MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTION IN PSYCHIATRY

Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions shrouding the mental illnesses that have led to unnecessary fear, ignorance and stigmatization. Below are some of the common myths and misconceptions:
  1. Various religious - spiritual factors are considered  as the cause of mental illnesses. Many such beliefs include the non-appeasement of gods; deities or spirits; the role of black magic and evil forces; possession by evil spirits, and sins of previous lives.
  2. Mental illnesses are considered to be the result of excessive masturbation, loss of semen and sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman.
  3. Mental illness in a pregnant mother can be transmitted to the unborn baby.
  4. Mental illness can be contracted by touching, eating and living with a patient with a mental illness.
  5. All mentally ill patients are violent and dangerous. Therefore, they should be locked up either in jails or mental asylums.
  6. Mental illness is an incurable lifelong illness.
  7. Medications used for the treatment of mental illnesses can change the personality of the person. Also, the person becomes addicted to these drugs and may need to take the medication throughout his life.
  8. Mental illnesses can be cured easily through prayers, offerings and exorcism. Priests and shamans are considered to be authorities in the treatment of patients with mental illness.


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