Debunking Myths Surrounding Mental Illness

The multiple myths surrounding mental illness function as a barrier for sufferers access to mental health care

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Mental illness is a weakness, a character flaw

As difficult as it can sometimes be, it’s important to differentiate between symptoms, resulting from thinking patterns or brain chemistry, and personality. Mental illness is not something reserved for the morally weak, or something a person can overcome by sheer willpower.

Mental illness will never affect me.

I wish this was the case my friend. There is no such thing as “immunity” to mental illness. It’s is not exclusive to any particular demographic, it’s not a something that a person can be too intelligent to fall prey to.

People with mental illness are dangerous

While the media often portrays the mentally ill as dangerous criminals,statistics show that sufferers of mental illness are not any higher than in the general population and in fact are more likely to be victims of violence and exploitation.

Mental illness is as simple as cause and effect.

We are still coming to an understanding with regards to how mental illnesses’ come about. While it’s possible to inherit a predisposition, a variety of factors are involved with the development of mental illness, usually a combination of biological and experiential factors.

Dr. Nicole Gehl

Dr Nicole Gehl is an existential-integrative psychotherapist and cognitive behavioural therapist. She is a senior accredited member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies and is registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. Her specialist work with Children and young people is recognized by the UKCP and BACP. She is an accredited mediator with the RSPP utilising a psychological approach in conflict situations. Dr Gehl grew up between Santa Barbara California and the island of Antigua. She has lived in the UK for over 10 years. During this time she has worked across a variety of clinical settings, including the Priory Hospitals in North London and Roehampton, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) the NHS, Thornford Park Medium Security Hospital, Westminster Drug Project, The London Child and Family Therapy Centre and the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth. Presently she provides psychotherapy, counseling and alternative dispute resolution at her St John’s Wood Office.