Mental illnesses are common and as per the report of U.S Department of Health and Human Services, one in 25 Americans suffer from some type of serious mental illness. The same report also states that mental health issues are experienced by at least one in 5 American adults. The concept of mental health is not understood by many people. Mental health is looked down as more importance is given to physical health issues. Some people also confuse mental health with mental illnesses. There is a knowledge gap and lack of awareness about mental health and illnesses. Many people engage in behaviours unknowingly that are detrimental to mental health. Hence, it is important to know about those lies that are detrimental to the mental wellness. 1. Healthy people do not get mental illness Many people fail to understand the meaning of health and well-being. A person is said to be healthy if he/she is mentally and physically fit. And physically fit people may experience mental health issues. Mental issues are not uncommon in successful people. As per the report of U.S Department of Health and Human Services optimum mental health is seen in just 17% of adults in total population. 2. Mental health equals to weakness Some people seem to believe that “mentally strong” people do not experience mental health issues. But in reality anyone can experience mental health concerns. In fact it is extremely difficult to decode the behaviour of people to conclude mental illness. As per a study by Christoph Lauber, people could only identify 39.8% cases of depression accurately. The remaining 60.2% were not identified as mental illness instances. 3. Mental health issues cannot be prevented Aside from inherited mental disorders or traumatic episodes, most of the mental health issues can be prevented. Early care and treatment is vital in preventing mental illnesses. Such belief acts as one of the biggest barriers in seeking medical and psychiatric help to resolve mental illnesses. Such instances wherein people neglect their mental health due to stigmatized beliefs often end in long-term or severe mental health concerns. 4. Mental health concerns cannot be treated Those who lack the awareness about mental illnesses often believe that mental illnesses are not treatable. Such beliefs are yet another barrier for identifying and treating mental health issues. In reality except for few psychotic conditions such as Schizophrenia, most of the mental illnesses can be successfully treatable. When therapy and medications are combined patients can expect long-term recovery without relapse. According to National Alliance on Mental Illness approximately 70%-90% patients with mental health concerns were able to manage and fight their symptoms with combination of treatments. 5. Stress is normal and acceptable Getting stressed is accepted and many people believe that stress is required to be successful in life. Moreover majority of people lack the awareness about stress management and importance of managing stress. Stress can cause a host or mental and physical illnesses. As per the research of Emily K. Porensky, PhD, University of Ohio, Wexner medical centre, stress cannot be managed when people try to cope based on certain beliefs such as: Everything will be fine Just need to be more positive Stop worrying A glass of wine will ease stress Avoidance of stress The research further states that strategic and structured treatment plan that focus on current behavioural patterns would be more effective in stress management. 6. Self criticism for perfection Self criticism may sound as a common occurrence but it is the most dangerous behavioural pattern that can cause serious damage to the mental wellness. Many people feel that self criticism is necessary for self growth. But self criticizing behaviour leads to a vicious cycle of negative self talk, low self esteem, and increased insecurities. As a result the person who engages in such behaviour is isolated from his personal relationships and social interactions. Such people also exhibit signs of depression and suicidal tendencies. According to research by Olivia Longe, Frances A Maratos, School of Life and Health Sciences, Neuroscience Research centre, self-criticism is closely associated with a host of psychopathologies like depression, anxiety and much more. 7. Brooding and procrastination is normal Ruminating does not equal to self reflection of introspection. Some people fail to recognize the difference between brooding and introspection. While introspection is necessary for self growth, brooding destroys self-esteem and self-worth. A study conducted by Rebecca A Burwell and Stephen R Shirk on association between adolescent brooding and depressive symptoms, it was found that brooding indeed maintains and promotes depressive symptoms. Brooding or ruminating can be controlled or modified by problem-solving approaches and behavioural therapies. Brooding and procrastination not only causes depressive symptoms but they also make people stressed and anxious. Brooding and procrastination as a long-term behavioural pattern is very damaging to our mental wellness. Conclusion: People engage in behaviours that threaten the mental wellness due to irrational and erroneous beliefs. Perhaps the social stigmas surrounding mental illnesses and mental health are partly to blame for such irrational assumptions. Optimum mental health is achievable when there is an increased awareness about the possible perils of certain attitudes, beliefs or behavioural patterns that could ruin our mental health. Hence, it is important for people to self evaluate or seek professional help in order to prevent any possible mental health concerns. About the Author: Katleen Brown is a health, beauty and fitness writer. She loves to publish her articles on various health related websites. In her spare time, she likes to do research and write articles to bring awareness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and outlook, she helps empower women to tune into their innate & inner wisdom to transform their health and truly flourish.