DR. SUBRATA NASKAR, MD
Dr. Subrata Naskar is a renowned Neuropsychiatrist currently practicing at Institute of Neurosciences Kolkata. For last 10 years he has been treating patients with various mental illnesses with compassion and care for which he has received the love and respect of his patients and their families. He has numerous research papers published in national as well as international journals.
Mental Health Myths and Facts
Myth: There is no hope for people with mental health problems. Once a friend or family member develops mental health problems, he or she will never recover.
Myth: Children don't experience mental health problems.
FACT: Even very young children may show early warning signs of mental health concerns. These mental health problems are often clinically diagnosable, and can be a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors.
Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24.
Unfortunately, less than 20% of children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need. Early mental health support can help a child before problems interfere with other developmental needs.
Myth: People with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable.
FACT: The vast majority of people with mental health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%–5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population. You probably know someone with a mental health problem and don't even realize it, because many people with mental health problems are highly active and productive members of our communities.
Myth: Personality weakness or character flaws cause mental health problems. People with mental health problems can snap out of it if they try hard enough.
FACT: Mental health problems have nothing to do with being lazy or weak and many people need help to get better. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
Biological factors, such as genes, physical illness, injury, or brain chemistry
Life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse
Family history of mental health problems
People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.
FACT: Mental health problems are actually very common. Everyone can get affected. A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that 7.5 per cent of the Indian population suffers from some form of mental disorder. Mental illnesses constitute one-sixth of all health-related disorders and India accounted for nearly 15% of the global mental, neurological and substance abuse disorder burden.
WHO also predicts that by 2020, roughly 20 per cent of India will suffer from mental illnesses.
Myth: I can't do anything for a person with a mental health problem.
Myth: Mental health problems don't affect me.
FACT: Friends and loved ones can make a big difference. Only 44% of adults with diagnosable mental health problems and less than 20% of children and adolescents receive needed treatment. Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get the treatment and services they need by:
Reaching out and letting them know you are available to help
Learning and sharing the facts about mental health, especially if you hear something that isn't true
Treating them with respect, just as you would anyone else
Refusing to define them by their diagnosis or using labels such as "crazy"
FACT: Studies show that people with mental health problems get better and many recover completely. Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and they work.