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    19 Mental Health Misconceptions From TV Shows/Movies I Find Unbelievably Frustrating

    Not all panic attacks go away when you breath into a paper bag.

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the biggest misconceptions about mental health in TV shows/movies. Here's what they had to say:

    Note: Some of these submissions include topics of depression, death, and suicide.

    1. Everyone who goes to therapy is completely unhinged and dysfunctional.


    People don't always sit on a couch and sob uncontrollably.


    2. All psychiatric hospitals and institutions are vacant, scary places.

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    "They don't have random passages to creepy basements and abusive nurses. My biggest complaint when I was hospitalized was how thin the pillows were, and how often they fed us graham crackers. We aren’t 'insane.' We are in a fairly normal hospital to get help."


    3. If you're diagnosed with a mental illness, you stay in bed all day and don't do anything fulfilling.

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    "Many of us are go-getters and hold down jobs just fine. Everyone's illness is different, and for many of us it's not just sitting alone and looking depressed in a dark room."


    4. Anyone who has a panic attack is cured after breathing into a paper bag for a few seconds.


    "I once spent eight hours feeling like I had cement in my lungs not knowing which way was up."


    5. Your best friends are a legitimate replacement for a therapist.


    "Because friends and cuddling with your dog have the same impact as talking to a person who has an advanced degree in the study of the human mind."


    6. Antidepressants immediately cure everything the second you start taking them.


    "It takes at least two weeks before you even notice if they're even working, not to mention the side effects while you adjust to the medication. Then, you may have to change the meds because they aren’t the right fit."


    7. And people who need meds are considered "crazy," a word that's always used in a negative way.

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    "Whether characters are using it to describe others or themselves, 'crazy' is derogatory to those who struggle with a chronic medical condition as complicated and difficult as mental illness."


    8. Anxiety consists of only one feeling, which is being nervous to the point where you scream and shake.

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    "I have bad panic disorder and my anxiety shows up with many other symptoms. It just downplays it."


    9. Going to therapy is considered a weakness, even though it's a great thing thing that makes people stronger IRL.

    10. All therapists are chill hippies who light incense during sessions and wear funky jewelry.


    "My therapist is nothing like this!"


    11. Only women can be depressed, and if they are, everyone just labels it as "sadness."

    The CW

    "Men have depression, too, and it can manifest as anger."


    12. Only white women have mental illnesses and are treated for them.

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    "Women of color are treated like they're 'crazy' in shows, when they should often be identified as having a mental health problem. Ugh."


    13. Anyone who has Borderline Personality Disorder isn't considered human, and will do "ridiculously wild" things.

    Paramount Pictures

    "Fatal Attraction. People with BPD face enough discrimination without Hollywood making everyone think they're all bunny boilers."

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    14. Any teenager who is depressed is also suicidal.


    "13 Reasons Why was just a joke for mental health representation, and teen suicide was poorly handled. Suicide is not glamorous!"


    15. Therapy is an affordable tool everyone has at their disposal.


    "Even with insurance, therapy can be an expensive luxury."


    16. Mentally ill teenagers are negative and only wear dark clothing.


    "Many of us struggle, but we're also able to show many different emotions, including happiness."


    17. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is just a quirky personality trait, and whoever has it is only fixated on being clean and organized.


    "OCD is not just obsessive organization — it can also mean counting and tapping, nervous tics, intrusive thoughts, or anxiety over things out of your control. There are a lot of panic attacks and freaking out on people who disrupt your compulsions. Emma Pillsbury from Glee is a perfect example of OCD stereotyping because she’s cute as a button as she compulsively cleans her food and organizes her work space."


    18. Once you fall in love and start "feeling better," you're cured without having any setbacks — which just isn't true.

    The Weinstein Company

    19. And when you go to therapy for the first time, you stick with that therapist forever.


    "It's difficult finding a therapist who you connect with because everyone is different with how they treat patients and with what works for the patient. It doesn't always match up."


    Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at You can also text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the US from the Crisis Text Line.

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