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Common Myths



Common myths about mental and emotional problems -

1. You have a “mental illness” that is caused
by a biochemical imbalance, or some kind
of brain defect or brain disease, or by a
genetic predisposition.

2. The medication we give you will correct
your “biochemical imbalance.”

3. “Recovery from mental illness” does not
mean cure. Recovery just means learning to
have a better life despite continuing to have
the illness.

4. Mental health medications are proven
to be effective and reasonably safe. When
people who have been diagnosed with a
serious mental illness refuse medications, it
is because they lack insight into their illness.

5. Because of your diagnosis, you will
always have to take psychiatric medications.

6. If you have problems when you quit
taking medications, this is proof you need to
continue taking the medications.

7. If you really want to be healthy, you will
take whatever medication your prescriber
suggests, for the rest of your life.

8. If you do decide to get off medications,
you cannot expect any help from your
prescriber, whose job it is to keep you on your

What you would hear if your mental health system told you the truth -

1. These are all theories. Science does not have proof of what causes mental and emotional
problems. There is no lab test for any of these conditions. Also, none of these theories are able
to explain how many people with mental and emotional problems recover completely.
What you would hear if your mental health system told you the truth

2. Since no one knows if you have any “biochemical imbalance,” no one can promise to correct it!

3. There are varying degrees of recovery from mental and emotional problems. Some people
recover just enough to improve their life while mental and emotional problems continue. But
others go on to have a full recovery, and need no further mental health care.

4. The long term effectiveness of psychiatric medications has not been demonstrated in scientific
studies. Even in the short term, some psychiatric drugs may not be any more effective than
placebo. Many commonly used medications are quite dangerous, may potentially cause brain
damage, and are part of the reason people in the USA public mental health system are dying 25
years earlier than average. Proven non-drug options exist but are not widely offered.

5. For each diagnosis, there are people who have gotten off the medications, and then gone on
to have very successful lives.

6. Problems that arise upon quitting medications are often medication withdrawal effects, and
can be minimized by tapering down slowly. Also, if you have been relying on medications to solve
emotional problems, you may need to learn effective alternative solutions to these problems in
order to accomplish a successful withdrawal.

7. It’s your choice. It is important not to stop taking medication before you are ready. But for at
least some people, getting off medication, even against a prescriber’s advice, may be the best
solution. For example, long term studies show high rates of recovery among people diagnosed
with “schizophrenia” who have gotten off medication successfully. Getting off medication can
mean avoiding long term health risks (including risks of early death) associated with many of the

8. Unless a court has taken your rights away, you have the right to decide to terminate any
given treatment. Since the mental health system got you started on medications, it also has a
responsibility to help you terminate that treatment as safely as possible if that is your choice.

Your local mental health system may have a
serious problem.
Your mental health provider is supposed to
provide clients with accurate mental health
information that would facilitate informed
treatment decisions.
Instead, many mental health professionals
routinely provide clients, their families,
the media and even elected officials with
misinformation that can increase reliance on
prescribed psychiatric drugs.
This misinformation discourages people from
believing they can learn to help themselves
overcome problems. This misinformation
increases passivity, hopelessness and even

Source -






Sep 22, 2008
Myths 1,2 and 6 have been told to me by PDOC and various CPNs.


Well-known member
Jun 28, 2008
Yorkshire, UK
I've been told myths 1, 2, 5 and 6 although not by my CPN or pdoc, but by my old GP.


Well-known member
Founding Member
Dec 18, 2007
I've been told Myths: 1, 2, 5, 6 and maybe 7.

But, I've also been told Truths: 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7

I've been told those different Myths and Truths by various Doctor's, CPN's and Nurses over the years.