Psychiatrist are doctors for crazy people! You probably hear that a lot.
In recent years, psychiatry and mental health is gradually receiving the attention and awareness that it deserves. However, there are still some persistent myths and misconceptions about psychiatry. This is why it’s easier for an employee to take out time from work to see a cardiologist for a heart problem than to take out time to see a psychiatrist about prolonged stress, depression, or other mental health concerns. These myths can cause more harm than good as they act as barriers for those who stand a chance to benefit immensely from psychiatric care and treatment.
You don’t have to be antipsychiatric if you take a look at some prevalent myths about psychiatrists/mental health and the truths that debunk them!
Myth 1! Psychiatrist are doctors for crazy people
Truth. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone seeking psychiatric help is “crazy”. Some feel that psychiatric treatment is more often damaging than helpful to patients. Here is a fact: People visit psychiatrists for different reasons; perhaps to correct a chemical imbalance due to underlying diseases, injuries, ageing, or poor nutrition. This does not make them better off than those who visit for mental health purposes.
Myth 2! People who seek help from psychiatrists are weak!
Truth. Being aware of your mental health and taking practical steps to seek help to preserve it does not imply that you are weak! Actually, seeking and accepting help is a sign that you are a strong and brave individual. Mental health disorders are just like physical illnesses. Just like someone with diabetes or heart disease cannot immediately recover from their condition, similarly, people with mental illness such as depression, cannot immediately “snap out of it” even if they try. Fighting a mental health condition takes a great deal of strength and as such people who do should be applauded.
Myth 3! People with mental health problems never recover fully
Truth. People living with mental health problems get better, many of them recover completely and can live, learn, work, and make tremendous achievements in their career, and participate fully in their communities. With appropriate help and early treatment, most people recover fully and have no further episodes of this illness. For others, mental illness may recur throughout their lives and require ongoing treatment. Just like some physical illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, or any other long-term health conditions, mental illness can be managed so that individuals live their life to the fullest.
Myth 4! People with mental illness cannot cope with work
Truth. Another persistent myth is that people with mental health issues are not employable or cannot be useful members of the workforce. This is entirely false. Granted that some people living with severe mental health conditions might be unable to carry out their regular work. However, the majority of people with mental health issues can be as productive as individuals without mental health disorders. Those with mental illnesses are no different from your average employee, they are also productive, and having a job can be beneficial to them. So, it is important to offer support to these people and not discriminate against them.
Everyone is vulnerable to mental health problems regardless of their age, education, profession, and culture.If we continue believing these myths, it may prevent us from seeking the psychiatric help and treatment that we need. Besides, being anti-psychiatric is rather harmful than beneficial
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