Mental Health Misconceptions

Mental health can affect anyone and everyone. It does not discriminate. Over the past years, mental health has become the forefront of behavioral health care. From the global pandemic, global warming and increased world violence, mental health is beginning to receive more attention and concern. Mental health disorders include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and depression.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 1 in 5 American adults experienced a mental health condition in any given year. About 1 in 6 young adults experienced a major depressive episode. And about 1 in 20 Americans have lived with a serious mental illness including bipolar disorder, major depression or schizophrenia. In fact, half of all mental health conditions show their first signs before a person turns 14 years old. This means even young children can experience symptoms of a mental health disorder. It is often a product of individual or combined factors including biological, psychological and social.

On a turquoise background, a person's hands holding a blue smiling face paper representing mental health misconceptions.

With mental health conditions increasing and becoming more common, why are there so many mental health misconceptions? Issues surrounding mental health and awareness have slowly begun to increase over the past few years. With that, there has been a shift in attitude towards people who have mental illnesses. Influence and coverage by mainstream media about mental illness put the disease in the spotlight. Despite the small changes in attitude, there is still a significant stigma, as well as common misconceptions about mental health.

Misconceptions about Mental Health

Dispelling stereotypes and misconceptions about mental health can reduce stigma and create a culture that encourages people to get help and support.

  • Myth: Mental health conditions are a rare occurrence.
  • Fact: According to the World Health Organization, about 450 million people worldwide experience mental health conditions and it is one of the leading causes of ill health globally. An estimated 40 million Americans struggle with symptoms of depression. Over 2 million American adults live with OCD. And an estimated 15 million American adults experience PTSD in any given year.
  • Myth: People who are diagnosed with a mental illness are violent.
  • Fact: Only 3-5% of violent acts are associated with people who experience serious mental illness. In fact, those who experience mental illness are over ten times more likely to be victims of violence.
  • Myth: Mental health disorders are the results of personal character flaws and weaknesses. If a person really wanted to make changes, they could do so if they tried hard enough.
  • Fact: Contributing factors to mental health include biological factors, genes, physical illness, brain chemistry, life experiences, history of abuse and family history of mental health conditions.
  • Myth: Mental health problems are permanent.
  • Fact: Each person’s experience with mental illness is different. Some have more severe conditions than others and will need different levels of help. Through treatment recovery, many people will be able to better understand their condition and be able to maintain their uncomfortable feelings and emotions.
  • Myth: There is nothing that can be done to protect people from mental health disorders.
  • Fact: There are recovery and treatment programs that help those who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Seeking out these programs early on can be greatly beneficial. There are also many other things you can do to help and support others who are experiencing mental health conditions. Ways to lend your support include: helping them find mental health services, learning about what they may be going through, treating them with respect, and encouraging physical activity and healthy eating.
  • Myth: Therapy is a waste of time and does not help people who experience mental health disorders.
  • Fact: Rigorous, effective and innovative modern therapy focuses on problems and solutions. Research has shown that behavioral therapies are very effective in treating mental illness and substance abuse. In combination with medication management, therapy can result in improvements in symptoms.
  • Myth: Having a mental health disorder means you’re “crazy.”
  • Fact: The stereotype that people who suffer from mental health disorders are crazy can create a very damaging image and only perpetuates more stigma. It dismisses and isolates a person as the opposite of normal. People who are experiencing a mental health disorder live with difficult symptoms that they are unable to manage and control. This does not mean they are “crazy.”
  • Myth: PTSD is a military disease.
  • Fact: PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic event. A rape or sexual assault victim, a domestic abuse victim, a survivor of a natural disaster or someone who has suffered loss can all experience PTSD.
  • Myth: Psychiatric medications are bad and ineffective.
  • Fact: For many with mental health illnesses, medication is necessary. Just like taking medication for symptoms of physical illness like diabetes, medications for mental health conditions can help ease intense psychiatric symptoms. This helps people continue to function normally. This also helps to improve the quality of life.

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Signs that you may be experiencing a Mental Health Disorder

  • You feel sad or depressed
  • You are unable to concentrate
  • You frequently experience extreme feelings like fear, guilt, sadness or anger
  • You are withdrawn from friends and family
  • You experience extreme mood swings
  • You turn to drugs or alcohol
  • You have unexplained hostility or violence
  • You have the inability to cope with emotions
  • You are experiencing delusions, paranoia or hallucinations
  • You are thinking about hurting yourself or others

Reach out to Hotel California by the Sea

We specialize in treating addiction and other co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD. Our Admissions specialists are available to walk you through the best options for treating your addiction.

Treatment for Mental Health Conditions

The behavioral health program at Hotel California by the Sea provides a specialized program for co-occurring mental health disorders. Many people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction also experience a co-occurring mental health condition. When treatment for both conditions occurs concurrently, there is a greater chance for long-term recovery.

Hotel California by the Sea provides flexible treatment options for all clients. Detox, residential, PHP and IOP programs are phases of rehab available to clients who are experiencing drug and alcohol addiction. To further treat any mental health disorders, therapies such as CBT, DBT and group therapy can be critical. These specialized treatments help clients overcome their addictions and also treat their mental health disorders.