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8 Myths About Mental Health That Are Totally False

Mental health professionals are learning more and more about the complexities of our brains every day.

In a recent video for Business Insider, three clinical psychologists debunked 25 myths about mental health. We’ve selected eight of our favorites to discuss further.

 All neat freaks have OCD

  • Just because someone likes to be clean doesn’t mean they have OCD
  • OCD as an illness has multiple components
  • People with OCD are obsessive about something, and it’s not always about being clean

There are five stages of loss

  • This is just a myth conceived by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
  • The stages were originally attributed to terminally ill patients coming to terms with their own death
  • The stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance–most people don’t follow this pattern when it comes to loss and grief

Having mood swings means you have Bipolar Disorder

  • Everybody has mood swings
  • Bipolar people have severe cycles of elevated and depressed moods

Feeling anxious means you have an anxiety disorder

  • Everybody feels anxious before stressful situations
  • Presentations, interviews, and big games are anxiety inducing
  • Anxiety disorders are at play when anxiety becomes extreme and interferes with someone’s day-to-day life

 Feeling sad means you have depression

  • Sadness is an ephemeral emotion that by nature only lasts a few seconds to ten or so minutes
  • Ruminating on sadness leads us to depression
  • Depression can be debilitating, making it so you can’t eat, sleep, or enjoy the things you used to enjoy

 Medication changes your personality

  • Medications like antidepressants don’t change your personality; you are who you are
  • Medications are meant to soothe the symptoms of a disorder
  • Therapy is important in combination with medicinal treatment for those with depression and anxiety

It’s all our parents’ fault

  • For better or worse, this one’s just not true
  • Our mental illness can be maintained in the present without ruminating on our past
  • Childhood experiences play a role in our mental health, but they aren’t the sole cause of our problems

A friend is a free therapist

  • Not quite. Therapists are trained to help people deal with the ups and downs of the human condition
  • Friends are not necessarily trained to be able to deal with our personal issues in the way real therapists are

Catie Housman

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