Psychologists Debunk 25 Mental-Health Myths

Psychologists Debunk 25 Mental-Health Myths

Laura Goorin: So, the
myth that all neat freaks have OCD is a common one. Most people who are clean just actually care about being clean, and that’s totally
different than having OCD. Also, there are no five stages of loss. It’s just a myth. Narrator: That’s Laura Goorin, one of three psychologists
we brought into our studios to debunk some of the most
common mental-health myths. Goorin: So, the myth that
most people with schizophrenia have multiple personalities, that was a very old way
that it was understood, and it’s been proven to not be true. So, with schizophrenia, it’s
not another personality. What it is, though, is
a break with reality and a part of ourselves,
maybe, for instance, that believes that someone
is out to get them. OK, so that’s a really common
one with schizophrenia. So the myth that all “neat
freaks” have OCD is a common one. It seems like it’s almost
a popular cultural thing that people say to each
other, “You have OCD,” when somebody is, like,
organizing their bag. And, in reality, OCD itself, the illness has different components. And one of the subsets is the keeping things organized and clean. But it has to be at an obsessive level, where people are thinking
about it all the time. And so that itself is really uncommon. Most people who are clean just actually care about being clean. And that’s totally
different than having OCD. Jillian Stile: Bipolar disorder
is not simply mood swings. It’s a very high elevation
of maybe a positive mood and a very low, negative mood. Everybody has mood swings. But with bipolar disorder,
it’s not just that. It’s severe forms of elevated
mood or depressed mood, and they cycle through that. And so sometimes it could be shown as symptoms of, like, a manic episode, might be somebody, like, hypersexuality or not sleeping at all and things like that. It’s not simply feeling good. Goorin: This is a common myth, and I hear people throw
this one around a lot too. Anxiety itself is thinking,
thinking, thinking. And just imagine yourself going into the worry
thoughts of “what if.” What if, what if this
happens, what if that happens. And it’s unremitting, and it goes on for hours for some people. Sometimes it’s more passing for others. But being stressed out about something, as humans, we’re wired
to handle stressors, and we’ve been dealing with
an onslaught of stressors since the beginning of time. You know, going to
work, taking the subway, coming in contact with
other people. You know, that can be stressful. That
can be stress-inducing. Unless you have an
actual, like, panic attack while you’re taking the subway, that would be more of an anxiety reaction, whereas the stress of taking the subway is more stress-based. Stile: You know, everybody
feels anxious, let’s say, before a presentation or before an exam. But an anxiety disorder is
the extreme form of that where it becomes, you know, it interferes with
somebody’s daily functioning. Goorin: This is actually
a really important myth. Sadness is an ephemeral
reaction to something. It’s an emotion and, by
definition, lasts a few seconds. It can last, like, 10
minutes, but on average, we have an emotion, it passes, and then we have another emotion. The thing that tends to bring us from sadness to depression is rumination, which means thinking and
thinking and thinking about the thing over
and over and over again. And that’s how we then go
from sadness to depression, but it’s not an immediate thing. We all have moments of sadness, and we just allow them and let them pass. We tend to be OK. But if we get caught up
in getting ruminating and thinking about all
the reasons why we’re sad, that’s when we tend to go into depression. So, to the myth that depression
is not a real illness, it is a real illness, and, in fact, it can be
incredibly debilitating. In order to classify as having depression, we have to have some kind of
a lethargic kind of behavior where we have trouble getting out of bed. I mean, there are different
ways of depression, but one of the primary ones has this, what they’re called
neurovegetative symptoms, like, where we can’t
sleep, where we can’t eat. There’s also a kind of
depression which is dysthymia, which has an anhedonia component into it, which means less pleasure in
things that we used to enjoy, which is another kind of depression. And a lot of people will describe, like, “Oh, I used to love pottery, and now I can’t even look at pots.” You know? Like, something
just totally changes for them when they’re deeply in
this state of depression. Neil Altman: Talking about painful things that you’ve learned how to sort cover over can initially be more painful but in the interest of working out things that if not dealt with straightforwardly are gonna come back to bite them. I’ll say another thing about that is that sometimes patients wonder, “What’s the therapist gonna
feel if I say thus and so?” Like, “Can the therapist handle the level of despair
that I sometimes feel?” And on those occasions, when the patient has the
strength to put it out there and see how the therapist responds, the fact that the therapist can handle it is a big step toward the patient then being able to handle it. There are reasons, and
they may change over time. But I think the thing that
I would want to debunk in that respect is the idea that there’s a single reason. So that if you handle that, then you’re gonna be freed of that. And there’s not. In most cases, there’s not. You’ve got to discover the
reasons, in the plural, that you’re depressed and what
you can do something about. And what you can’t. Stile: The myth that
only women get depressed couldn’t be further from the truth. However, women are twice as
likely to experience depression. So, the reason why oftentimes people think women have a higher rate
of depression than men is because of maybe hormonal changes, life circumstances, and stress. The other thing that I like to think about is that women might express their feelings in a different way than men do. So, sometimes men might, you
know, act out behaviorally, whereas women might focus on
their internal experience. And so they might be more likely to see a therapist if that’s the case. Goorin: When people
have gone down the road of eventually deciding
to go on medications for antidepressants, they don’t change your personality; they change the symptoms of depression. They can also work for anxiety. So, typically, if you have just typical symptoms of
depression and anxiety, we’ll be given an antidepressant is what it’s called, an SSRI. And that will help us
regulate the symptoms of our, just, up and down of moods. And the way I describe it to people is it’s like going back to your baseline you when it’s the right medication. But it doesn’t change your personality. Your personality, you’re you. So, in terms of the myth
that we’ll always be cured from depression by antidepressants, the research shows that the
most effective thing right now for depression is actually therapy. And then for people who
need antidepressants, therapy and antidepressants together are another effective form. And not everybody has to take it. So even with people who
are taking antidepressants, it’s important to still be in therapy. Altman: The myth that bad
parenting causes mental illness I think is a trap. Because parents are all too ready to take responsibility and to feel guilty about all sorts of problems
that their children have. So there’s no point in reinforcing that and harming and damaging the
mental health of parents. If you think that your parents
caused your mental illness, you’re gonna end up endlessly
complaining about your parent. What can you do about
the way you were raised? You can do something about
what it’s left you with in the present. Goorin: Around LGBT adults and youth, there’s so many myths
associated with mental health. And a big part of it I think is, unfortunately, because
the profession that I’m in had a really dirty history
along these lines in the DSM, which is our Diagnostic
Statistic Manual, until 1973, homosexuality was actually
listed as a disorder. And after a lot of pushback and studies and LGBTQ rights being
integrated into theory, we realized that that was really outdated. And since then, in
DSM-3, it stopped being, unless somebody has specific
anxiety related to being gay, then they’re not diagnosed ever with a mental-health-related
disorder associated with it. The same is true for
being trans, actually. That it’s only if somebody
has what’s called dysphoria, where they don’t like their body, that they then have a diagnosis. But just being trans in and of itself isn’t a disorder anymore. You know, to the question about what role mental health plays in the
attacks of gun violence, unfortunately, that’s
been a mischaracterization of people who have severe mental illness, is that they’re more likely to
commit crimes and with guns. It’s not that people with mental illness are more likely to be aggressive. It’s the people who commit these
crimes have access to guns, and they tend to be really self-loathing. Like, that’s kind of the primary thing that makes people have a lack of empathy. That seems to be the things that make them be more
violent and aggressive. Those are better predictors than any type of a mental health disorder. People talk about a whole
town, like, on the news, “A whole town was
traumatized by the shooting,” for instance. Right? And it doesn’t work that
way, and that’s actually one of the most common
mental-health disorders that I’ve seen mischaracterized in that particular way, is PTSD. People seem to think that by
virtue of having the experience to a potentially traumatic event, that you’ll have these
particular realm of symptoms that include hypervigilance,
there’s impulsivity. There’s so many different realms of what comes up for people after trauma, and I’ve heard people say, you know, “Because I was traumatized, because I was there at
9/11,” for instance. Well, a whole city was there, and we have really good numbers about the number of people
who ended up having PTSD, and they’re actually really small. When something like this happens, a major tragedy like a
gun shooting or a 9/11 or any other type of tragedy like that, people tend to be resilient. There’s a big myth, actually, even within the mental-health field saying that there are prototypical ways to respond to grief and loss. And that’s in pop culture as well, that people have these ideas that there’s one way to grieve and if we’re not devastated
and deeply traumatized that somehow we’re in denial or unfeeling. And that’s not true. In fact, since the beginning of time, we’ve been dealing with death. We have different ways of dealing with it. And sometimes we’re relieved
that the person dies because we didn’t have a very
good relationship with them. Or even if the person, if we love them and we feel really connected
to them but they were sick, we’re relieved that they’re dead because we don’t want
them to suffer anymore. People tend to feel really guilty about being relieved after a death, which is a very common reaction to death. There are no five stages
of loss; it’s just a myth. And it’s one of the most
popular myths out there. And it’s one of those things where people who aren’t
very psychologically minded will come in and say, “Oh, my gosh, I must be in
the denial phase of loss,” or, “I must be in this phase because I’m not dealing with it yet.” In reality, I just think
it’s one of those things that makes us feel safe. Like, if we can imagine
these stages are ahead of us, then we can feel better
about where we are, and so I think that’s why it’s so popular. However, I’ve seen the flip side, which is why it can be damaging, when people have losses and
they’re judging themselves for not having this
prototypical series of stages, and they’re not based on
reality or evidence or anything. OK, so, people are gonna
hate me for saying this, but, and this is so common in the dating world. Like, if you ever look
on people’s profiles on dating profiles, they always
say, like, “I am an NYFB,” or, I don’t even know what they say. But it’s always about how they’re these certain, you know,
Myers-Briggs score. And it’s really popular
these days, Myers-Briggs. And, in fact, a lot of
organizations use it and really base a lot
of their testing on it. Again, there’s no validation
around any of these studies. And so while it might resonate for people, and that is something that, you know, just like when we talk about, you know, “I’m a Gemini because I do this,” you know, it resonates for you,
the idea of being a Gemini, and you might act in ways that remind you of this description of
what it is to be a Gemini, but there are no empirical tests to say that you are such this thing. There are personality tests, but Myers-Briggs isn’t one of them. Altman: The myth that therapy is gonna be exclusively about the past or predominantly about the past and not help you in your current life or not give you a form for talking about what’s
happening today and yesterday, there’s a reason why people
hold on to that myth. And the reason is that there was an early
version of psychoanalysis that held to the idea that
people’s personalities were formed in their first five years and that the past was strongly
formative of the present. It sometimes can be helpful to say that there was a pattern
that was established in relation to people in the past. And that can give you some perspective on what’s happening in the present. So making reference to the past is not necessarily a bad thing, but it should never be
because this happened, therefore you’re having this problem now. It’s not an explanation. It’s only a way of getting
perspective on the present. Stile: I think oftentimes
people might say, “Oh, why not go speak with a
friend who’s a good friend, and they can keep things confidential?” But therapists are trained
to work in a particular way to help people deal with
specific problems they’re facing. Therapists are different than friends because even though your
friends might be willing to, for example, hold a secret, therapists really treat things in a very confidential manner. And they’re willing to explore things that maybe a friend would
be uncomfortable exploring. Altman: Actually, the
fact is that most people who come to therapy are
among the stronger people. And the reason is because
they have the courage and the strength to look at themselves, which is not an easy thing
to do in various ways. I think it’s because the
people who come to me are people who’ve already
decided to work on themselves. Good therapists don’t force their patients to talk about something they
don’t want to talk about. To the contrary, I think that even encouraging a person to talk about something that they’re not ready to talk
about is counterproductive. The problem with hitting
pain points right on the head is privacy, for one thing. People are entitled to their privacy. Therapy isn’t just an
opportunity to spill. So I think having people’s privacy, when their privacy is respected, that makes them more confident
to open up, actually. But the other problem for that is that the therapist needs to be thinking that there’s a limit to
the tolerance of everybody, including the therapist, for how much pain they can
tolerate at any given time. And so respect for people’s
anxiety about getting into some of the more difficult
things in their lives is also part of the process. Goorin: Psychiatrists are the only ones who are able in this country
to prescribe medication. They do what’s called a
psychopharmacological consult, where they will go through
all of your history. And that’s something
they do if you want that. And I say if you want that because it’s really important. As a psychologist, for instance, we always try therapy first. It’s the treatment of
preference for all clinicians. In fact, they’ve done all these
studies that have shown that therapy first for several months before you then even
think about a medication is the best course of
treatment for people. Because that way you can
really see what is what. And if you then still
want to do medications, it’s certainly something
you can talk about. But you don’t have to do medications. It’s up to you and your therapist if it feels like that
would be beneficial to you. Altman: I would not say
that most therapists consider that therapy
has to go on forever. But I think when you’re
interviewing somebody and considering them to be your therapist, that’s one thing to ask about. How do you think about how
long this should go on, and when do you start to think that maybe it’s time to end it? How do you break up with your therapist? Do not break up with your therapist in an email or a text or a phone message. You’ve got to be direct.
You’ve got to say, “I’ve been thinking that maybe
it’s time for us to stop.” But then that can’t be the end of it. If you haven’t already said it, hopefully you have already
said it in one way or another in the preceding sessions. “What I’ve been looking for is this, and I see how it’s been
happening in my life.” And maybe give an example or two. But it’s not like you feel you have to convince the therapist. I want to be sure to let people know that there are lots of ways of getting good psychotherapy
at a reduced fee. So, there are institutes where people get advanced
training beyond their doctorate. And all those institutes
have training clinics where people are treated at a low fee. And some people might think
that the higher the fee, the more skilled the practitioner, which is not necessarily the case. But certainly in that case it’s not true.

100 thoughts on “Psychologists Debunk 25 Mental-Health Myths

  1. 14:59 Wow, Psychiatrist are the only ones able to prescribe medications for mental health? That is an outright lie and I’m shocked that such an ignorant statement was uttered.

  2. bad parenting can cause mental illness in a child but as we grow older we cannot use that for others to accept our bad habits or actions. The psychologist should've been more clear… As kids we don't know our parents are harming us emotionally until we get older and it does take a couple of years to heal from the mental abuse. I'd rather have less questions in a video if they go into detail about the question. He answered it in 20 seconds and made it seem like parents didn't mean abuse you mentally/emotionally. Insider should be more careful on how questions like this are answered- one day the wrong person will see a video like this and will justify a wrong doing.

  3. What do LGBTQ rights have to do with whether identifying as Transgender or gay is a mental illness or not?
    You make it seem as though the science done was heavily influenced by taking those rights in to consideration which would be a problem. This may or may not be why this so called myth still persists to this day.
    Science should be unbiased while conducting research right?

  4. Gun violence, she spread another myth while explaining the myth that mentally ill people cause gun violence. The mentally ill and non-mentally ill have similar access to guns, however it is shown that diagnosed individuals are less likely to be violence, and much less likely to use a gun (except in suicides).
    Just because a person does a mass shooting doesnt make them mentally ill, any more than a mass shooter will get multiple sclerosis. It is usually "healthy" or "non diagnosed" or "socially disturbed" people who commit gun crimes, its not the access to guns by the mentally ill.

  5. I waited 5 yrs to seek help from a psychologist after my parents passed away. Best choice I"ve ever made!

    Thank you for this very informative Q&A.

  6. Thank you like literally all these teenage girls think when they're sad that they have depression like wtf grow up bruh.

  7. I’m really glad she mentioned the word rumination because that’s what I was suffering from for years from junior year of highschool to my second year of college. I used to ruminate about how bad I was at swim team for the longest time and I use to open up to people about it and no one seemed to understand me. I only found out about rumination a couple months after my depression ended and my therapist never mentioned it!

  8. Isn’t having lack of empathy a mental disorder though? I feel like if you commit a shooting there is something wrong with you mentally and to say it’s not related or an indicator seems bias.

    this is coming from someone with mental illness

  9. Bad parenting can definitely cause mental illness! Often extensive appropriate therapy is needed to process early schemas formed through an unhealthy parent-child relationship. Its not necessarily deliberate bad parenting, just human error… doesn't mean it doesn't have an effect.

  10. Wait. So she blames guns instead of the person and then blames the persons self loathing and mental state as the major contributing factor?
    Wouldn't that be part of mental health?!?!

  11. I got nothing from therapy, not to discredit it. I started taking care of my diabetes, eating better and working out more. This worked amazingly. Mood swings and depression largely were negated.

  12. I really wish psychiatrists didn’t rely upon medication so much. Like I get you went to med school. But now you’re going to be lazy forever?? All they do is ask how you’re doing and then write the prescription.

  13. Great video! Super informative! One thing I was curious about was why that one psychologist thought that the way parents raise a person doesn't have an influence on mental health. There are clear disorders like post traumatic stress disorder where long term exposure of abuse or maltreatment from a parent can cause mental illnesses. Just curious.

  14. I have bipolar disorder. I wanna day please don’t be scared to go to a mental hospital/mental unit in the hospital there are no padded rooms they are not gonna chain you from the ankle it’s more like any others room in a hospital if anything it’s a bit more “free” in the sense that you get to wear your pajamas or sweats you wouldn’t make fun of some one who can’t see and goes to get glasses you going to see a psychiatrist is you seeking the help you need.

    I lobe my mental illness I love my mind I love my self. Hope you all do too 🙂

  15. Basically for PTSD it depends on how people cope with their trauma. Some who have trouble coping with Trauma are at risk of developing PTSD and for those who are able to function effectively with the coping. Are knowledgable on how to deal with trauma

  16. Amazingly how long it took these professionals their thinking about LGBTQ. Just like any medicines take time to study its drug interaction. Will always be evolving…

  17. I have OCD and it’s a terrible terrible thing to have I have a different type of OCD and it’s call Harm OCD where are you constantly think about punching someone hurting someone hurting yourself and just think about all those negative things over and over and over again every single day and never goes away it just keeps on going and yeah you might say well just stop thinking about it if I could stop it I will stop it but I I can’t there’s a lot of people who have this type of OCD but the thing about having this kind of OCD a lot of people are afraid to talk about it and I don’t but I’m not afraid to tell people about it because I want people to get educated and know that a lot of people suffer with this and a lot of people commit suicide because it would not wish this to my worst enemy..

  18. I feel like description of depression was a bit skewed in the sense it isn't about sadness. It's actually a complete feeling of emptiness and being able to feel even sad was a luxury when I was depressed

  19. My ex girlfriend has OCD and she was a bigger slob than my college roommate also never date someone with bipolar disorder it's hell….

  20. finally someone is telling me because i keep clean does not mean i have ocd i do not btw i just like clean and organized things but sometimes i can leave a mess occasionally.

  21. Psychology is a joke. These people should be put in jail for making up a bunch of diseases that are actually nutritional deficiencies. They are pharmaceutical salesman full stop.

  22. Just because there are no empirical evidence for Myer Briggs tests, shouldn’t mean they are the same as astrological signs!? I mean I believe both, but MB tests actually asks so many questions that, even if it’s not completely scientific, it does provide some sort of a summary for what kind of people we are. Like I’m an extroverted introvert so I always score around 70% introvert 30% while my friend is 70 extrovert, I don’t understand how that’s the same as saying I’m Pisces therefore I’m blah blah

  23. Help me plss

  24. Myers Briggs is not reliable or scientifically proven, I 100% agree. But I wouldn't compare it to zodiac signs… Myers Briggs does at least involve logic and human functioning

  25. Shut up! As a kid of divorce i know how it feels. Good parents will never try and cause pain. But if the parents are bad and then they cause pain, it's simple that the don't have guilt. I hope somebody can resonate with this.

  26. i want to be a clinical psychologist but 11:36–12:23 imma just ignore this bit and stay believing in the myers briggs even if it’s not real, don’t ruin this for me

  27. The man who said that those seeking therapy are actually some of the strongest people really touched my heart. All my life I was never called strong but rather weak.

  28. 8:20
    Well of course they don't like their body, otherwise they wouldn't be transgender. I doubt there's any transgender that likes having the opposite sex's body, I know I wouldn't.

    I guess the point of something being a disorder or not just depends on if it's affecting your everyday life & you want to change it.

  29. I'm a psychologist. It bothers me a lot that psychological terms have made it to popular culture, and that's been happening for decades, for example the word idiot or histerical. Lately, it's OCD, or PTSD. I'm not a native English speaker and I can't judge, but same might be happening around anxiety (which is indeed not the same as stress or being nervous or afraid). It's dangerous because it invalidates people with mental disorders. I'd be happy if people at least understood the definition of mental disorder, which is, "(…) These symptoms must cause the individual clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning". If whatever you are experiencing doesn't fit with that, then you cannot use a clinical term for it. You're not depressed, you're sad/down. You don't have OCD, you just like to organise/clean.

  30. Near freaks use the term "OCD" too much. OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) actually comes from, "traumatic experiences that one has experienced during childhood". Know the difference & don't keep on just using the term as you like. Seriously tho!!!

  31. i dont usually get shaken up by much but wow, my grandmother was everything to me, brought me up and everything. When she died I didn't feel sad, just relieved. I was seven at the time so I didn't understand that she had terminal cancer but I was definitely old enough to understand what happened. I still don't really miss her like in a melancholy way or anything but i always felt like i was the only one in my family injected with local anaesthetic wherever pain was meant to hit while we became subjected to the pain of her loss and it wore off by the time we all recovered so I didn't feel anything, but maybe that's not what happened to me.

  32. CBT takes work. Meds do not. Kind of a nightmare being prescribed almost EVERYTHING in the realms of MDD, GAD and Agoraphobia… attempting to find the “best” combination. There is none 😕

  33. Hello everyone! My research partner and I are doing a study. The purpose of the study is to learn more about the reactions to the behaviors of others outside of those considered socially “normal” and/or “acceptable” in public. If you are 18+ years old and have about 15 minutes, please click on the link below to participate in our study. It would also be great if you could share the link with all of your peers, so that they can participate too. However, you should not participate if you have concerns about reading a scenario that describes behavior that could be associated with a mental illness. Thank you so much for reading!

  34. And I’m also really glad the other therapist mentioned that therapy isn’t always about dredging up the past because that’s the main reason I went LOL

  35. i'd like to know who exactly these mental health professionals are holding responsible for the abundance of misinformation that gets accepted as psychiatric fact about the human condition. sometimes it's just some whackadoo jibbering at the gullible (like david avocado wolfe), but most of these myths (like the five stages of loss and that ocd is always only ever accompanied by cleaning behaviors) get into the popular consciousness because mental health professionals just like you put them there.

    is it possible that a more effective way to eliminate these myths is to work on getting dishonest people out of your profession? because it seems to me that just adding your own voices to an already vast and confusing cacophony maybe isn't the best first step, here.

  36. i find it hard to believe that these things are actually believed. ONLY women get depressed, who started that kind of crap.

  37. I do not agree with the male psychologist. Bad parenting does, in some cases, cause the depression. The person may have a genetic predisposition, but environment plays a large, crucial part. Please upvote. Would love to see him respond with his thoughts on this.

  38. Can we talk about "thinking positive will cure you". I have a physical disability, and because of that I was diagnosed with depression. People continue to tell me "if you just think positively you won't need medication. You're just sad." Yes. I am mourning my former self, and I do get sad. But I'm not "just sad". People don't take mental health issues seriously because the terms are part of pop culture and regular speech. Also, if you need help and can't afford therapy, there are student therapists that work for lower rates.

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