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8 great myths about people with mental disorders

8 great myths about people with mental disorders

May 26, 2024

Mental disorders are a phenomenon that remains deeply stigmatized , partly because of the 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.

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Myths about people with mental disorders that you should refuse

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


1. They are irrecoverable and can only stagnate or worsen

It is true that the fact of having developed a mental disorder is something that is hard to forget, but that does not mean that their symptoms can not subside until they almost disappear. This, of course, varies greatly depending on the problem presented in each case, but we must bear in mind that there is no category with clear limits that define what it is to have a disorder or not have it.

For example, it is not necessary for the symptoms to disappear completely to recover , in the same way that there are many people who, because of their way of life, do not have problems because of fear of entering an airplane.


2. They do not understand what they are told

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

  • Related article: "Intellectual and developmental disability"

3. They lose touch with reality

The belief that "madness" consists in cutting off all contact with reality is no more than an excuse to stigmatize people with mental disorders, a way of separating them from public life and to favor that their interests can not turn society in favor of more inclusive values.


In the same way that for centuries homosexuality was marginalized because it had the power to criminalize behaviors that clashed with the nuclear family model, today we talk about the supposed lack of criteria 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 it is possible to group people with disorders under the label "madness" and they are attributed the inability to defend their own interests anywhere and at any time.

4. They are hooked on medication

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

In addition, even if a person develops addiction to a drug, this does not mean that he acquires a lower moral rank. Many times this dependency link appears relatively quickly and in situations of great difficulties and a lot of pressure. Partly, the drugs are a response to the need to create people that adapt to a society that is not willing to change too much for them.

  • Related article: "Psychotropic drugs: drugs that act on the brain"

5. They are violent people

Although people with mental disorders have extra reasons to experience anxiety, that does not mean they channel this discomfort by directing it against others. In fact, in many cases Its tendency is to isolate itself 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 current of "alternative therapies" that consider that diseases and disorders arise from unresolved emotional conflicts. Not only is it totally false, but it is also an extremely harmful idea, capable of causing great pain in patients and relatives, or can even lead 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 the patient is guilty of , for not wanting to face those internal problems.

7. They can cure their disorders by talking about them

The simple act of receiving information or putting what one feels in words does not imply recovering. Mental disorders are beyond language , and although changing beliefs helps, recovery comes through other ways, such as by adopting different habits, techniques that are applied at home, etc.

So, advice is not an option, because the disorders are not born of lack of information or the absence of rationality. Smokers continue to consume cigarettes even though they know perfectly well that this is harmful, and the same goes for mental disorders. Even in spite of recognizing those actions and thoughts that are not appropriate, they manifest themselves, since you do not have control over them at the moment when the symptoms manifest themselves .

  • Perhaps you are interested: "Behavioral Cognitive Therapy: what is it and on what principles is it based?"

8. Part of the symptoms of mental disorders are attention calls

Some people believe that people with mental disorders enjoy making this a part of their identity before others, as if they were talking about this kind of problem 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 become more painful and frequent than a boss's anger, make you naturally want to talk about it sometimes.


5 Myths about Mental Illnesses (May 2024).


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