Every year, Oct. 10 is observed as the World Mental Health Day, according to the World Health Organization. The objective of the day is to raise awareness about mental health issues among people and mobilize efforts in their support.

The day gives people an opportunity to openly talk about mental health issues, and the measures that need to be taken to make mental healthcare easily achievable and accessible.

Every year, one in five adults in the United States — 43.8 million, or 18.5 percent — experience mental illnesses, according to data provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). One in 25 adults in U.S. experience serious mental illnesses that substantially interferes with or limits their lives in a year, the same data showed.

Though the stigma associated with mental health has substantially decreased, there are still many myths surrounding it, which leads to it getting a negative reputation. Lack of understanding coupled with misunderstandings make it hard for people with mental illnesses to be open about the issues they face.

“The prejudice and discrimination of mental illness are as disabling as the illness itself.  It undermines people attaining their personal goals and dissuades them from pursuing effective treatments,” psychological scientist Patrick W. Corrigan of the Illinois Institute of Technology, said according to a report in the Association for Psychological Science.

Here are a few prejudices and myths regarding mental illnesses that need to be unlearned.

It’s all in your head

Possibly the biggest myth regarding mental health is when people assume the whole thing was just a concept in their heads. Many expect people with mental illnesses like depression to snap out of it, or they tell people with anxiety to calm down. Depression and anxiety are serious illnesses, and the people who experience it usually have no control over the direction of their thoughts and emotions. The diseases can often result in physical symptoms including loss of appetite, indigestion, headaches, etc. as well as feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness, pessimism and insomnia. People with anxiety can sometimes have a weakened immune system and cardiovascular issues.

People with mental health issues are poor employees

Work capacity and mental health are not always connected. While it is true that sometimes extreme cases can affect work like any other disease, research by the Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania found employers said people with mental illnesses had better attendance and punctuality. It also noted their work quality was good or in some cases better than others who did not suffer from such illnesses.

You can get better on your own with a positive outlook

One of the most common advice people with mental illnesses receive is to keep a positive outlook in life, and that would cure their illnesses. This way of thinking is almost like accusing the patient for the illness. Some mental disorders are biological, which means they would require professional help. Even in the case of mental health issues like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, professional help is required.

People with mental illness are often violent

According to NAMI, only 3 to 5 percent of violent acts are committed by people who  suffer from mental illnesses. In most cases, people who suffer from mental illness are victims of violence. They are no more violent than people without mental illnesses.

World Mental Health Day 2018: Myths That Need Unlearning According to the World Health Organization, World Mental Health Day is celebrated every year on Oct. 10. In this image, a patient's room is visible through a long slit in the door at a special hospital at Broadmoor in Berkshire, for those who commit crimes due to their mental state. Photo: Getty Images/John Firth