Common Psychiatric Myths vs. Facts: Unlearn What You Know

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Have you ever wondered why it is easier to go to a heart specialist for heart problems than going to a professional psychiatrist for any mental conditions or depression? What is it?  A fear regarding what they do? Or the social stigma that still surrounds mental health?

Slowly but steadily, more people are breaking the barriers and talking about mental health. It is a medical specialty that is quite often misconstrued. It is portrayed negatively in the media, and that’s why many people are wary of seeing one. All of this is because of a lack of understanding.

This leads to the perpetuation of false notions and myths. One thing you should know is that these myths can prove to be dangerous as they restrict those from seeking professional help who are suffering from poor mental health.

Here are some of the most common myths vs. facts regarding psychiatry and psychiatric treatment: 

Myth # 1: Only Crazy or Violent People Go to Psychiatrists

First of all, one needs to understand that mental illness is real. Anxiety and depression are real. Those who suffer from these issues are NOT crazy. It is just that some cases need more care than others. The main reason behind seeing a psychiatrist is to correct chemical imbalances and relieve symptoms. Individuals with a serious mental disorder account for 3-5% of violence. And that’s about it.

Myth # 2: They Categorize Normal Emotions as Mental Illness

Humans feel plenty of emotions every day. And experiencing them is a part of being human. But in some cases, our emotions become too much to handle and go beyond our control. If you feel particular emotions too strongly for a long period, they can impact your thinking and functioning ability, making you negative in thoughts and behavior. All of these point towards a mental illness taking root that needs to be addressed and treated as soon as possible. You need professional help regarding this.

Myth # 3: The Drugs Change You Entirely

Not true. Psychiatric drugs do not change your personality. Rather, they help with alleviating the symptoms that seem to have taken root in your personality. To elaborate further, it means that if you are an organized person who pays attention to detail and is always on time with an anxiety disorder. When you take medicines and get treatment, you would still be the same person and have these qualities. It only sans anxiety disorder.

Here is another example, if you have become an antisocial person due to depression, you might become friendlier and social after taking medicine. In case you are an introvert, you are going to remain an introvert. However, if you were unaware of the fact that your behavior was symptoms, and you went a long time without getting treatment, you might be confusing symptoms as personality traits.

Myth # 4: You Always Have to Take Medication

Some people believe that a mental health patient is forced to take medications. This is not entirely true. Every patient is different, and so is their medical condition. A treatment plan is devised and proposed according to individual needs. Sometimes, all they need is talk therapy.

Also, for how long they take medications, rely on various factors. Some might be taking the medications to treat a short-term mental problem that does not require them to be on meds forever. Some individuals require medications for the rest of their lives, but this can be only determined after discussing it with the psychiatrist. Lookout for any behavioral changes in your friends or family, if they show symptoms of anxiety or depression, search for the best family psychologist in your area. Because quite often, these issues arise out of problems between relationships.

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