair to state that one race for example Indians are more prone to psychological disorders than another race for example blacks. This is because all ethnicities and races are affected by this condition equally and at the same rate. There is no ethnic group that is resilient from getting psychological disorders. However, awareness and treatment of mental condition among various races vary hence even at an equal rate of illness, races that have detrimental cultural practices may seem to have more victims due to lack of awareness of treatment methods. The bottom line therefore remains that no race in more prone to getting psychological disorders than the other.

Myth: therapy is a waste of time and money. Pills can do good enough

Fact: different psychological disorders have different treatment method. According to (Barry & Farmer, 2015) there is no silver bullet for mental disorders. For that reason a victim needs various methods of assessment to improve their condition. Medication can help the individual but it is not the single solution to the patient’s condition. Therapy is extremely necessary to monitor the patient’s condition. While coupled with medication, therapy has been proven to produce better results.

Myth: Mentally ill victims cannot handle school or work.

Fact: Even normal people cannot handle tasks and school when at extreme stress and depression. For that reason, mentally ill people should not be judged because they are not doing that out of will. Moreover, the victims can even handle school and work when their condition is improved (Espejo, 2012).

Myth: Mental victims are dangerous and violent

Fact: (Thompson, 2007) states that a mental condition does not necessarily mean that the individual will be violent and dangerous. Research actually shows that how you treat and handle the victim determines his behavior. However, one can live with a mentally ill patient peacefully without violence. Lack of reasoning from the victims may however make the individual violent although the occasions are rare.

Myth: one cannot recover from psychological disorder

Fact: while some of the disorders may be life-long (Neustatter & Maude, 2011), others like anxiety and depression require medication and consolidation of one’s life and the patient will recover. Recovery has become a reality especially with modern medicine that has been developed through research and innovation. Mental patients can therefore recover from their condition depending on the type of disorder they have.

Myth: mental illness is as a result of demonic worship

Fact: it is vague to believe that a religion could lead someone to get psychological disorder (Joiner, 2011). Many people are inclined to a religion for spiritual solace thus no one would join a religion that makes people get mental illnesses. As stated earlier, environmental and biological factors are the main causatives of psychological problems.

The information and research that has gone into mental conditions should not only help us disapprove the common myths but also help us change our views on mental illness. This information should help us to show love to affected victims and family members since it is a condition that anyone can get. We should encourage victims to follow treatment and urge family members to ensure their patient is well cared for.

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