There are certain misconceptions about psychiatry that people have lived with, over the years because either they do not understand psychiatric illnesses or that is treatable, without side effects or affecting mind negatively.
Psychiatric illness is not especially, different from physical illness. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Health highlights it as “A state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. So, mental health is as important as physical health as they go, hand in hand.
How does mental illness present itself?
Mental health issues can manifest in the form of poor sleep, poor appetite, and lack of motivation, hearing voices or seeing things not present for duration of time. It can also, manifest as physical symptoms as constant headache, neck, chest pain and other bodily pains, anxiety/ panic attacks, work apathy and various other physical illnesses.
Do psychiatric medicines cause dependence?
No. It is a myth. Psychiatric medicines are as or more safe than medicines taken for common medical illnesses – heart diseases, high blood pressure and such.
Are psychiatric patients violent and dangerous?
This is not true. People with mental health issues are not more violent than those in the general population. On the contrary, most of the highly creative and successful people suffer from one or another form, of mental health issues.
Do psychiatric patients never get better and need medicines forever?
Most of the common mental health issues like depression, anxiety can be treated once over months. But some of them, when are chronic, need long term treatment.
Are Mental Health illnesses genetic?
Yes. If present, in close relatives, there is an increased chance of one him/ she having mental health problems. They are not caused by curses or sins.
Mentally ill patients could suffer relapse as also seen in malaria, eczema, asthma, peptic ulcer, etc. and they could also have chronicity. The same occurs in other forms of physical illnesses.
Are psychiatric illnesses contagious or infectious?
No. Psychiatric illnesses are not contagious or carried over by air, water, sexual or close contact.
Is psychiatric illness seasonal?
Seasons do effect changes in the intensity of the illness but normally they are not seasonal. The environment could affect one’s behavior in some ways like diet, water intake, eating particular type of food in excess.