Mental health Misconceptions that Bloggers Want You to Know About

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10 Oct 2017

It seems as though there has been a lot of progression in the discussion of mental health. We’ve seen celebrities opening up about their own struggles; bloggers offering experienced based advice and help guides readily available online. But despite improvements, misconceptions still exist and continue to limit our understanding of mental illness.

In one of our recent blogs, Mental Health Stigma is a Silent Killer, we highlighted the negative impact stigma can have if we don’t do something about it. So, in an attempt to stand up against the harmful assumptions, Ditch the Label asked bloggers the common misconceptions that they have faced…

Vix Meldrew

“There’s a lot of, ‘oh you seem really happy’ that goes on. Just because my exterior is shouting, ‘I’m fine guys!’ doesn’t mean that I struggled to get up and haven’t showered for days.”

Vix’s Blog


Unapologetically Angie

“I would very much like say that a misconception about mental illness is: mental illness isn’t taken seriously, if you are a teenager who suffers then you are just attention seeking, if you are a woman who suffers then you are seen as over hormonal and if you are a man who suffers then you are seen as weak. A misconception is that mental illness is a choice, yet how can this amount of suffering be a choice?”

Angie’s Blog


Do the Hotpants

 “One of the things that held me back from getting treatment for so long, was that I thought I was alone in my struggles. It seemed like everyone else had a perfect and happy life on social media, except for me. I felt completely alone and didn’t know where to turn because I was scared to admit how desperately I needed help. But what I’ve come to learn is this: We are a world full of people hurting but everyone’s afraid to discuss it because of the stigma towards mental health. But whatever it is you’re going through, I promise you’re not alone.”

“And I promise there’s someone who knows how to help. The healthcare system may be difficult to navigate, but you deserve love and you deserve treatment. Never stop being your number one ally and advocate, and never forget that even in the darkest of times, you are not alone.”

Dana’s Blog


 Going with Happy

“Physical conditions can arise from MH issues, and I feel like those are some of the worst things to deal with when you’re trying to keep your health up.  When I was at a low point in my earlier college years, the fatigue and body aches that I would get were ridiculous- and were actually my first signs of mental health issues looking back.  Since I wasn’t as informed about depression and anxiety at the time, I’d be like “why do I hurt and why am I so tired all the time?!”  If I knew more, I think I could have caught my problems earlier and I could’ve started treating it faster.”

Shannon’s Blog


James Woods

“I think there is a common misconception that if you are struggling with mental health problems you must appear broken and a nervous wreck but in reality, we often look like the next person.”

James’s Blog


The V Nice Life

“I think for me personally one of the biggest misconceptions around mental health, and one that I have experienced myself, is that mental illness is meant to look a certain way and fit the stereotypical image some people have in their minds about it. If you look well and manage to achieve certain things in life and maintain a job etc people don’t understand how you could be mentally unwell. If your life is almost perfect on paper they don’t understand why you would be suffering from mental health problems, particularly depression. What they don’t realise is that mental illness isn’t picky over who it affects. You could be rich, famous and successful but it could still affect you.”

“It also affects people in different ways and to different extents. One depressed person could be unable to get out of bed every day and take care of themselves, whilst another depressed person could be holding down a full time job and looking after a family. It’s not a one size fits all illness and sadly the preconceived ideas around it can lead to others to not believe it because, and in most cases, it is an invisible illness.”

Sarah’s Blog


A Beautiful Chaos

“People often see mental health and physical health as completely different things, when in reality they are just the same. As someone who suffers from depression, people just don’t understand what it is. They believe I’m just looking for attention or I can just snap out of it. Depression is an illness and is more than just a phase or being sad for a few days. Likewise, people don’t understand my OCD. They think I’m just clean, tidy and I like to wash my hands a lot. They don’t understand the destructive nature of intrusive thoughts and the emotional and physical pain compulsions cause”.

Nicole’s Blog


Annie Elainey

“First, there is a huge misconception that positive thinking is the cure for depression, then now lumped into it is that it is the cure for my physical illness and physical disabilities.”

“Specific to me, the misconception was that because I am chronically ill and unable to do certain things that I must be sad, I was never asked how I felt, it was assumed. “You can’t go out? You just have to think positive.” I was not sad. Being chronically ill does not imply misery 24/7, it does not mean I am upset whenever I cannot do something. Sometimes it’s upsetting but I’m often more upset about inaccessibility and discrimination than I am upset at my body or my circumstances.”

Annie’s blog


Hair, Hauls and Heath

“A misconception I have received on a number of occasions is that I always look happy, I get asked how can I be so happy all the time & I’m told I look like I have the best life. While I am so grateful for what life I do have & yes I am happy most of the time. This is a huge misconception. What we choose to put on social media is not a full reflection of what is going on in someone’s life.”

“I choose to smile and be happy because it’s the only way to get through the bad times. It’s important to be as positive as you can be no matter what life throws at you.

Another misconception is when I talk about topics, issues and certain subjects on my Instagram stories, I get lots of responses thanking me for my words or kindness. Why? Because the words of another person can help and uplift someone who may be going through something.”

Charlotte’s Blog


Real Miss Anxiety

“I have gained so much through speaking out. Forever friends, confidence and inner peace. You CAN, do this!”

Beth’s Blog


From Roses

“There is no one size fits all when it comes to mental health, never let anybody else’s struggle make your own feel inferior because you’re just as important.”

Rebecca’s Blog


Oh Evie

“Something that I would like people to know and that I think is extremely important to raise awareness of is that:”

Evie’s Blog


Don’t Die Afraid

“It is best to keep your mental health private.”

“In communities of colour we are taught to keep the status of our mental health private because we are supposed to be strong and able to withstand everything.”

“This is why I love talking about it because I want to do my part in normalizing it. When we discuss these topics openly we are able to connect with others and realize we aren’t the only one with these experiences.”


Travelling Calavera

“Ever since I was diagnosed with depression aged 17, I’ve struggled to explain to people that having a good night out won’t solve my problems, or ‘fix’ me. People who don’t live with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues struggle to understand just how hard it is to make it to a friend’s birthday party, or to a restaurant. There are so many mental factors stopping you. You feel self-conscious, you hate your body, you worry about saying or doing the wrong thing, you dread having to make small talk. The list goes on. 

Little things can throw you off balance on the night, too. Someone changes where you’re meeting at the last minute, your phone battery dies, or someone says something that makes you feel awkward. These moments will affect you more than someone without mental health issues, who could probably brush it off and move on.

Of course, sometimes the clouds lift, and you genuinely have a great time, and you think your depression might just leave forever if you could only bottle that moment. More often than not, it’s just part of your journey with depression. It doesn’t represent how you’ll feel the next day, or the next week.”

“Ultimately, it would really help if people would realise that nights out socialising are important for people with mental health issues (they keep us in touch with friends, and can help us relax). But, they’re not going to magic away our problems. We will try our best to have fun, but don’t place too much pressure on us, because we’re already putting pressure on ourselves.”


Lucy Lifestyle

‘No one would say that someone with a broken arm or a broken leg is less than a whole person, but people say that or imply that all the time about mental health.’ – Elyn Saks

“I believe this quote puts one of the most common misconceptions in a nutshell. Just because we can’t see what’s going inside someone else’s mind, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.”

“I read something recently that was if someone breaks their arm everyone rushes over to sign the cast.  But, as soon as you mention you’re depressed or anxious everyone will run the other way. Its this very point that shows that we live in a world where we are accepting of our body breaking down on us, but not our brains. Mental health issues are real, even if we can’t see them. However they don’t define a person but our strength and courage does.”

Lucy’s Blog


Stevie Miller

“A lot of people say that you can’t be happy and suicidal at the same time… Which is not the case at all.”

“Not everyone needs a specific, reason to harm themselves, so instead of whining about what they’ve done, help them!”

Girl, Interrupted

Misconception: Those with a mental illness are dangerous / violent

Reality:

“The greatest risk posed by someone with a mental health problem is often to themselves.”

Jodie’s Blog


Crown of Courage

“Do not ever feel ashamed for what you may be going through. I went through my first major fight with depression and many people could not believe it. I was living in Chicago with a wonderful job, boyfriend, and a plethora of friends and family.”

“So many women just like me have described a similar loneliness, but in reality we are all in this together. Never forget that!”

Tiffany’s Blog


Wellness and Wander

“For me the biggest misconception of mental illness that needs to be confronted is that it is not as important as physical health. If for example you break a bone, you get rushed to the hospital and are treated quickly. However, I suffered with anxiety for years before I could get any sort of treatment and this is a story I see online all too often.”

“Our brains and minds can get ill too, just as we can catch chicken pox or get the flu. And yet, there isn’t the same urgency attached to mental illness as there is to physical illness. Far too often people get to point of absolute crisis before their cries for help are recognised, yet it shouldn’t have to get to that point to get help.”

Han’s Blog


 Hello Miss Jordan

“People assume you can’t have depression or anxiety if you live a privileged life and that you’re just being selfish. In reality, mental health can affect anyone, regardless of their circumstances.”

Jordan’s Blog


Little Fickle Blog

Sammy’s Blog


Have your own mental health misconception that you would like to share? Join the discussion on our community.

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