Common Myths and Facts
Mental illnesses does not occur in children or youth.
Truth :50 percent of all mental disorders have an onset by age 14, and 75 percent by age 24
Mental illness in children is not usually serious.
Truth: Mental illness in children can be very serious, even life-threatening. The third leading cause of death in people ages 10 to 24 is suicide. More than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder
A child with a psychiatric disorder is damaged for life. There is no cure for psychiatric disorder
Truth: More than two-thirds of people who receive effective treatment for a mental illness see sustained improvement or even remission. Even when mental health problems persist, most children can live functional lives.. The most important thing to remember here is that early intervention can be very effective in preventing or containing chronic, debilitating conditions.
Psychiatric disorders result from bad parenting.
Truth: bad parenting doesn’‘t cause psychiatric disorders, the cause is biological. Parenting isn’‘t to blame as the cause.Yes, bad parenting can exacerbate already existing psychiatric disorders,but parents play a central role in a child’‘s recovery. They provide support and care that is crucial to their child’‘s treatment plan and future development.
Psychiatric problems result from child’‘s or youth’‘s personal weakness.
Truth: We cannot entirely blame child weaknesses or lack of coping skills to be responsible for causing psychiatric disorder. Anxiety, depression, , mental retardation (Intellectual Disability) —indeed, the full range of psychiatric disorders—often have biological causes, just like diabetes.
A child can manage a psychiatric disorder through willpower.
Truth: The key word here is disorder. A disorder is not mild anxiety or a dip in mood. It is severe distress and dysfunction that can affect all areas of a child’‘s life. A heartbreaking number of parents resist mental health services for their children because they fear the stigma attached to diagnoses or see psychiatrists as pill pushers. This is incredibly sad because kids don’‘t have the skills and life experience to manage conditions as overwhelming as depression, anxiety, or ADHD. They can benefit profoundly from the right treatment plan, which usually includes a type of behavioral therapy, and have their health and happiness restored.
Children are overdiagnosed and overmedicated.
Truth: Many people believe that psychiatrists simply prescribe medication to every child they see. The truth, however, is that good psychiatrists use enormous care when deciding whether and how to start a child on a treatment plan that includes medication and equal infact more emphasis is given on behavioural treatment.
Therapy for kids is a waste of time.
Truth:Today’‘s best evidence-based treatment programs for children and teens uses a cognitive-behavioral model: therapy that focuses on changing thoughts, feeling and behaviors that are causing them serious problems. This is solution-driven therapy, and it’‘s a key component of some of the most exciting and innovative new treatments plans for kids.
Children grow out of mental health problems
Truth:Children are less likely to "grow out" of psychiatric disorders than they are to "grow into" more debilitating conditions. Most mental health problems left untreated in childhood become more difficult to treat in adulthood.
Children with a mental illness never get better
Truth: TREATMENT WORKS! Treatments for mental illnesses are more numerous and more sophisticated than ever and researchers continue to discover new treatments. Because of these advances, many people can and do recover from mental illness.
Children become addicted to psychiatric medicines
Truth: While some of the medicines used in psychiatry, such as stimulants or the anti-anxiety medicines are addictive when used inappropriately. Responsible use of these medicines does not lead to addiction in children. In fact, research suggests that taking stimulants lowers the risk of drug and alcohol abuse among young people with ADHD.
Children misbehave or fail in school just to get attention.
Truth: Behavior problems can be symptoms of emotional, behavioral, or mental disorders, rather than merely attention-seeking strategies. These children can succeed in school with appropriate understanding, attention, and mental health services.