Articles, Blog

Debunking Myths About Mental Illness

December 10, 2019

[pencil writing] [Pokemon game sound] There are a few myths out there
in the world about mental illness and as someone with mental illnesses, I want to help debunk some of those myths. Before we begin,
I want to give a little disclaimer. Mental illness is not one size fits all. Depression, anxiety, etc.
affect everyone differently. These experiences that I’m
going to talk about are my own and some people that I personally know who have also talked about this stuff. Let’s start off with,
“Mental illness isn’t real.” “Mental illness isn’t real,” is a popular one. It’s not easily viewable,
it’s invisible, so it must be all in our head. Actually, they may have a point there. I mean, it is literally in our heads, in our brain. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Slight joking aside, mental
illnesses are very much real otherwise we wouldn’t be
going through all that we do. Depression is not simply about being sad. It’s crippling, it’s painful, and it’s draining. The difference between being “sad” and “depressed” is astronomical. Depression lasts for longer than just a moment. It’s something that is likely to keep you in bed, or on the couch, or just in some
small space for periods of time. The feeling of depression can be
so strong that your body just aches. It’s severe pain all over. It’s all just being a little step
above just simply being sad. People who aren’t depressed have a tendency to give depressed people advice on how to deal with or cure their depression. This advice is usually to
“go outside”, “exercise”, “go for a run”, and
“do some yoga” because “nature is the medicine that you need, not pills.” While I will say that the
pharmaceutical industry is pretty terrible and even they
like to not give medication that actually helps to people who really need it, going outside is not automatically going to be a cure. These things can be helpful as
part of a self care regime, but they are not “the” cure. I’ve had friends who would be
so much worse without medication. I’ve known people who have
attempted suicide and it turns out their dosage wasn’t
as high as it needed to be. And as far as exercise goes, I’ve worked out consistently on
and off for many, many years and, lo and behold, my mental illnesses are still here. There are people who don’t
quite understand anxiety. They think it’s something like a
little bit of stage fright and nervousness, but just like depression, it’s just so much more than that. You’re too scared to be alone
or too scared to go anywhere alone, but then you’re also too scared
to go anywhere with people or to go somewhere where
there will be a lot of people. Talking to anyone can seem nearly impossible. And if something embarrassing or bad happens, it’s being thought about constantly to the point that it’s consuming you entirely. One thing that really grinds my gears is when people stamp “mental illness”
on someone’s forehead or they say, “This person is/has to be mentally ill!”
about anyone who’s a terrible person. Donald Trump is a great example of this. In my personal opinion,
Trump is a pretty awful person, but I don’t think he’s mentally ill. I just think he’s completely horrible
and someone who lacks empathy. But people love to say that the reason he’s so bad is that he “has to be mentally ill”. All that does is enforce the stigma that’s already been there
and it actually makes it bigger. It just damages people like us. Being mentally ill does not mean
that you’re a bad and violent person and being a bad and violent person
does not mean that you’re mentally ill. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t
mentally ill people who do bad things or that there aren’t bad
people who are mentally ill, but the two just don’t automatically
connect just because someone really sucks. “You’re just choosing to be this way.
Just be normal, be happy.” Yeah, that’s totally not how that works. We didn’t wake up one morning and just decide that we wanted to be excruciatingly sad
for an extremely long period of time. It’s not a fun time. A permanent unicorn island is definitely preferable. And the pain, the emotions, are definitely real. “You’re just doing it for the attention.” I don’t know about you,
but I can think of quite a few things that
I would much rather get attention for than my mental illnesses. Things that are so much more
pleasant than depression and anger. There are a lot more myths out there
that could be talked about, but if I did, this video would be
much longer than it is now. I just wanted to cover some that
I can personally relate to. I do have some sources, so if you want to take a look and read some, I’ll put them in the description box below. If you want to follow me
on all my social media, I have my usernames down below. If you want to send a
letter or anything, I have my PO box
address right up here. Patreon and last video over here. I upload every
Monday and Thursday, and I will see you later, bye.


  • Reply Jan Hoekstra January 22, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Since it's still calm here, I wanted to say to you that I really enjoy watching your videos and that I believe you are able to inspire lots of people. I want to thank you for the time and effort you put into making all this content for your watchers.

  • Reply Anna Goldberg January 22, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Heh, if going outside cured depression, I would literally be living outdoors! I wish for people to be more compassionate about my mental illness. I want to tell them, Trust me, if there's a treatment for depression/anxiety, I've already heard of it/tried it, and unsolicited advice isn't usually welcome.

  • Reply Harvey Abel January 22, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    The myths about mental illnesses can be SO "out there"….

  • Reply The Nargles January 22, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Well said, Rikki. You're awesome!

  • Reply catloverKD January 22, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Anything about it being a "choice" pisses me off to no end. Depressed people don't choose it, and non-depressed people don't "choose not to have it", they just don't. I can choose to get the treatment I need and I can also choose to punch people who say this. Had someone tell me once that I could "choose to be suicidal or choose to get help." OMG. Suicidal ideation does NOT work like that!

  • Reply mewthemew January 22, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    Ah, yes, I have social anxiety and PTSD m'self (It goes hand in hand, had a pretty rough school life the entire time I was there), and I constantly get people telling me I'm faking it or trying to vye for attention when something sets me off.
    I feel your pain.

  • Reply Kyros January 22, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    I told my aunt I had anxiety and her first reply was, "YOU? HOW COULD YOU HAVE ANXIETY?!" in an incredulous tone. I love to laugh, make jokes, can be pretty sarcastic, and am very good at looking normal. In reality I have trouble deciding on what to do and I can't really do anything or go anywhere without having some sort of "what if" thought intruding.

  • Reply ArABiaN0NyZK January 22, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    I don't suffer from mental illnesses but I know people who do and I can understand where they're coming from, like how bad it feels and the only thing that can help them is medicine and medicine only
    I can only wish the best to everyone who has any kind of mental illness

  • Reply John Browning January 22, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    Sometimes when I get criticized for not doing things because of depression or chronic pain, I wish I could break their knee and tell them to just walk it off!

  • Reply Stephanie Pushman January 22, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    Have you tried *instant natural ingredient here*? It's because you're overweight. You are just focusing on the negative. People are so ignorant!!! This is a great video!

  • Reply trinthetrex January 23, 2018 at 1:19 am

    If I might add, there's this funny thing that people say to people with OCD, they say "it's not like you're gonna die" or "it's not like (insert intrusive thought) will come true" because not only are we fully aware that it won't happen, it also brings back the intrusive thoughts that were causing us anxiety in the first place.

  • Reply Andrew Pfannkuche January 23, 2018 at 1:37 am

    Thank you! Preach!

  • Reply jnerosfire January 23, 2018 at 2:36 am

    I have anxiety and depression and luckily one medication helps me for both. I ended up on it more for the anxiety because that was my worse of the two, and people don't understand that some things I have trouble controlling because of it. While the medication helps SO much, like my dr said it will never 100% remove it because do that it'd have to over medicate me, and i'd no longer be myself. ANd they want you to feel like yourself. It just helps me manage it. But sometimes when someone says "Why do you do that?" "Because of my anxiety." "That's an excuse." no it isn't an excuse…it's a symptom. I promise if it's annoying to you it probably isn't much fun for me either.

  • Reply Number Eight or Nine? January 23, 2018 at 3:36 am

    Almost 120 days since I have been isolated. Meds, meh… Pretty sure my lake of eating anything healthy helps. Anxiety is fun, especially when you have 30+min panic attacks. Also, labels are the problem, ain't no one sane. I look homeless and am certainly an outlier in any group so I don't quite fit in. To me, people are just trying to one-up each other on how they are better than someone else. I'd rather have people realize how they are like the others.

  • Reply NikkiS42 January 23, 2018 at 4:39 am

    I am hard of hearing and also suffer from Asperger's syndrome. Life wasn't easy growing up but adulthood isn't totally easy either but my anxiety is less than it used to be.

  • Reply ytfp January 23, 2018 at 7:48 am

    I love your voice its so sexy and also so cute so its double dangerous for me at least. Thank you for helping educate others on a wide variety of topics! Beauty and brains, ok I'll stop but just want to say I admire what you do 🙂

  • Reply Suvi-Tuuli Allan January 23, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I'm all kinds of neurodivergent. AMA.

  • Reply Cornelia Dottir January 24, 2018 at 10:18 am

    I'm having really bad depression right now and people who I've told keep telling me I CAN'T be depressed because I don't look sad all the time. to those who don't see my tears, my lying in bed for hours on end, having kinds of "episodes" where I'll suddenly get conscious and not remember what I did the days before … yeah your comments aren't helping anyone

  • Reply JC5 Productions January 25, 2018 at 12:06 am

    It’s so tough for people who don’t experience mental illness to understand completely or at all. You hit the nail on the head with both depression and even more with anxiety.

  • Reply slevin kelevra January 25, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    You know what grinds my gears ?

  • Reply GABRIEL TENORIO January 28, 2018 at 3:37 am

    You are Gorgeous!

  • Reply TheGoldenDrakon January 29, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Damn, if you are deaf(you are right?). I think you have put up a lot of work in that speech.

    Well, I know nothing so correct me if its easy to speak without hearing.

    I think you are doing a lot of good in this website for others.

    Ok, im gonna leave this channel coz im not interested, I came here just to comment about the video you made for tom scott

  • Reply imaginareality January 30, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    "You can completely recover from depression". I don't know if this counts as a myth. It's something that I've heard mental health / medical professionals and other people say over and over again and it frustrates me so much! Yes, I can recover from my current depressive episode. My depressive episodes don't last forever, hence why they are called episodes. So I will eventually recover from them. But that is NOT the same as recovering from my depression. Another statement that I hate (and hear from professionals a lot) is that "treating depression is easy and effective". You know, just go to therapy and take some pills and your depression will be gone, simple as that.

  • Reply Countless ! February 16, 2018 at 3:10 am

    I have A.D.H.D and anxiety it is technically a psychiatric disorder and is VERY similar to a mental illness in lots of ways and I’ve been told “its not real” and all kinds of things like “oh, you will grow out of it” I’ve had it since i was four and I’m 17 next wensday so what 13 years of not “growing out of it” so yeah I kinda understand

  • Reply The Rewired Soul March 8, 2018 at 7:14 am

    Love what you're doing, girl! As a mental health YouTuber and someone who has mental illness as well, it truly makes me happy seeing other YouTubers talking about this stuff.

    If you ever want to collab, I'd love that!

  • Reply Devin Lien April 17, 2018 at 8:42 am

    This was so nicely put…I hated when classmates or even teachers would comment saying everything was okay, that nothing was wrong…After being bullied in high school for being Epileptic I now suffer from clinical depression/anxiety and have been on medications for 4 years…Yep, totally "okay"

  • Reply Elisha May April 27, 2018 at 2:30 am

    You suffer from this too.

  • Reply Harl Stowe May 19, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    “a chemical imbalance” in the brain if that objectively verified by a pathology of a laboratory test, then it denotes being a “mental illness” and psychiatry wouldn’t deal with you, it’d be a neurologist.
    I’m afraid you’ve been to lied to your psychiatrist there’s no evidence that someone’s arbitrary serotonin is low and therefore they’re depressed, depression should be referred to as someone feeling depressed in that moment in their life not a biologically based brain illness.

  • Reply Pink Lemonade June 14, 2018 at 12:42 am

    I'm a new viewer(found you through Molly Burke :D) and omg!! I absolutely love you and your videos on mental illness. You're right about everything. I've been diagnosed with depression, social anxiety stemmed from being diagnosed with PTSD at 16 (25 now) and i can relate to so much you've talked about.. I'm definitely subscribing!!

  • Reply Sal Nation December 23, 2018 at 2:24 am

    There is no such thing as mental illness.

  • Reply Ghost April 13, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    if you see the myth to individual powers, they go beyond terrorism, dealing with the circle is like charlie chaplin and bumblebee and its alien distortion of noises that pleases icarus dealing with body language all around the bias

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