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Prabal gave me a foundation and the tools to build on this foundation, in order to maintain sobriety. Today, I am a happy & sober man. I want to thank to Team Prabal for saving my life, as I was truly on my way to death.
Rathore

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The continued support of the staff even after the treatment period helps me to look and deal with life in a different perspective.
Srinivasan

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MYTHS ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS

Misconceptions about mental illness are pervasive, and the lack of understanding can have serious consequences for people who have a psychiatric illness. “Misconceptions about mental illness contribute to the stigma, which leads many people to be ashamed and prevents them from seeking help. The truth is that mental illness can happen to anybody. Understanding these myths is a powerful step toward eradicating the stigma and allaying the fears surrounding brain disorders.”

Arm yourself with the facts, and then use your knowledge to educate others and reach out to those around you with mental illness. Understanding and support are powerful tools and they can make a real difference in the life of a person who needs them.

Myth 1: Mental illness is no longer stigmatized in society.
Fact: I wish this was a myth, but unfortunately, it is not yet. Mental illness in most societies throughout the world is still badly stigmatized and looked down upon. Mental illness is grossly misunderstood not only by the sufferers; but by the community at large. A majority of these individuals hesitate to get help for their mental health problems because of stigmatization. This is extremely unfortunate in spite of effective treatment exists for almost all mental illnesses.
Myth 2: Persons with mental illness never recover.
Fact: Studies have shown that people with mental illness can recover and resume normal activities. Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. With treatment and support most mentally ill individuals can lead productive life, work, pursue education, religion, enjoy hobbies, recreational activities, and contribute actively to society. For others, recovery implies the reduction or complete remission of symptoms.
Myth 3: There are blood tests to make psychiatric diagnoses.
Fact: There is no doubt that major psychiatric disorders are brain illness, and are due to “chemical imbalance” in the brain. Countless studies show differences on blood tests and brain scans (MRI, CT scans) between people with psychiatric difficulties and those without. However, none of these tests are enough or consistent enough to be used as aid to the diagnostic process. There are no blood tests or x-rays that make accurate psychiatric diagnoses yet.
Myth 4: People with mental illness are poor and/or less intelligent.
Fact: Many studies show that most mentally ill people have average or above-average intelligence. Mental illness, like physical illness, can affect anyone regardless of intelligence, social class or income level.
Myth 5: Mental illness is a single, rare disorder.
Fact: Mental illness is not a single disease but a broad classification for many disorders. Anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, personality disorders, eating disorders and organic brain disorders can cause misery, tears and missed opportunities.
Myth 6: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), formerly known as “shock treatment,” is painful and barbaric.
Fact: ECT has given a new lease on life to many people who suffer from severe and debilitating depression. It is used when other treatments such as psychotherapy or medication fail or cannot be used. Patients who receive ECT are asleep and under anaesthesia, so they do not feel anything.
Myth 7: Medications are the only treatment you need to treat a mental illness. Therapy and self-help are a waste of time.
Fact: Apart from medications; other treatments – like psychotherapy, support groups, self-help books, etc. – should always be considered by everyone diagnosed with a mental illness. A lot of people work with therapists, counsellors, friends, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, and social workers during the recovery process.
Myth 8: Mental health problems are uncommon.
Fact: Mental illnesses are surprisingly common. In fact, mental illnesses are more common than cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. Mental illnesses do not discriminate; they can affect anyone regardless of gender, race, age, and socio-economic status.
Myth 9: Children can’t have serious mental disorders.
Fact: There is a complete category in the official diagnostic manual of mental disorders for children’s mental disorders, some of which are well-known, diagnosed, and treated, such as attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and autism. But in the past decade or so, some researchers and professionals are suggesting that many adult mental disorders are also possibly found (and perhaps even widespread) in children.
Myth 10: Depression and other illnesses, such as anxiety disorders, do not affect children or adolescents. Any problems they have are just a part of growing up age.
Fact: Children and adolescents can develop severe mental illnesses. If left untreated, these problems can get worse. Anyone talking about suicide should be taken very seriously.
Myth 11: Schizophrenia means split personality, and there is no way to control it. Are Schizophrenic patients usually dangerous and violent?
Fact: Schizophrenia is often confused with multiple personality disorder. Actually, schizophrenia is a brain disorder that robs people of their ability to think clearly and logically. Medication has helped many of these individuals to lead fulfilling, productive lives.
Statistics show that the incidence of violence in people who have a brain disorder is not much higher than it is in general population. Actually, people with mental illnesses are much more likely to be the victims of crime. Those suffering from a psychosis such as schizophrenia are more often frightened, confused and despairing than violent.
Myth 12: People who talk about suicide do not commit suicide.
Fact: Few people commit suicide without first letting someone else know how they feel. 8 out of 10 people who commit suicide have spoken about their intent before killing themselves. Suicidal comments have to always be taken seriously as they often lead to plans, attempts, or completions.
Myth 13: Is mental illness hereditary?
Fact: It is seen that heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes are genetic diseases and lifelong medications has to be taken. Similarly, mental illnesses are genetic and lifelong treatment has to be taken. However, environmental factors also trigger the mental illness genes.
Myth 14: Does black magic have anything to do with mental illness?
Fact: Quackery and spiritual preachers are the first option the family resorts to for the treatment of their patient. Superstitions also bring about family vision to treat their patient. All such treatments are dangerous and spoil the patient conditions.
Myth 15: Is mental illness due to frustration and could marriage cure it?
Fact: Mentally challenged patients are unable to take care of themselves; and thus would be unable to shoulder the responsibility of their family. This leads to divorces and worsening of the patient conditions.
Myth 16: I can’t do anything for a person with mental illness.
Fact: You can do a lot, starting with how you act and speak. You can create an environment that builds on people’s strengths and promotes understanding. For example:
⇒ Don’t label people with words like “crazy,” “wacko or loony” or define them by their diagnosis. Instead of saying someone is “a schizophrenic,” say he or she “has schizophrenia.” Don’t say “a schizophrenic person,” say “a person with schizophrenia.” This is called “people-first” language, and it’s important to make a distinction between the person and the illness.
⇒ Learn the facts about mental health and share them with others, especially if you hear something that isn’t true.
⇒ Treat people with mental illnesses with respect and dignity, just as you would anybody else.

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