Debunking common myths associated with mental disorders

Alexus Baldwin | Contributing Writer

It is common for people to be more sympathetic for someone who is being afflicted by something that can be physically seen, such as a person who has lost their skin pigment in patches due to vitiligo.

However, when someone is suffering from a mental disorder and other psychiatric issues, it can be far less noticeable, unless time is spent with them daily. In today’s society, people tend to keep their pain very secretive in fear of judgment and shame.

Dr. Stanley Jones, former professor from Youngstown, Ohio, said that because teens perceive oral therapy as unnecessary, psychiatrists have to use a different method of therapy.

“Psychiatrists today try to approach their patients by the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy instead of being old fashioned and just talking,” Jones said.

According to Jones, this method “works on changing irrational thoughts and behaviors that are causing the patient serious problems.”

Jones also said it’s best to start treatments early.

“The longer you wait to be treated, and if you miss that window of opportunity to do so, [the harder] it will become,” he said.

Another myth, according to research, is that people can outgrow mental health disorders. In actuality, people are more likely to develop a disorder rather than grow out of one. If a person has a mental disorder as a child and is never treated for it early, it can make adulthood more difficult.

For example, if a child is depressed, this could cause them to fall behind in school. This mental disorder could hinder the child’s learning abilities and shorten his or her attention span.

Without proper knowledge of mental disorders, people are more likely to make assumptions and develop misconceptions. It is easier to understand people who live with mental health disorders once you become educated about them.

“A lot of people tend to think suffering from bipolar disorder can only have effects on a person’s mood, when that is not true,” said Marcellus Williams, a graduate student from Hampton. “When you suffer from this mental disorder, not only is it affecting your energy levels, [but also your] self-esteem, concentration and even your memory as well. I believe that everyone should educate themselves on this disorder instead of believing what they only hear.”

People who suffer from mental health disorders are still capable of having successful lives. They can still build families, buy houses and obtain great jobs. All of these goals can be met with healthy coping skills, a stable support system and treatment.


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