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The Real truth regarding mental disorders versus the myths

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Myth: Mental illness is a result of a personal weakness.


Fact: A mental illness is not a character flaw. It is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, biological, social and environmental factors. Seeking and accepting help is a sign of resilience and strength.


Myth: People with a mental illness are dangerous.


Fact: This false perception underlies some of the most damaging stereotypes for people with mental illness. People with a mental illness are seldom dangerous. Even people with the most severe mental illness, whose symptoms may cause them to act in bizarre or abnormal ways, are rarely dangerous.


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Myth: Mental illness is a form of intellectual disability or brain damage.


Fact: They are illnesses just like any other, such as heart disease, diabetes, and asthma. Yet the traditions of sympathy, support, and flowers given to people with physical illnesses are often denied to those with a mental illness.


Myth: People with a mental illness can ‘pull themselves out of it’.


Fact: A mental illness is not caused by personal weakness and is not ‘cured’ by personal strength.

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Myth: People with a mental illness should be isolated from the community.


Fact: Most people with a mental illness recover quickly and do not need hospital care. Others may have short admissions to hospital for treatment. Only a very small number of people with mental illness (less than one in thousand patients) need hospital care. Improvements in treatment over recent decades mean that most people live in their communities, and there is no need for the confinement and isolation that was commonly used in the past.


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