Myths & Truths
1. Mental health medication will change my personality.
Fact: Medication does not fundamentally change your personality structure. Target symptoms may improve such as appetite, sleep and concentration, and new interests may emerge as you feel better, but introverts don’t become extroverts and rude doesn't become polite. If untoward side effects are experienced they should be discussed and treated.
2. Mental health medication is addictive.
Fact: The vast majority of medications are not addictive but must be taken regularly. The term "addiction" is not interchangeable with "tolerance" which is a normal expectation as a body gets used to a new stabilizing substance. This may mean that increased doses are needed over time. This is NOT addiction which is a biopsychosocial disorder state.
3.Taking medication for depression means weakness.
Fact: Depression is an illness. Depressed individuals often have to try harder than most. This is one of the most common misconceptions about mental health. People with emotional illnesses have difficulty with day-to- day functioning and often feel inferior. They’ve struggled for months and years often unable to keep up. This is often reinforced by critical comments from family and friends and sanctions from employers. With appropriate diagnosis and treatment most people are capable of increasing their function. It is not a sign of weakness.
4. All antidepressants are alike.
Fact: Although they have similar efficacy, results differ for each individual and should be based on symptoms, tolerance and effectiveness.
5. If I have a mental health problem I should be able to take care of it myself.
Fact: Some mental health problems, such as mild depression or anxiety, can be relieved with support, self-help, and proper care. However, if problems or symptoms persist, a person should consult with primary care provider or a qualified mental health professional to expedite resolution.
6. If I seek help for my mental health problem, others will think I am “crazy.”
Truth: No one should delay getting treatment for a mental health problem that is not getting better, just as one would not wait to take care of a medical condition that needed treatment. Some people worry that others will avoid them if they seek treatment for their mental illness. Early treatment can produce better results. Seeking appropriate help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
7. People diagnosed with a mental illness are always ill and out of touch with reality.
Fact: Most people suffering from even the most severe of mental illnesses are in touch with reality more often than they are not. Many people quietly bear the symptoms of mental illness without ever showing signs. Most people with mental illness live productive, active lives.
8. People who have a mental illness are dangerous. ( sorry I'm taking a stand on this one based on evidence )
Fact: People who have mental illness are no more violent than is someone suffering from cancer or any other serious disease. Contrary to what some want you to believe, mental illness is NOT responsible for mass shootings ! (There is overwhelming evidence in the medical literature). But no one wants to believe us. Why? Because they fear truth will threaten to change what they are used to (having what they want) and fear most... (being wrong). Best to blame others... so they create facts ! And notice they don't ever work in this field...
9. Most people with mental illness live on the streets or are in mental hospitals.
Truth: Over two-thirds of Americans who have a mental illness live in the community and lead productive lives. Most people who need hospitalization are only there for brief periods to get treatment and are then able to return home, just like persons hospitalized for other conditions. Some people with mental illness do become homeless and could benefit from treatment and services.
More Info: Courtesy of our local Girl Scouts !
Outside Agency Help Lines:
New Hampshire Statewide Addiction Crisis Line:
1-844-711-HELP (4357) 24/7
ANY Crisis Text HOT Line: TEXT "GO" to 741741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7): 1-800-273-8255
Domestic Violence (24/7): 1-866-644-3574
Sexual Assault (24/7): 1-800-277-5570
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428 Lafayette Rd Hampton, NH. 03842
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