Almost 40% of Americans will suffer from mental illness during the course of their lifetime. These illnesses are associated with significant interpersonal, occupational and individual difficulties including higher rates of death from suicide and non suicide causes. Unfortunately less than 30% of individuals with mental illness receive adequate treatment due to various factos an important one being the myths that exist about mental illness. These include myths about the causes of mental illness including personal responsibility as well as the treatments for mental illness.
Individuals often look at mental illnesses as being due to personal failings rather than as medical illnesses like diabetes, heart disease or cancer like these are. These myths have to be replaced by facts about mental illness if we are to tackle the stigma associated with these illnesses and enable patients to receive early and evidence based treatments.