Did you ever read the story about what happens to you when you see a shrink for the first time? Well, maybe you didn’t but that type of intrigue is what causes some people to avoid seeking professional help—they’re too wrapped up in what they’ve ‘read’ on the Internet to seek the real answers about how mental health intervention works.
It’s not that the Internet makes us completely irrational but it does, however, contribute to some of the misrepresentations about mental health treatment and cures. Find out some of the myths I’ve heard about the Internet and mental illness below.
Myth: The Internet can diagnose me without my ever having to see a professional!
This is one of the biggest pitfalls people fall into about self-help. The Internet is a resource for both fact and fiction but it is not a treatment provider or a training tool for anyone to get consistent, accurate or reliable information about the efficacy of quality mental health care.
Myth: I learned on the Internet the best way to cure my mental illness and all I need are natural supplements!
That’s another falsity and a dangerous one at that. The Internet may offer alternatives to traditional medical and psychological interventions but the risks of doing that far outweigh the benefits in it. Playing doctor in a manner that is unsupervised by a professional can consequently trigger medical accidents such as sudden dizziness, nausea, seizures, heart failure or worse, accidental death. Always speak to a medical professional before changing your medical regimen.
Myth: Blogs from people who live with mental illness are helpful ways for those with mental illness to seek help without it costing a lot.
Blogs are tools that provide insight and experiential information to others who share in similar areas of interest or intrigue. But blogs are not necessarily the best tool for factual, evidence-based information on mental illness and treatment.
Read more about the Internet your mental health at BlackDoctor.Org.
BET Health News - We go beyond the music and entertainment world to bring you important medical information and health-related tips of special relevance to Blacks in the U.S. and around the world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photo: Sonja Pacho/Corbis)