Although we’re making headway with mental health awareness, there is still a lot of misunderstanding and some people are holding onto untruths! I’m going too write a series of blogs to debunk some common myths.
When a someone healthy breaks a bone, we don’t say they have weak bones, we all recognise that the bone had more pressure exerted on it than it could bare. The brain is just like any other organ system, sometimes it malfunctions, too much or too little of the chemicals it needs to function are produced and this leads to feelings and behaviours outside the ‘norm’. If someone’s pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, we just accept they have a diagnosis of diabetes, they get the correct treatment and no more is said. Why is mental illness treated so differently?!
Some say “mental illness is a sign of having been strong for too long”, I wouldn’t have thought of myself as particularly strong, when I was diagnosed with depression, I was feeling pretty weak, but this explanation makes sense:
What happens if you put a whole lot of stress on someone who is weak, cynical or lazy? The answer is that they will immediately give up, so they will never get stressed enough to become ill. The strong persons on the other hand reacts to stress by redoubling their efforts, pushing themselves way beyond the limits for which their body is designed. When they start getting symptoms of an illness they still keep going, with the inevitable result that they get more and more ill!
Watch this space for more debunked myths! Do comment if there’s a particular myth you’d like me to address.