Myths and Facts

Myth: “If you have a mental illness, you can will it away or wait it out. ”

Fact: A serious mental illness cannot be willed away or ignored. It takes courage to seek professional help. Depression and other mental illness results from changes in brain chemistry or functioning, and medication and/or psychotherapy often help people to recover.

Myth: “People with a severe mental illness, such as bipolar, autism or schizophrenia, are usually dangerous and violent.”

Fact: Research shows that the incidence of violence in people who have a mental illness is not significantly higher than it is in the general population.

Myth: “I can’t do anything for someone with mental health needs.”

Fact: You can do a lot, starting with the way you act and how you speak. You can nurture an environment that builds on people’s strengths and promotes good mental health.

Myth: “ Mental illnesses are brought on by a weakness of character.”

Fact: Mental illnesses are a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors often beyond an individual’s control.

Myth: “Mental illness is no longer stigmatized in society.”

Fact: Mental illness on college campuses is still stigmatized. Education, outreach and compassion can help us change the culture at NC State.