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  • There is no hope of recovery for the mentally ill:
    Myth: False; it is easy to see the negative side of things, but with support and treatment people with mental illness can live well, and lead full and productive lives. Studies show that most people with mental illnesses get better, and many recover completely. There are even more treatments, strategies, and community supports than ever before. 

  • People with mental illness are violent, unstable and unpredictable:
    Myth: False; the truth is that people with mental illnesses are no more aggressive than the rest of us. They are, however, more likely to become victims of violence. Unfortunately, the media may portray a person with mental illness as violent, which increases the stigma associated with mental illness.

  • Mental illness only strikes the poor and less intelligent:
    Myth: False; studies show that most patients have average intelligence, but mental illness can strike anyone, of any age, culture, income level or social class.

  • If I go for treatment, the doctor will just give me a pill:
    Fact: True; some conditions require medication, but counseling, psychological support, peer support and education are also important.

  • People with mental illness just have a weak character, they could get over the problem if they just got their act together:
    Myth: False; research demonstrates that mental illnesses are the result of a complex interaction of genetic, biological, psychological, social and environmental factors. They have nothing to do with the strength of one’s character.

  • Most mental illnesses cannot be treated or cured:
    Myth: False; most mental illnesses can be treated so that individuals show improvement over time and lead meaningful lives. A variety of interventions, such as psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, occupational therapy and social work can improve an individual’s functioning and quality of life.

  • All mental illness is caused by sin:
    Myth: False; aberrant thoughts, actions and feeling result from mental illness and not from sin. They come from disease not transgression. They are not God’s way of punishing the sinner.

  • Having schizophrenia means having a “split personality”:
    Myth: False; having a split personality is an extremely rare disorder called multiple personality disorder. Schizophrenia is a very different and common disorder.

  • People with schizophrenia live mostly on their own:
    Myth: False; most live with their families, and about 5% are in mental hospitals.

  • Mental illness is not a real disease:
    Myth: False; mental illness is no different than cancer or diabetes. It has both genetic and biological causes and can be successfully treated.

  • Admitting you have a mental health problem will ruin your life:
    Myth: False; research shows that it’s resisting treatment that can be fatal to your friendships, job prospects and chances of promotion.

  • I am not a doctor, so I cannot help people with mental illness:
    Myth: False; we can all make a big difference just by the way we treat people with mental illnesses. 


MEHEP website contains general information and should not be substituted for medical advise, diagnosis, treatment or referral services. MEHEP recommend that you seek knowledge, skill and judgment from a qualified psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians or health care provider about your medical condition. MEHEP is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the MEHEP website. MEHEP is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites.

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