The Myth: Mental disorders and illnesses are all in your head, and you can just get over them if you really want to.
Some people still believe that mental illnesses are all imagined by their sufferers, or that people who suffer from mental illness can’t really be having that much trouble and/or just don’t care enough about getting over it. People are especially likely to be dismissive if the illness isn’t well-known, and so many of them, even common ones, are not.
The fact that the same symptoms have been experienced by so many different people should prove that are real — they can’t all be independently inventing the same symptoms. Any mental disorder, by definition, seriously affects the lives of the people who suffer from it, usually for the worse, or it would not be considered a disorder. And they are certainly not easy to get over. Most mental disorders are caused at least in part by a difference in the brain or an imbalance of chemicals. Even when it comes to the non-physical reasons, it’s very difficult to un-learn a thought pattern or habit — just choose any habit and try it. Plus, the disorder itself may stop someone from trying to get help: people with depression might think no therapist will be able to help them, and be too tired to try to find one, anyway. If we could overcome mental illnesses just by wanting to, the world would be full of much happier and more productive people.
Source (via tamburina)