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Student News of Liberty High School


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Misconceptions About Mental Health

Society had come up with some misconceptions about mental health that can be harmful to someone struggling with it
Madelyn Tierney
Mental health conditions affect people in many different ways.

If you think that you could have any of these, or are struggling, please reach out to your counselor or a hotline. If you are gonna harm yourself or someone else please call 988. 

Mental health is a complicated thing with many untrue beliefs. Someone who struggles with mental health may find it harmful having family and friends believing them. They could also find it harmful when someone who doesn’t struggle with it talks about something when it’s not even true. 

Most people think to cure anxiety disorders all you need to do is exercise, eat right, avoid caffeine, etc. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, this is not true. Doing these things can have a positive effect on your anxiety but it doesn’t make it disappear. Stress is not what causes anxiety disorders, so doing these things will help to remove stress, but if stress doesn’t cause it then doing these alone won’t get rid of it. 

It is common to think someone who is bipolar is only having mood swings. According to Northlake Mental Hospital, bipolar disorder is not just mood swings but also affects your energy, ability to function, activity level, etc. Someone living with bipolar disorder can go months in a manic episode or months in a depressive episode. 

You will hear people say someone can’t have depression because they have good family and friends. John Hopkins Medicine talks about how depression is a biological thing which means that it is a chemical imbalance in the brain causing it. Just because someone has friends and family doesn’t mean they can’t be depressed, but depression isn’t a joke. It is a really serious problem that must be diagnosed by a doctor. 

A lot of people believe that if someone has a “normal” body weight they can’t have an eating disorder, guys can’t have eating disorders, or just “white girls from the suburbs” can have an eating disorder. This is not true. According to Golisano Children’s Hospital, it doesn’t matter your race, gender, culture, ethnicity, etc. They also said that the reason for eating disorders stem from the way someone sees themself.

A lot of people say that they are a little bit OCD. This is not true. According to the International OCD Foundation you must be diagnosed to have it. It is a very serious mental condition. Some people with OCD have to continuously recheck things like locks and ovens. They may have to repeat things until they feel it is done “correctly.” Others may need to do things a certain amount of times or count something to a certain number. 

Most people think post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is just fear of something that has happened. The National Library of Medicine says that PTSD can be the feelings of shame, guilt, hopelessness, disgust, betrayal, anger, etc. So when someone with PTSD is having a flashback they could feel anything, not just fear. 

Lots of people believe that if you have psychosis that you won’t be able to accomplish things in your future. Children’s Hospital of Orange County disagrees. They said that through coping and treatment they can lead successful lives. They can learn to manage their symptoms so that they can have a future they enjoy. 

It is a common belief that someone with schizophrenia is dangerous or violent. This is untrue. Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior said that while the studies have shown the rate of violence of people with schizophrenia is higher it is due to substance abuse not just schizophrenia. Most people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia are not violent.

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About the Contributor
Madelyn Tierney
Madelyn Tierney, Reporter
Madelyn Tierney is a freshman and is in her first year of journalism. She watches tons of movies and shows. She loves sports, comics, and books. She plays trombone in band. Madelyn loves to solve puzzles and can solve rubik’s cubes. She spends most of her time with her two puppies.

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    Irene Pyatt | Feb 14, 2024 at 10:20 pm

    So well done, Madelyn. Such a great article, thank you for sharing.