It’s always time to talk: three common myths about mental health

Although Time To Talk Day has passed, mental health isn’t something you can simply cross out in your calendar. To commemorate this awareness day, we want to address three common and harmful myths about mental health.

 

Phone number you can call if you need to talk. Courtesy of Mind Charity.

(Image with phone numbers available for anyone to talk to. Courtesy of Mind, National Association for Mental Health founded in 1946)

Myth:

Mature people must be able to sort all problems by themselves. They failed as adults if they ask for advice on how to deal with their feelings.

 

Reality:

To an extent, it’s true and reasonable to expect adults to “keep it together.” Things like work, finances, physical health can be challenging at times, but everyone goes through dealing with them. However, do all those things really get resolved by the person themselves without any external help?

When we need to open a savings account, we go to the bank. When we want to become more financially stable, we look for new network and job opportunities. When we don’t know which medicine we need to address a specific symptom that bothers us, we turn to a pharmacist or book a doctor’s appointment.

Mental health is the root of how we react to changes and what actions we take to cope with them. It should never be disregarded as “just thoughts” if they pull you back from “keeping it together.”

When we think about it, mental health can influence as much as how we handle ourselves at work and home. Mental health can even determine how healthy are the choices that we make in our lifestyles, both consciously and subconsciously.

That’s why we need to amplify the talk – because a lot of great things in life depend on it!

 

Myth:

Women are expected to be weaker and seek guidance like therapy, while men should stay strong despite any circumstances.

Reality:

In the previous post about lip reading classes in Ayrshire, we came across an old-time topic of men needing help. In particular, Frances Brown has noticed that disability groups are largely attended by women.

Indeed, men have been reported to be less likely to request help for mental health than women. Opinions about why it happens vary. However, we can’t ignore the social factor that might harm men just as much as women.

Some people believe that women are prone to be weaker and in need of advice. Meanwhile, men should demonstrate the opposite qualities. These expectations are especially harmful when somebody tries to tie them with mental health.

Mental health struggles are a universal experience backed by science and shared by many people regardless of who they are.

Some people have preferences and feel more comfortable talking about mental health to a particular gender. This is completely normal. What matters is that you amplify the talk about it!

 

Myth:

Mental health condition is a sign of weakness of character.

Reality:

This myth is based on the assumption that your personality defines your mental health and vice versa. But there’s a significant difference.

Your individual character is always under your control. We can’t say the same about a mental disorder, which is subject to the environmental or even genetic impact.

Of course, we can take steps to ensure our mental well-being. However, it’s important to keep track of how helpful they are:

  • Is there a visible difference between yourself before you had taken those steps and now?
  • Does it help you feel better long-term?

If even the little things in life keep looking rather negative than positive, it’s time to ask for help.

If you or someone you know is going through a difficult patch, reach out for help. It can be people who are closest to you, or a qualified medical professional.

Even in the fast-paced world that we live in, there’s always time to talk.

After all, to deal with all the noise and business outside, everyone needs a firm foundation on the inside. That’s why it’s important to start the talk – and listen to yourself!