Myths & Facts - Home

Myths & Facts



Teenagers don't suffer from "real" mental Illnesses; they are just moody.

One in ten children and adolescents suffer from mental illness. Most severe mental illnesses start in the late teens and early 20's.

Mental illness doesn't happen to me and my family.

One in five Americans will suffer at some point from a mental health problem. People with mental illnesses are from ALL backgrounds.

Talk about suicide is an idle threat that should not be taken seriously.

90% or more of all suicide victims have a mental illness and/or a substance abuse problem. For people ages 15-24, suicide is the second leading cause of death. Threats of suicide or suicidal gestures should be taken seriously and professional help should be obtained.

Mental health problems are the result of poor parenting and lack of discipline.

Mental illnesses are often inherited from one generation to another, and generally have little or nothing to do with parenting. They are also caused by brain abnormalities and chemical imbalances.

Depression is normal and you can "get over it" without treatment.

Major depression is a real, treatable illness that affects 19 million adult Americans every year. It is the leading cause of disability in the United States - more than back problems, heart disease and liver failure. Treatments for depression include therapy and medication that are often effective in treating symptoms of depression.

Stay away from people with mental illness because they're violent.

Virtually every study shows that persons with mental disorders are no more violent than other Americans, assuming that they don't abuse alcohol or illegal drugs and are receiving treatment. More often, mentally ill people are victims of violence, stigma and dicrimination.

There is no hope for people with mental illness.

Mental illnesses are successfully treated at a higher rate than many other chronic health conditions, particularly when treated early.