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5 Mental Health Myths That Are Holding You Back (and What You Should Know Instead)


Feel like you're on mental overload? Do you have trouble sleeping, feel irritable or lethargic?

You're not alone. In fact, 1 in 5 Canadians [1] will struggle with their mental health in any given year. Seeking help can make a big difference. Especially if these struggles are affecting your relationships, work or sense of well-being. Sadly, there' s a lot of bad advice and misinformation out there. Myths around mental wellness can stop you from getting the help you need to feel your best. Break free from these common mental health misconceptions and equip yourself with the facts so you can thrive, not just survive.


Myth #1: Mental illness is a sign of weakness.

This is perhaps the most damaging myth. Just like someone with a broken arm wouldn't be

judged for needing a cast, those struggling with mental health issues shouldn't be stigmatized. Mental illness is a medical condition, just as much as a physical one. It can be caused by acomplex interplay of genetics, brain chemistry, and life experiences. A recent study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry [2] found a strong link between childhood trauma and the development of mental health conditions later in life. Seeking help for a mental health challenge shows strength and self-awareness.


Myth #2: I can just "get over it" on my own.

While some minor symptoms may get better overtime and with self care, mental illness often

requires professional help. Just like you would go see a doctor for relief when you have a bad cold, therapy can provide some valuable tools and techniques for managing mental health symptoms. A 2023 study published by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research [3] showed that cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), in particular, is highly effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Seeking professional help is never a waste of time. It shows that you value your health and wellness.


Myth #3: Medication is a crutch, not a solution.

Medication can be a powerful tool in managing mental illness. Just like insulin helps regulate

blood sugar in diabetics, medication can also help regulate brain chemistry for some mental

health conditions. Of course, it’s not a quick fix. It’s one part of a collaborative process that,

when combined with therapy and lifestyle changes, can significantly improve a person's quality of life. A 2022 study from CAMH – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health [4] showed that the best results for individuals experiencing major depressive disorder were obtained with medication alongside therapy. Helping individuals function at their best.


Myth #4: Therapy is only for "crazy" people.

This stigma must end. Therapy is a safe space to explore your thoughts, emotions, and

behavioural patterns. Consider it an investment towards improving your quality of life and overall well-being. Whether you're struggling with relationship issues, past trauma, or work stress, therapy can help by providing coping mechanisms and skills to lead a more happy life. A 2021 survey by the Canadian Psychological Association [5] revealed that 80% of Canadians who have participated in therapy reported significant improvements in their mental health. Counselling isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of proactive mental health care.


Myth #5: Talking about mental health is shameful.

Sharing your struggles with mental health isn’t easy, but it's very important. As a society, we need to recognize that many people in Canada are facing mental health challenges and where possible provide support. According to a StatCan [6], 1 in 4 adults reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression, anxiety or PTSD in the past few years (up from 1 in 5 in 2020). These individuals are your family, friends, neighbours, and coworkers. By opening up and discussing mental health, we can reduce the stigma and show that it's okay to ask for help. Life can be hectic and finding time to prioritize our mental wellness can be a challenge. But, it’s just as important as taking care of your physical health. Don't let these outdated and false myths hold you back from getting the support you deserve. If you're struggling, reach out to a trusted friend, family member, therapist or counsellors.


At TPS Therapy, we know taking that first step

towards healing can be life-changing. Book a free 20 minute consultation.


Resources:

[1] Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA):

[2] Canadian Journal of Psychiatry: https://www.cpa-apc.org/annual-conference/

[3] Canadian Institutes of Health Research: https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/193.html

[4] CAMH – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: https://www.camh.ca/

[5] Canadian Psychological Association: https://cpa.ca/

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