Mental Health Misconceptions

Mental health is a difficult topic to understand, even those of us who are going through it are learning every day. I thought today I would share with you the top 5 misconceptions that I have encountered with my mental health problems.

It’s okay not to understand mental health completely but the misconceptions below demonstrate people’s sheer ignorance – please don’t be like these people.

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Once you’ve been sick you’ll realise there’s nothing wrong with it

As a sufferer of emetophobia I am terrified of vomiting or seeing others vomit (you can read more about it here). I often have people tell me that once I’ve experienced it, I will be okay because it’s ‘not as bad as I think it is’.

I agree that the actual experience isn’t as bad as the anxiety, however the experience does not automatically flip the switch in my brain. Since having norovrius a year ago my anxiety and phobia has been at its worst. So to all those people out there who don’t understand emetophobia, please don’t tell someone that being sick will instantly cure them.

 

Phobias often have their roots in irrational fears and unfortunately rationalising these fears does not automatically make you okay.

 

You’ve done it before so you can do it again

This misconception really annoys me. Sometimes I go through hell and back with my anxiety to get myself through a situation. Because I do get myself through it everyone automatically assumes that I’ll just do it again.

Please understand the horror of the experience that I go through and do not just tell me I’ve done it before so I can do it again – it’s not helpful, nor is it very supportive. I find this often also places addition pressure on myself to be okay when I’m really not.

 

I appreciate that people believe in me, however I would rather they understand how I am feeling and encourage me in other ways.

 

You’re lazy

Lately I’ve been saying no to a lot more things. If something is going to make me anxious or unhappy then I am much less likely to do it. Because of this I’m often perceived as being lazy. I wish I felt in a position to say yes to everyone and fill my days with endless activities, however I just don’t feel well enough.

I fight my anxiety every second of every day so on those days where I decide not to put myself through anymore please don’t accuse me of being lazy.

 

Laziness is often a misconception associated with depression. I know when my mental health was at its worst almost a year ago I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I didn’t see the point. A lot of people just branded me as lazy rather than trying to provide me with the help and support that I so desperately needed.

 

You’re weak

This is somewhat similar to the misconception that I have mentioned above. On days where I don’t want to confront my mental health I’ve been told that I’m weak and I need to keep fighting against it. I do fight, everyday. Sometimes I need a break because I am physically and mentally exhausted and being told that I’m weak for wanting this is really hurtful.

 

I’m far from weak, every day I confront my fears. Just because my fears are different from yours does not mean that they are invalid.

I am strong.

You can choose to be okay

I’ve come across the misconception that mental health is a choice and that I can just wake up some days and choose to be okay. Trust me, if this was an option then I would have made this choice many many years ago.

Mental health is not a choice, it is a form of illness that should not be treated any differently from a physical illness.

 

Let me know which misconceptions you’ve come across in regards to your own mental health problems.

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XOXO

 

20 thoughts on “Mental Health Misconceptions

  1. Had all the ones you list and a few more. They can’t see it so it doesn’t exist. Like we really want to lay on the bed all day doing and achieving nothing. Some people can be educated others are best avoided where possible. There is greater awareness now than 20 years ago. Things are improving.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi, Liz! I edit for the website gratitudespace.com and I was telling Chris, the boss, that you’d be perfect for an interview. I think your writing is brilliant and even though you don’t specifically blog about gratitude, I think the theme comes across in a lot of your posts. Would you be interested in doing a quick 10 question interview via email?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is so true! I also have a fear of vomiting and my anxiety makes me feel like I am and I have to be reassured often that I’m not. My boyfriend sometimes gets annoyed by it but I can’t help it. I try my hardest but that’s just one of my things. This post is so accurate!

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  4. Oh my god the first one REALLY pisses me off! The amount of times I’ve had that said to me, if I had a quid for it I wouldn’t need to ever work again 😂 the whole thing around mental health being a choice is another one that annoys me too, I don’t think anyone would ever choose to feel the way we do at times! I also find generally dismissing your fears is another one that I’m getting more and more annoyed with, you actually make the effort to tell someone what you’re worrying about or what’s upsetting you, and it’s immediately brushed off with “you’ll be fine.” Like oh thanks so much that’s got rid of ALL my anxiety! 😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Honestly whenever someone says that to me I have to really stop myself from losing my temper! Thankfully the stigma around mental health is changing but some people are still stuck with this archaic mindset! 😡xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This! I know it all too well. I suffer from an anxiety disorder and depression, and at my worst I had troubles leaving the house let alone going to events and holding up to commitments. It is because some days would be better than others that some people would think it was all in my head. There is a need to be understood, or at the very least validated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to hear what you’ve been through but I can completely relate. People don’t understand that mental health comes with good days and bad days. Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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