This is a really good article from Lifehacker.com. The author knows what he is talking about and he is honest. He goes on to list 5 misconceptions about mental illness that interfere with our ability to really see the mentally ill person. I especially like that he points out the difference between mental illness and a sinus infection!
Please read this article to the end. I think he makes valid points and speaks from personal experiences. He does not hold out “false” hopes, but rather states that to do nothing is to get nowhere. I hope by reading this article you will better understand what the mentally ill person is going through and you will be better able to support and help them.
Mental illness isn’t like a sinus infection. You can’t just wait it out or take a pill to make everything go away. Our brains are complex and enigmatic, and mental illness is no different. This leads to a lot of misconceptions that make recovery much harder. Here are a few things you should know, whether you’re a sufferer or not.
Before we talk about misconceptions, it helps to identify just what “mental illness” means. Everyone has stress and difficult emotions from time to time and this is normal. Mental illness, on the other hand, is any condition that makes it difficult to function in daily life. It can affect your relationships, your job, or prevent you from reaching any otherwise attainable goal.
If that sounds like a pretty wide definition, it’s because the human mind is complex. Mental illness can range from anxiety and mood disorders that have a severe and tangible effect on your emotions and motivation, to psychotic disorders like schizophrenia that affect your perceptions or senses with things like delusions or hallucinations. Living with any of these can be debilitating. We rely on our senses, emotions, and perceptions to get us through the day. When any of those fail, it can make life difficult.
I’ve struggled with mental illnesses for decades. Over the years, I’ve had diagnoses ranging from depression to Asperger’s and I’ve encountered a ton of misconceptions. Some are basic things that the general population just hasn’t learned about, while others are deep-seated beliefs that even I have had to un-learn. Here are some of the ones that still seem to stick around…(read the rest of the article here)