Explains what mental health problems are, what may cause them, and the many different kinds of help, treatment and support that are available. Also provides guidance on where to find more information, and tips for friends and family.
Unfortunately, not everyone understands mental health problems. Some people may have misconceptions about what certain diagnoses mean. They may also use language you find dismissive, offensive or hurtful. This can be very upsetting – especially if someone who feels this way is a family member, colleague or a healthcare professional.
But it's important to remember that you aren't alone, and you don’t have to put up with people treating you badly. Here are some options for you to think about:
"I don’t choose or want to be psychotic any more than people choose or want any other types of ill health."
Some people think there is an automatic link between mental health problems and being a danger to others. This is an idea that is reinforced by sensationalised stories in the media. However, the most common mental health problems have no significant link to violent behaviour.
The proportion of people living with a mental health problem who commit a violent crime is extremely small. There are lots of reasons someone might commit a violent crime, and factors such as drug and alcohol misuse are far more likely to be the cause of violent behaviour. But many people are still worried about talking about how they're feeling, or seeking help, because of the fear and stigma of being seen as dangerous.
It's important to remember that experiencing difficult thoughts, feelings and behaviours when you're unwell is common, and it's extremely unlikely to mean you may harm another person.
"The stigma of being violent and dangerous is the worst for me. I am a caring and empathetic soul who would do anything for the people I love."
This information was published in October 2017. We will revise it in 2020.
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