Psychiatry – Myths vs Facts

Myth no. 1– Having a mental illness means the person is crazy.

Fact– Mental illnesses are just like any other medical illnesses having proven scientific causes depending on bio-psycho-social factors.

Myth no.2Treatment for psychiatric illnesses continues for life.

Fact– In most cases if adequate treatment is taken in a systematic manner followed by a good number of precautions most illnesses can be treated.

Myth no.3-All psychiatric patients are violent and aggressive

Fact– Only a few patients with certain illnesses tend to be violent, and violence and aggression generally come in phases.

Myth no.4– Only counseling can treat my problems

Fact-only medicines or only therapy or counseling cannot treat an illness. For the best results, both psychological and pharmacological treatment is needed.

Myth no.5 – Psychiatric illness is always the result of a life-stress

Fact– Many times it is found that psychiatric illness can occur without any stressor or life-changing event.

Myth no.6–  If my family member has a psychiatric illness I am bound to get it

Fact– Psychiatric illnesses have a genetic preponderance but there are multiple reasons and factors on which a person gets psychiatric illness and not everyone in the family will get an illness.

Myth no.7– Children don’t experience Psychiatric problems

Fact– Mental health problems can occur in very young children also. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent them from getting seriously affected.

Myth no.8– Psychiatric illness is a sign of weakness or occurs only to weak people.

Fact– All psychiatric illnesses are like any other medical illness having a scientific basis behind it. It can affect anyone irrespective of age, sex, caste, or creed.

Myth no.9–  I will not be able to work if I take psychiatric treatment

Fact– Many successful people are suffering from psychiatric illness and are on treatment for the same. Getting an illness treated increases the work potential of a person.

Myth no.10– Psychiatric medications are habit-forming or can damage vital organs like kidneys and/or liver

Fact– Like medicines for any other medical illnesses medicines for psychiatric illness also have a few side effects.  But when taken under the supervision of a psychiatrist these risks can be elevated and only a very few medicines have addiction potential which is only given when needed with the intention to stop it ASAP.