Sadly, our notions about whether we can actually change who we are, about how much lasting change is possible, and about the best ways to improve mental health are all over the map. We are exposed to widely divergent theories and persistent misconceptions about mental health. Far too often, the focus is on diagnosis and treatment of mental problems rather than methods that actually improve mental health. Small wonder that the path to better mental health and happiness is so clouded and uncertain.
We think we can change, or we doubt real change is possible. We hear that #happiness is attainable; then we hear that it is limited to our "setpoint." We are told that mental health may be largely genetic. We are left thinking that our emotions and behavior patterns are indelible, fixed patterns like some personality traits. We burden ourselves with the thought and shame that our emotional problems are the result of some deficiency in us that we are responsible for. We are embarrassed by our emotional problems and prefer not to even talk about them. We look upon ourselves as different if we have "issues." We try to fix ourselves with talk therapy. We go the medication route. We ignore emotional problems and our cup never gets above half full. Change is too difficult, too little, too impossible. Just give me some drugs. Drugs just hide the problem, I don't want any.
We pay a big price because of the myths and misconceptions about mental health. For those willing to try, a lot of time and money is spent on the journey. Too often, the journey is long, the road signs vague, and success limited. Others avoid the journey altogether; they stay stuck in their struggles and #happiness is forestalled over a lifetime. We can indeed learn how to possess good mental health, but first we must cut through the jumble of misconceptions that stand in the way.
Myth One: "It's not something I can change, I have tried before." Not so. We are unlikely to have success doing something until we acquire the necessary skills. Most of us learn very little about mental health or how to improve it. So, when we try to improve in this area and don't succeed, we may mistakenly conclude that we can't change. Actually, we can change, we can improve happiness and mental health, when we take the opportunity to learn how. Stay tuned for more #self-help strategies at #ThinkRightFeelRight