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Common Misconceptions About Mental Illness

 


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Many people do not understand mental illnesses. They think it is a thing the person can control by sheer willpower. How many times have you heard it said , “He should just SNAP out of it!" ? this is equivalent to saying someone should just “snap out" of diabetes, cancer, heart problems, or any other physical malady.

Just getting out of bed in the morning can be a challenge for a mentally ill person. Personal hygiene is one of the first things that is let go. It is hard to even go do necessary shopping since it is difficult to be around people-especially large numbers of people and unfamiliar ones.

Concentration is disrupted which makes it tough to read a book, watch TV, balance a checkbook, etc. Hobbies, relationships, and activities that were enjoyed are not important anymore.

Mental illness is caused by many factors. Heredity plays a part for some patients. Our society's pressures and expectations contribute many stresses. Losses (of job, divorce, death of loved ones , health, independence, wealth, etc. ) are situational stressors that can be instrumental in triggering mental illness. Making poor choices such as drug experimentation can contribute to mental illness. When someone is mentally ill they often can no longer do their jobs so financial problems are added to their burdens.

There are many good books and the internet for researching specific types of mental illnesses. My goal is not to delve into each type of mental illnesses but to provide support for the caregivers (family, friends, etc. ) of the patient. Therefore, I will be submitting more articles on specific topics for this purpose.

Darlene Armstrong

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