We are used to thinking that a mental disorder is a disease with which a person can not live a normal life, raise children and certainly can not work. Stereotyped thinking makes such people “crazy”, dangerous to others, whereas, in fact, not all mental illnesses need total control by doctors and limited communication.
Statistics show that 20-30% of residents of large cities, constantly exposed to stress, can be diagnosed with a depressive disorder in one form or another. These people walk the streets, live with you in the same house, go to one movie and, quite possibly, do not even know about their diagnosis. And some of them – as in that joke – are so close to you that sometimes it’s even yourself.
Unfortunately, the myths about mental disorders are surprisingly stable. Below are four statements that you must stop believing right now.
Myth 1. From a mental disorder, you can quickly get rid of
“This idea is ubiquitous. And it is very harmful because it creates unreasonable expectations among people suffering from this or that mental disease, “says KHN Nelson Freimer, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California.
It is important to understand that there is no “magic pill”, capable in a single moment to save a person from a mental disorder. On the other hand, properly selected therapy or medication will make it so that the disturbance will not cause discomfort to either the person or his loved ones.
Some may consider mental illness a lack of character, but this is not at all the case. Studies show that such factors as genetics, a biochemical imbalance in the brain or hormonal changes affect the likelihood of its occurrence.
Myth 2. It is impossible to work with a mental illness
Indeed, the more serious a person’s mental illness, the more difficult it is for him to get a full-time job. However, people with mild and moderate mental disorders can not just work, but go up the career ladder and even hold managerial positions.
Nevertheless, research suggests that workers who openly talk about their illness may still face discrimination. Therefore, it is important to carefully evaluate your situation, including the fact how trustworthy your relationship with the boss can be. If there are no differences between you, you should warn in advance about the problem and agree on the opportunity to work from home in the most difficult moments.
Myth 3. Mental illnesses are closely related to violence
“There is a big difference between our ideas and the facts,” says Jeffrey Swanson, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University. “It’s hard to avoid headlines about mass executions committed by someone with a history of mental illness, and polls show that most people believe that mentally ill people are more likely to be violent.”
The truth is that the vast majority of people with mental illnesses are not at all cruel. Although people with severe mental illness are three times more likely to be violent than those who are mentally healthy, they contribute only to a small part of the violence in society. Only 3-5% of violent actions can be attributed to mental illness, while people with mental disorders are 10 times more likely to be victims of violence than the general population.
Myth 4. You can not cope with a mental disorder
Many people go through mild or moderate episodes of mental illness and never experience them again. Other people, with more serious violations, are able to successfully manage them and live the life they want.
Of course, the duration of recovery and the possible risks depend on the type of mental illness. But, according to research, up to 50% of schizophrenic disorders, up to 70% of panic disorders, or almost 80% of bipolar disorders do not interfere with the comfortable existence of humans, while observing simple rules, among them regular visits to the therapist.