Shocking misconceptions still exist around mental health

Misconceptions around mental health have caused a quarter of people to delay seeking treatment. A new study has revealed the nation’s most common preconceptions about mental health, with shocking results.

A whopping 60% of the UK are unable to identify key symptoms of the most common mental health conditions, according to Bupa and Mental Health First Aid.

The study also found that bipolar and OCD are the most misunderstood conditions.

This lack of awareness is having serious knock-on effects, including causing one in four to delay seeking treatment for mental health conditions.

The study examined people’s understanding of the behavioural and psychological symptoms of six of the most common mental health conditions in the UK. Early diagnosis and treatment make a big difference to recovery rates, which is why Bupa want to raise awareness.

While this is obviously concerning, there was some good news, as awareness around depression and anxiety is now very strong. In general too, awareness around mental health issues has growth for 53% of people.

Symptoms of mental health problems

These are the top three symptoms for the most common mental health problems

Anxiety symptoms

  • Restlessness
  • A sense of dread
  • Insomnia

Bipolar symptoms

  • Feeling sad, hopeless or irritable
  • Lacking energy
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering

Depression symptoms

  • Continuous low mood or sadness
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Low self-esteem

OCD symptoms

  • Obsessive thoughts or urges
  • Feelings of anxiety or distress
  • Repetitive behaviours or thoughts

Phobia symptoms

  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Hot flushes or chills

PTSD symptoms

  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Irritability