More Myths About Mental Illness

January 27, 2013 Amie Merz, LPC, NCC

Lunar Does Not Mean Lunatic

For years I’ve heard that wild things happen when the moon is full. More violence. More chaos. More mood swings. “They” say it is because our bodies are made of so much water that the moon acting on our bodies like it does the ocean tides causes people to act wonky. What do you think?
Teachers, police officers, therapists, ER staff all insist there is a pattern. And yet science does not back this up. Study after study has debunked this as a myth, insisting there is greater impact of a mosquito on our skin than the moon on the water in our body. My third grade teacher told us that rain changed our behavior because the ions in the air are charged. Some people insist the heat of summer causes more rage, violence and murder. Are these urban legends also?

Funny Myths and Not So Funny Myths

What other myths or legends have you heard about mental illness and human behavior? It has been said that dentists commit suicide more than any other profession; not true. And that if you take a medication for a mental illness you don’t have, you will get that mental illness. Also not true (although I certainly don’t suggest you take a medication for something you don’t have diagnosed). Taking LSD seven times does not mean you can be involuntarily committed for insanity. You won’t get pregnant by swallowing a watermelon seed. And dropping a spoon does not mean company is coming (but try telling that to my relatives.)
While much of what I’ve stated here has had a bit of humor with it, the truth is that there are definitely stereotypes and misconceptions about mental illness and human behavior that keep a negative stigma going. And that is unfortunate because knowledge is power and the more we know about ourselves the more control we have to help ourselves. If you come across folks who pass on misinformation about mental illness, please speak up (Stand Up) to educate them. The more truth we have, the more change we can facilitate.

APA Reference
Merz, A. (2013, January 27). More Myths About Mental Illness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 22 from

Author: Amie Merz, LPC, NCC

Dr Musli Ferati
February, 16 2013 at 8:59 pm

You have right, there are many myths on mental illnesses, which ones inherited amid generation with a loyalty and passion as well. The main reason for this common habit in community is our trivial misconception on real nature on mental disorders, as brain malfunction.To ameliorate this condition, with catastrophic repercussions on mental wellness, it ought to work harder in essential explanation of current achievement of neuroscience as material basis of psychic processes. Unfortunately, there is yet many misunderstandings in public about mental pathology, displaying by various myths everywhere and anywhere. However, any professional of mental health should to make effort on providing certain proof to their patients on organic substratum of their illness. This approaching of treatment of psychiatric entities, would increase the acquaintances on mental disorders and enfeeble the negative influences of myths on sophisticated treatment and management of mental illnesses.

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