17 Mental Health Realities the Media Always Gets Wrong

Mental health is a real hot button issue these days. It’s pervasive, mysterious and confusing – and it’s received a ton of media attention.

Awareness is always a good thing, especially when it feels as if you’re all alone. However, there’s also a whole lot of damaging misinformation floating around. Here are 17 facts about mental illness that don’t often find their way into the narrative:

It’s Not Always Easy to Access Professional Help

Oh… so you’re suffering from mental illness? You should just… go get help.

The thing is, for some, seeking help is easier said than done. Those living in rural communities often have very limited access to professional help, which means longer wait times or a lot of travel.

For those who have access to mental health professionals, costs can still be prohibitive. Psychiatrists can cost anywhere between $100 an hour to upwards of $300 an hour. This is fine for those of us with a benefits package that’ll foot a portion of the bill, but it’s not uncommon for a benefits package to sidestep psychiatric coverage altogether. Those without access to benefits are on the hook for the entire cost of the bill.

There is help out there (including many free mental health resources online), but accessing it can be a lot trickier than you’d think.

Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com
Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

Medication Isn’t Always a Quick Fix

Primetime television is littered with pharmaceutical ads preaching cure-alls for a whole host of mood disorders. The truth is, while medication is helpful for many people, a simple little pill isn’t always the answer for everyone. Though more and more doctors are turning to medication, it might not be the best option for every person experiencing mental illness.

When it comes to treatment, it’s important to listen to your body, work with your healthcare professionals, and adjust accordingly. You may have to try several medications before you find one that works, pair medication with other treatments such as therapy, make lifestyle changes, or seek out alternative solutions.

Johan Larson / Shutterstock.com
Johan Larson / Shutterstock.com

Important Note:

Never change your dose or stop taking your medication without first discussing it with your doctor.

‘Once Ill, Always Ill’ Is Not the Case

Though it may sometimes feel like the pain is endless when you’re experiencing the effects of a mental illness, effective management of mental disorders is entirely possible!

Mental health professionals are tirelessly experimenting and discovering new ways to treat disorders like depression and anxiety. As a result, millions are able to recover and move forward.

Maridav / Shutterstock.com
Maridav / Shutterstock.com
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