Mental health is more prevalent than many believe and is experienced by 1 out of 5 Americans in their lifetime.  It’s most likely that we all know someone that either has personally experienced the disease or knows someone that has.  Still with all that we know there remains a stigma on mental illness leaving many to believe certain myths associated.

Mental Illness Can Be Seen 

Confidence can still be displayed while having anxiety and those battling depression will still smile and laugh. Most individuals that have attempted or lost their lives to suicide appeared “normal” to those closest to them.

Mental Illness is a sign of weakness

False: Most breakdowns are followed after trying to be strong for so long.  Imagine waking up fighting your own personal demons not knowing if you will make it through the day.  That displays and requires a large amount of strength.

You can “snap out of” mental illness

False:  There’s no simple fix to something as complex as mental illness and the numbers of those affected wouldn’t be as high if there was.  However with the proper treatment and or therapy it can be controlled.  

Mental illness is an excuse for laziness

False:  Those battling this harsh disease experience extreme fatigue and lack motivation or interest in certain things.  This should not be looked upon as the individual being lazy but rather as their normal with battling this illness.

Different races are more prone

Although some may have cultural influences that may affect how symptoms are interpreted with mental illness, all races are affected by the same rate. There is no single group of people more likely than others to have a mental health condition.

When someone that you know and love talks to you about their feelings and concerns regarding mental health be compassionate. Show empathy and support knowing they are fighting an uphill battle each day which in itself is enough. Don’t be judgmental in your actions to those suffering because at any moment you too could be faced with some form of the disease.

“The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.”