Psychiatry is often misunderstood by people who dont understand the topic and nature of psychiatric treatment or hold on too tightly to their culture and its beliefs. This is the reason why people have so many misconceptions about psychiatry. Research has been conducted on most of these misconceptions and they have been proven to be wrong. Science does not provide any evidence to support these myths that people strongly believe in. instead science and researchers blame these myths to be the cause of why some psychiatric patients are denied treatment.
We will be highlighting some misconceptions that people live by when it comes to psychiatry. Some of the misconceptions are as follows:
1. People believe that physical illness and psychiatric illness is different; psychiatric illness is a special kind of illness. However the World Health Organization says that health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". By studying this meaning, we can understand the psychiatric illness is not different from physical illness. Just like physical illness affects the different body parts, psychiatric illness will affect behavior and has to be treated.
2. People believe that all patients who have psychiatric illnesses are violent in nature and are dangerous. This has been proven wrong for a number of occasions when psychiatric patients are not violent.
3. A very odd belief that some people cling on to is that once a psychiatric patient visits the market he/she will never get well. This is extremely untrue because a lot of patients have been found in markets and have been taken in for treatment. After being managed properly and being given treatment they have improved.
4. Some cultures believe that psychiatric illness is a sin for patients for their wrongdoings. Just like other illnesses are caused by bacteria or germs, stress, hormonal imbalance or genetic problems etc, can be the cause of psychiatric illness. This is not a punishment or a sin. It is simply a change in the body which affects a persons behavior in a negative manner.
5. Some people believe that psychiatric illness is a prolonged illness that has no cure. People believe that even if the person shows signs of improvement, it is not for long since the illness relapses. Just like any other illness like cancer or cardiac disease, the treatment takes long and there is always a chance of relapses. However it is not a special case when it relates to psychiatric illness because it is an illness like any other and the odds of relapses of the condition are the same as with any other medical condition.
6. People also believe that psychiatric illness can spread from person to person, which is highly untrue. They cannot be transmitted through contact with the person. In fact, these patients very safe to stay close to.
These were some of the major misconceptions when it comes to psychiatry and psychiatric patients. There are many other misconceptions that people need to understand and deem wrong and give patients the treatment they need, without neglecting them.
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Article Added on Friday, March 30, 2012
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