Home BiologyFalse Health Myths Debunked by Science
BiologyBy Joe Burgett -

It is clear that we were not always taught the truth in high school years ago. To be fair to our teachers, a lot of things they taught us was the known truth or belief at the time. On top of this, things change just like how we had 9 planets in the solar system and now kids learn of just 8. However, we were taught several myths about the human body too.While some of the myths we know more about today than we did in the 80s or 90s, some were never actually true. In fact, many things we believed to be true were based on zero evidence. As much as it is painful to hear, we also based some medical knowledge on racist ideology too. Some of it is still in use today! The world’s worst myth bringer about the human body was a Greek Physician named Galen who literally wrote the book on anatomy. His teachings of the human body were the believed science for more than 1,000 years!

Yet he never actually opened up a human body nor even bothered to do anything with humans to make his theories viable. He actually worked on various animals, including dogs. Eventually, then-doctoral student, Andreas Vesalius, wondered if Galen was right. When Vesalius opened up a body and learned about what everything truly did, he found more than 200 instances where Galen was completely wrong. This changed anatomy forever! Galen is not the only one who made mistakes. In fact, Aristotle once assumed the heart was the holder of intelligence and the brain was merely a radiator for the body. Sometimes, myths of the human body are easy to look back on and laugh at. However, some myths are still believed to this day. Let’s change that now!

 

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via newscientist.com]

Myth 50. Your Appendix Does Not Do Anything

For many years, we assumed that the Appendix was just that part of the body that randomly started hurting many people. In fact, we thought it was so useless that surgeons even removed it if they were already cutting you open for some surgeries. It was actually believed that the appendix was so useless that medical professionals thought it was an evolutionary plague.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Timesknowledge]
However, through thousands of years of evolution, we have been able to cut or keep parts of our bodies around. The things left behind naturally offer something useful to us. The appendix was kept for a legitimate reason. What does it do? It actually helps to store “good bacteria” and even distribute it out to the gastrointestinal system when needed. In fact, it helps gut flora along with the overall health of your colon and intestines.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via WPSD]

Myth 49. You Should Not Sleep With A Concussion

Concussion, an injury caused by a blow to the head or violent shaking of the head and/or body, was completely misunderstood for decades. When people had concussion issues, everyone assumed they would slip into a coma if they fell asleep. This led to the conclusion that you shouldn’t sleep with a concussion. However, it’s not true at all. When you have concussion issues, it’s likely you’ll visit a doctor.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Ucsfhealth]
These medical professionals will do tests to determine if you have any swelling or internal bleeding. Those are the types of things that cause comas to occur in people with a concussion. Yet if neither are present, you’re actually fine to sleep for the most part. In fact, sleep is a common way our bodies recover from a lot of stuff. Some people with Traumatic Brain Injuries are even put into medical comas to heal. Thus, sleep is actually encouraged for a concussion.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via About Hinawai]

Myth 48. Men Can’t Get Breast Cancer

One of the most common myths about the human body people seem to believe is that men are unable to get breast cancer. In some thought, it makes sense to assume this is true. Men do not have the types of breasts that women have. However, men do have breasts too. The difference between men and women here has to do with mammary glands and extra tissue. While some men have these due to a condition known as gynecomastia, it’s pretty rare.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Webmd]
Either way, larger breast size or not, men can still get breast cancer. Of course, women are 100 times more likely to get it than men. However, that does not mean it is impossible for men to have it. In fact, the American Cancer Society claims for 2019 alone, new cases of breast cancer in men are expected to reach 2,670. On top of this, they expect around 500 men to die from this cancer in 2019 as well.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Today I Found Out]

Myth 47. Chewing Gum Takes 7 Years To Fully Digest

Likely one of the most common playground myths about the human body has to do with chewing gum. You may have heard that if you swallow it, the gum will be inside your system for 7 years because it will not digest until then. This is not technically true. Chewing gum does not completely digest but you will pass the very same chewing gum within 24 to 48 hours.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Prevention]
Just because something does not completely digest, it does not mean it cannot pass through your system. Your intestines and colon will still push it into your bile and you’ll pass it like everything else. If constipation occurs as a result of it, typically this will also pass sooner rather than later. However, if you’re backed up for days, then it’s likely you swallowed a lot more than 1 piece of gum in one day or your constipation has nothing to do with the gum.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Eat This, Not That]

Myth 46. You Need To Wait 30 Minutes To An Hour After You Eat To Go Swimming

A lot of myths about the human body seem to start from the weirdest of places. One such myth seems to revolve around not swimming 30 minutes to an hour after you eat, yet this is completely untrue. Essentially, if you eat a big meal then any strenuous activity you involve yourself may have weird reactions. People are often sluggish after big meals and since swimming uses most of the body, you could get sick.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
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However, you’re more likely to upchuck than have cramps. The idea of this myth began with places like the YMCA and other public swimming areas who wanted to keep food out of their pools. If people were allowed to eat and swim, pools would be harder to keep clean. On top of this, drinking alcohol can cause some cramps in the water due to dehydrating the body. This is why alcohol is often banned from many public pools too.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Saga]

Myth 45. Your Fingernails And Hair Grow Even After You Die

Some of the biggest myths about the human body that we hear about quite often have to do with things that happen after people die. A lot of this comes down to misunderstandings more than anything else. The common one you’ve heard is that both fingernails and hair grow after we die. Yet again, it’s easy to see why people believe this but it’s not really true. The reason for the misunderstanding has to do with skin and decomposing.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Rost9/Shutterstock]
After we die, our bodies slowly begin to dehydrate and most of our insides will begin to rot away. The process of embalming already removes the organs, to begin with. The dehydration makes your skin tighter and that, in turn, makes everything sort of shrivel or bunch up. When this happens, your hair and nails appear to grow. What actually happened was that they remained in place while everything around them tightened. Since they did not move, it looks like they grew but simply did not.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Reader’s Digest]

Myth 44. Shaving Makes Your Hair Grow Back Darker & Thicker

One of the most common myths we seem to hear a lot growing up has to do with shaving. A lot of this has to do with old wive’s tales that passed down generations. For the young ladies, moms do not want them to shave as quickly in life so they said things like this to them growing up. It then caught on and even made its way over to the male side of things. It is true that the older you get, the faster your hair will grow back. However, this has nothing to do with shaving.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Verywellhealth]
This became so believable due to people shaving so often and even getting stubbles shortly after. They did not get the stubble as quick when they were younger, so shaving obviously had to do with this right? Not exactly. This is mostly a hormonal thing that increases as we age. On top of this, the hair grows back at the same thickness and will not get any darker unless your hair elsewhere does too.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Wes Moss]

Myth 43. Alpha, Beta, And Other Personality Types

A lot of people believe that there is such a thing as an Alpha personality. This is an assertive person who typically likes to take things over. They’re always wanting to be the leader and tend to take charge even if they aren’t the best for the job. The concept of Alpha personalities came from packs of wolves studied by L. David Mech in 1977. Mech was a wildlife biologist who popularized the term of the “Alpha Wolf.”

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock]
This concept drifted over to other animals where people assume the Alpha is the leader. Mech’s research massively popular, and then people felt some of us had an “Alpha Personality.” One problem though. Mech realized that he was wrong and found that wolves who often led packs were mothers and fathers of the younger wolves they led. He then renounced the entire concept. Meaning the very man who popularized the term of the “Alpha, Beta” and so on, realized it was crap!

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via American Museum of Natural History]

Myth 42. Brain Cells Don’t Regenerate

Sometimes, myths about the human body are started from an understandable place. Either people believe or assume something to be true based on their own theories. The concept that brain cells never regenerate mostly comes from some understandable science. We cannot often fix the brain like we can other places of our body. When mind-altering drugs like cocaine, acid, extasy, and even marijuana became popular on the street, something had to be done.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Yurchanka Siarhei/Shutterstock]
The spreading of brain cells not being able to grow back was popularized as a scare tactic. It came from some truth in that we did not believe, at the time, the brain could be truly corrected if damaged. However, researchers at Cornell University proved that brain cells regenerated. In fact, cells all over our body regenerate. While you still should not do drugs as they can still harm your brain, they won’t affect any cells at least.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Reader’s Digest]

Myth 41. Your Eyes Will Pop Out If You Sneeze With Them Open

In theory, the myth about your eyes popping out if they stay open during a sneeze does make sense. Every time you sneeze, a massive pressure builds up. So much so, by the time you sneeze, the “stuff” from your mouth/nose is exiting at upwards of 200 MPH. All that pressure building up in the sinuses, it’s not a wonder we need to close our eyes, right? Not exactly.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Tattoboo/Shutterstock]
While we can get some symptoms of eye issues when our sinuses are going nuts on us, this is actually unrelated to the overall effect of a sneeze. The pressure of the sneeze affects your nose, throat, sinuses, and even your lungs. However, your eye socket is not connected to the nose like this. Therefore, any pressure from this area won’t cause your eyes to pop out. Think about it, if something is going near 200 MPH on a sneeze, how could your simple eyelids actually stop it?

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Huffington Post]

Myth 40. Sugar Makes Children Hyperactive

Yet another understandable thing to believe. This is one of those myths about the human body that people will swear to be true but won’t really be able to prove. Some believe if you give a child sugar of any kind, they will be more hyperactive as a result. This is not entirely true. Whenever we eat something sweet, it often affects our brains differently than other foods. In fact, it begins to start up a mood-changing mindset. We’re happier even!

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Thedailymeal]
Whenever we’re hungry, we eat. The longer we do not have the food, the worse our moods become. For kids, this concept is an even bigger issue. Without food for a half a day, their moods will suddenly change drastically. Naturally, sweet stuff makes humans happy. For kids, why wouldn’t the reaction to this also be similar to other dramatically different reactions that differ between children and adults? Thus far, there is no scientific evidence that proves sugar makes kids hyperactive.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Mirror.co.uk]

Myth 39. Carrots Will Give You Amazing Vision

One of the biggest myths out there may very well be one that you’ve heard your mother say for decades. Perhaps it was something like “alright little Bobby, eat your carrots so you can have great vision and not need glasses!” It is true that carrots contain Vitamin A, a nutrient that is great for your eye health. Yet loading up on carrots won’t suddenly make your vision better.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Bhg]
Sure, eat them all you want if you like them. That is totally cool. However, the health of your eyes can be amazing yet you may still have eyesight that is terrible overall. Remember, just because you need classes, it does not mean your eyes are in bad shape from a health perspective. All it means is that your eyesight has problems, which is often a hereditary issue. Therefore, carrots cannot possibly help.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via The Today Show]

Myth 38. You Need To Drink At Least 8 Glasses Of Water A Day

One of the biggest myths about the human body for more than a decade started simply over greed. Drinking water is very good for you, so long as it’s not filled with a lot of germs and bacteria that we cannot handle. However, the concept that you need to drink the equivalent of 8 glasses of water a day is absolute garbage.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Myfit-strategy]
Hydration is certainly important, especially when involved in strenuous activities or if you’re outside under the hot sun a lot. Yet you still do not “need” 8 glasses of water in a day. Sometimes, you run the risk of overhydrating. This is actually quite deadly to humans. There is no scientific proof that you need that much water in a day. Experts just say to drink when you’re thirsty, which should be pretty obvious. However, the myth of hydration needs has led to people needing to hear logic more often.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
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Myth 37. You Should Take Antibiotics For A Cold Or Virus

The common cold, as well as multiple viruses, are likely going to affect humans a lot in their lives. We’ve likely all had a cold of some type of virus, so you know how horrible it is to get them. At the time, you’d visit a doctor hoping they could just give you medication and send you home. In fact, you may have been expecting them to give you antibiotics.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Geneticliteracyproject]
However, antibiotics do not treat viruses or colds of any kind. We do have some antiviral medications now and even medications. Antibiotics, however, are only for treating infections. Sadly, major pressure is put on doctors far too much when it comes to these meds. Many just give people a prescription for some “just in case” and that results in people taking antibiotics they do not need. The worst part? This can build up antibiotic resistance in a person, which would be horrible!

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Texas A&M Health Science Center]

Myth 36. Cracking Your Knuckles Gives Your Hands Arthritis

One of the most popular myths about the human body we’ve heard a lot lately might be this weird obsession with people telling others to not pop their fingers. The reason for this is that people assume this will give your hands arthritis, especially as you get older. Popping fingers, cracking knuckles, whatever you call it. None cause arthritis or give you a higher risk of it.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Webmd]
There is not a shred of evidence that proves it. Yes, people can develop arthritis in their hands. However, this does not mean that cracking their knuckles led to it. If anything, it is a mere coincidence more than anything else. There are numerous people who do this that never see one issue with arthritis in their hands. People seemed to only assume this was the case because it’s a popular thing everyone tends to do. Therefore, the only connecting factor present, yet it’s a weak one at best.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Medical News Today]

Myth 35. Juice Cleansing Or Other Types Of Cleansing Removes Toxins From Your Body

One of the most common myths about the human body going around today involves mysterious “toxins.” Many companies prey on this and sell various juices to help with a proper juice cleanse. You may even see other cleansing tactics around as well, such as those done via enema. However, the entire idea of toxins is completely made up and a huge marketing ploy.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Wexnermedical.osu]
None of it is true. Toxins are in your body but they’re filtered out like normal via your liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract. In fact, everything considered “toxic” to your body ends up exiting this way. Your blood and other parts of your body filter it out into the liver and kidneys and the remaining often gets taken care of by the GI. So harmful enemas or juice cleanses are complete crap and terrible for your body. Why create new problems for yourself?

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Healthline]

Myth 34. Feed A Cold, Starve A Fever

This particular issue began in the early 2000s when a small study was done that truly did not have all of its data right. In fact, it was misinterpreted by most and it led to this assumption that you need to eat much less with a fever and eat more with a cold of some type. Others assume it means to eat more with colds that aren’t accompanied by a fever than with one.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via New Africa/Shutterstock]
Regardless of how you may take it, both are wrong. Not having any food is actually very harmful to your immune system. With colds, you cannot just take medication to get it to pass. This means your immune system is the major key to helping you survive it. You weaken the system without any food. Doctors tell us that we should eat if we can, mostly because that constant refueling helps your immune system operate at its highest capability.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Young Men’s Health]

Myth 33. Only Some People Are Lactose Intolerant

To understand this myth, you should first know what lactose intolerance actually means. This involves problems of any kind that people have to dairy products. This could be anything related to milk, cheese, etc. A food allergy to dairy products is different and often life-threatening. Almost everyone is lactose intolerant because our bodies were not meant to consume as much dairy products as we do.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Livehealthily]
In fact, most people do not have the ability to digest lactose products much if at all. Some have a genetic variant or abnormality with Lactase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down these products. These people are the only types without a lactose intolerance problem of any kind. That means that most people are lactose intolerant, not “some” people. Obviously, Dairy Allergies are real and can cause people to have life-threatening issues with it. Lactose intolerance isn’t the same thing.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via HBO]

Myth 32. Most Of Your Body Heat Escapes Through Your Head

This is the type of thing that seems pretty lazy and the reasons for it are completely illogical. Myths about the human body like this make us wonder if people are actually thinking about stuff fully. The concept here is that body heat escapes mostly through our head. In fact, the number is as high as 90% among those who truly buy into this myth. In reality, this is technically untrue.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Digitaltrends]
Think of it like this, what is the most common area of your body that you leave uncovered? Usually, your head and face region. Even when it’s cold out, we wear socks, shoes, pants, shirt(s), and a jacket. However, unless you’re wearing a toboggan, you’re leaving your head uncovered for body heat to escape. Thus, body heat escapes in areas left open to the elements. The same thing would occur if you wore shorts or a short-sleeve shirt. Body heat would escape from your legs & arms then!

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Entertainment Tonight]

Myth 31. You’ll Catch A Cold If You Go Out In The Cold Or In The Rain

One of the most commonly held misconceptions about sickness is that the elements play a role in nearly all of them. In reality, they only play a small role. Typically, a sickness exists first and then the elements can make symptoms of it worse. In the case of a cold, you cannot in any way catch a cold if you go out in the cold or in the rain. Furthermore, ladies, you cannot catch a cold if you go outside with wet hair either!

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Clickinmoms]
Colds are caused by numerous viruses in the air that spread from person to person. The reason you’re more likely to catch a “cold” in the winter is due to being inside more. If you’re inside with other people who are infected with a viral issue, chances are, it’ll be easier for you to catch something. Your decision to walk into the rain or the cold had nothing to do with it. In fact, you have a bigger chance to catch one staying in!

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Bearded Gentlemen Music]

Myth 30. You Only Use 10% Of Your Brain

Probably one of the most commonly believed myths ever is the concept that you do not use more than 10% of your brain. In reality, you actually use far more of it. This myth is usually credited to Albert Einstein, yet he never said this. This myth got started years ago when we did not understand as much about the brain. We felt that only part of it was in use.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via sutadimages/Shutterstock]
This was a misconception of the time. In fact, people used to believe that only certain portions of the brain handled every little thing and we could chop off the rest if needed. Now that we have brain mapping to prove to us that every part of the brain has a critical function, we know we use more than 10% of our brain. Technically, we may not use all 100% of it at the same time, but that does not mean we have 90% of brain capacity going unused daily. Sorry, Limitless!

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Johns Hopkins Medicine]

Myth 29. People Are Left-Brained Or Right-Brained

Yet another misunderstanding when it comes to our brain is the concept revolving around those who are left-brained or right-brained. Everyone feels they are one or the other, in that they feel their best skills are on one side or the other. This concept began when we began to realize certain parts of the brain were mostly responsible for certain things.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Jolygon/Shutterstock]
For instance, we found that our language abilities involve the left side of the brain. However, this is not completely true. While yes, a large portion of it occurs on that side, both your right and left side are responsible for this completely. The left side is responsible for grammar and pronunciation while the right handles intonation. Both sides are needed, which means the entire concept of people being left or right-brained is complete nonsense. You use both for everything.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Michigan Health Blog-Michigan Medicine]

Myth 28. You Should Tilt Your Head Back When You Have A Nosebleed

Out of all of the myths about the human body on our list, this might be the one that is repeated the most. However, we are luckily starting to see people get wise to the issue and it’s thankfully dying off. Although very slowly! The idea of this is that you need to tilt your head back when you have a nosebleed. It’ll cause the blood to stop draining out and clot back in your system, right?

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Seattledoctors]
Oh heck no. First and foremost, it does not actually stop the blood from flowing. It merely redirects it to your throat because that is how the sinus cavity works. Due to this, the blood going into this area can actually choke you! Even worse, it could make you sick and begin to upchuck blood. Never fun! Instead, sit down, pinch your nose closed, and lean forward. This is the best way to stop a nosebleed.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via National Geographic]

Myth 27. You Should Use Pee To Neutralize The Pain From A Jellyfish Sting

Okay, this is probably the funniest myth on the list because it should seem obviously untrue. Today, this myth is not as believed as it used to be. This has made its way into television shows and movies, so it makes sense that people began to believe it as truth. However, no, peeing on a jellyfish sting does not help stop the pain of a jellyfish sting.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Roman Yanushevsky/Shutterstock]
The entire idea is that ammonia from someone’s urine is supposed to kill the stinging cells. Combined with the freshwater side of things to neutralize the saltwater jellyfish, it makes sense that both of these would work. However, jellyfish stinging cells are actually activated by freshwater, not saltwater. This means peeing on a jellyfish sting would actually make a person’s pain even worse!

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Medical News Today]

Myth 26. If You’re Not Having Chest Pain, It Isn’t A Heart Attack

This particular issue was actually assumed to be true medically for many years. However, today is known as one of the biggest myths about the human body in medicine. Heart attacks in the movies usually involve a person holding their chest with their left arm stiffening up as they go to the ground. While chest pain, as well as arm issues, can happen with heart attacks…it’s actually less common to see this.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
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In fact, as high as 40 to 60% of heart attacks go unnoticed. Not every single heart attack is fatal nor painful, so people tend to not even realize they are having one or even had one. Those with pain don’t even have to involve the chest or even the arm and can be as simple as some severe tooth pain or heartburn. That said, do not assume chest pain is the only sign of a heart attack. There are numerous!

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via America’s Got Talent]

Myth 24. Some People Are Double-Jointed

This myth is understandable for people to mistake. The issue comes down to many scientists and doctors not understanding mobility in the human body. Essentially, no one is now nor ever been double-jointed. This term comes from the idea that any person who has tremendous flexibility anywhere on their body has two joints where one should be. This is untrue.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
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Instead, a person is known to have extra-mobile joints or they have something known as hypermobility. Basically, it means a person’s joints in particular areas or all over can simply bend more than they normally should. We know today that this can actually accompany some problematic pain trouble for some. Things like Ehlers Danlos Syndrome can also be a huge issue for some of these people too.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Texas A&M Health Science Center]

Myth 23. You Don’t Have To Take The Full Course Of Antibiotics Once You Feel Better

Some people assume once they feel better while taking an antibiotic, they can stop taking it. With medications like painkillers, you can think like this and not take them if you feel okay. However, this isn’t the same with antibiotics. When doctors prescribe medications, they go with a length that is best for you. Their decade of study is better than your 2-minute Google Search.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Medicalnewstoday]
If you feel better a few days in, that means the antibiotic is doing its job, which is fantastic. This does not mean you should just stop taking it. The World Health Organization claims that research has been done into the shortest amount of time an antibiotic must be taken to rid you of infection. Your doctor knows this information. Therefore, stopping on Day 5 when you need to take a medication for 2 weeks may risk a powerful return infection. You even risk antibiotic resistance issues!

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Vaunte]

Myth 22. Upchucking Is A Definite Sign Of The Flu

You’d be completely forgiven if you assumed that the flu was likely causing you to upchuck like crazy. Afterall, nausea and upchucking are possible and even expected with it. However, violent vomiting that causes you to taste what you had a week ago is not something the flu typically is known for. You’ll often hear the term “stomach flu” when this happens.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Premierhealth]
That makes you assume flu, right? Sadly, it’s a colloquial term and not a proper one. The Stomach Flu is actually known by doctors as gastroenteritis. In fact, it isn’t related to Influenza at all and very different. In fact, gastroenteritis is a bacterial infection treatable with antibiotics. Meanwhile, Influenza is a virus and only treatable with some antiviral medications. Doctors usually have to run a number of tests to confirm how to treat people as the signs can be similar.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Belmar Orthodontics]

Myth 21. Healthy Teeth Are Always White

We all know that a person’s smile says a lot about them. Due to the feeling that white teeth look best, the invention of bleaching teeth came to be. Not everyone has white teeth, even if they are healthy at another color. Some actually do not have healthy teeth yet whiten them to give the assumption of it. Basically, this means that not all white teeth are healthy.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
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According to the American Dental Association, bleaching is fine to do when done in proper moderation. However, this obsession to turn yellow teeth into white has led people to overdo it. This actually causes the teeth severe damage over time. In fact, one study was able to determine that 43% of people who had their teeth whitened often had teeth sensitivity issues.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
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Myth 20. Six-Pack Abs Mean You’re In The Best Shape Possible

While having six-pack abs was not expected of people for centuries when it comes to attraction, it seems to be a trend nowadays. The reason is animalistic as women see muscles and six-pack abs as a useful thing for procreation and overall protection. Even if a woman is not considering any of this, it is ingrained in a female’s system to do so. For men, the role of a six-pack is not as high on a list for procreation as much as other areas.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Menshealth]
Men find abs on women attractive nonetheless. However, none should assume they are in the best shape because of their six-pack abs. The fact that they are showing means you have a low body fat percentage. Humans actually need body fat and a lack of a proper percentage can be dangerous. This is especially true for women, as they can have severe hormonal and/or reproductive problems from a lack of fat. Amenorrhea among other things can be problematic!

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
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Myth 19. You Should Never Wake A Sleepwalker

You’ve likely heard the idea that you should never wake up someone who is sleepwalking. However, this is untrue and actually began from a pretty weird concept. People used to think that their souls left their bodies when they slept. This ancient belief led to the concept that waking a sleepwalker could doom the person to wander soullessly forever.  It’s not uncommon for ancient beliefs to led to myths about the human body.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Africa Studio/Shutterstock]
According to the National Sleep Foundation, it is perfectly okay to wake a sleepwalker. It can actually be dangerous to let a person sleepwalk at times. They may try to drive, take medication, or even hurt other people. There have actually been cases of sleepwalkers killing people for real. It is said you should try to guide a person back to their bed if they are sleepwalking. If you cannot, it is perfectly okay to gently wake them up.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Fox Searchlight]

Myth 18. Black People Have Thicker Skin

When racist ideology makes its way into the world of medicine, it’s absolutely horrible. In fact, racist concepts are still rampant to this day in the medical community. The sad part is that these myths about the human body have led to mistreatment in hospitals. One of the most common myths has to do with the idea that black people have thicker skin than others. This ultimately began during the time of slavery in America.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Medium]
Several generations of slavery later, the concept was that they were unlike white people in every way. Due to black people being capable of doing such extreme labor, many naturally assumed they were able to handle it easier. Thicker skin was assumed because black people were able to last under the hot sun and survive well against possible cuts where a white person may not. Of course, this ignored that they labored more than whites and just has to deal with those issues.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Reddit]

Myth 17. You Should Suck Out The Poison If You’re Bitten By A Snake

While the introduction of animal experts on late-night television has assisted in helping people know this is a myth, the belief has still persisted. Let’s say it for everyone who needs to know. No, you cannot suck out the poison if you’re bitten by a poisonous snake. In fact, if a person sucks out poison, it won’t help and it’ll end up infecting the person attempting to suck it out!

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Sciencenews]
Do your best to remember the snake that bit you. Get to an Emergency Room, they’ll be able to administer an antivenin the moment you arrive. This will ultimately save your life. You should let the area of the bite swell too, as this is something your body is doing to try and fight the poison inside you. Cutting the area here or sucking out poison will not rid you of it. Only the antivenin will do this.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Paul McGregor]

Myth 16. You Should Induce Upchucking If You Swallow Something Poisonous

To be fair to this myth, it’s not as far-fetched as many others and has proven to help somewhat. For the longest time, the assumption was that if you swallowed a poisonous substance, drink, food, or even something like a bottle cap and/or too much medication, you should upchuck to rid your body of the stuff. Nowadays, we know this is not the best way to handle things.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Kleber Cordeiro/Shutterstock]
According to Poison Control, it not recommended to induce vomiting any longer because we now know it can actually make things worse on the body. Not only could it not remove all the toxins, but it could also damage your insides. The claim is that any ingested poison that will cause damage to the throat coming back up should be diluted and not vomited back up. They also recommend calling your local Poison Control Center immediately upon a poisoning issue.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Medical News Today]

Myth 15. Sunscreen Will Fully Protect You From Skin Cancer

This is not so much one of the biggest myths about the human body as much as it’s one of the most misunderstood. It’s highly recommended that if you go out in the sun for an extended period of time, you should wear sunscreen. However, the American Cancer Society has found that people often do not understand what labels mean on the sunscreen they’re buying them. This has led to issues where people still have skin cancer issues despite their use of sunscreen.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Ucsfhealth]
People often rely on just the SPF, but this is not the best concept. ACS recommends that you find a sunscreen that protects you against both UVB and UVA rays. They are usually present in sunscreens that claim to be “broad spectrum.” You should buy a sunscreen with an SPF over 30 or higher but the number is not important past this. SPF 30 protects you against 97% of the sun’s rays alone. SPF 50 & 100 protect you at 98% to 99% respectively too.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via CarWashBoilers.com]

Myth 14. Hot Water Removes Germs During Handwashing

One of the biggest myths about the human body is not so much about the body as it’s about a misguided thought regarding our use of hot water. First and foremost, the use of hot water for humans during handwashing or bathing is mostly out of comfort and not for fighting germs. The Center For Disease Control claims there is no proof hot water rids you of germs during handwashing any more than cold water.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Healthscopemag]
Many people try to get water as hot as possible to ensure their hands or body are clean. However, this is actually putting people at risk of burning themselves, causing terrible skin problems. The theory of our hot water use has a lot to do with boiling our drinking water. Yes, you can boil freshwater found in nature and it should rid it of harmful bacteria. Yet it won’t completely remove everything even then. This is always a huge misconception.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Medical News Today]

Myth 13. Eating Less Helps You Lose Weight

This might be one of the biggest myths about the human body that teenage girls, as well as women in general, assume to be true. If you eat less or not at all, you’ll lose weight as a result, right? In theory, this is somewhat true. You can lose weight by eating less or not at all. Yet this loss of weight will not be done in a healthy way. Often what occurs is that your body begins to eat the leftover fat to feed itself during times of hunger. You may even gain weight easier when you do decide to eat after this.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Telegraph]
As mentioned earlier, fat is very important to the body as we need it for various health reasons. It is actually recommended to eat more during your weight loss attempt. The idea is to eat several small meals during the day in an effort to speed up your metabolism. Harvard Research found that choosing high-quality foods instead of low-quality is better than simply consuming fewer calories per day or eating less. It actually prevents hunger and reduces cravings, ultimately causing weight loss.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via TodaysParent.com]

Myth 12. Genes Determine Race

We know what you’re thinking right now. How is this even possibly a myth? Keep in mind that when we say genes, it’s a bit more complicated than just two white people having sexual relations and expecting a white child when it’s born. The National Human Genome Research Institute claims that human beings share 99.9% of their genes with each other. This is regardless of ethnicity, nationality, or age.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Sciencemag]
In fact, in 2002 an incredible study proved that there was actually more genetic diversity among people with African descent than between Africans and Eurasians. It’s true that we can trace our genes to find out about where our ancestors are from. However, none of these gene studies tie into a person’s race. For all you know, you could be a white man that has black African ancestors and you did not even realize it.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Harvard Health-Harvard University]

Myth 11. Taking More Vitamins Makes You Healthier

One of the biggest myths about the human body is that we need more vitamins to be healthy. There is no truth to this. It’s true that people who have a natural lack of certain vitamins can actually be assisted by vitamin supplements and even injections, such as a B-12 Injection. Yet most people do not need any of this. Sadly, people assume they can help. This even led to the “vitamin megadose” problem. It’s true that vitamins are essential micro-nutrients that your body needs to function normally.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Self]
However, people assumed even more vitamins were better. The claim was megadoses could help you live longer and even cure your common cold. This isn’t true. Studies have proven that having too many vitamins could be harmful to your body. In fact, too much of Vitamins A, D, and E can make you sick! Even the makers of “cold medication” known as Airborne were sued for $23 million by the American government for falsely claiming their product “cured” colds.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Jay Feldman Wellness]

Myth 10. Sugar Causes Diabetes

For many years, the assumption about diabetes was that sugar was to blame and the ultimate culprit for the Type 2 Diabetic issues we had. Obviously, Type 1 Diabetes is not related to your diet and it’s simply something you’re born with. Type 2, however, is triggered by insulin resistance which seems to occur in those overweight. Despite this, the American Diabetes Association claims that there is not enough evidence to prove consuming sugar is a direct cause of diabetes.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Medtecheurope]
They do claim that overconsumption of sugary drinks and foods can lead to diabetes. Yet it’s the “overconsumption” that seems to be the root cause. Doctors actually encourage Diabetics to have some sugary substances. They simply tell them to have it in moderation, just like with other foods. Therefore, sugar itself does not cause Diabetes to occur in humans. Rather, it’s simply in a lot of foods overconsumed by those overweight.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via YouTube-Super Kids]

Myth 9. You Only Have Five Senses

Obviously, you have heard by now that human beings only have five senses. Heck, the entire movie known as the Sixth Sense went on this premise. Despite what some might believe, you actually have a lot more than five senses. Sadly, none of them have to do with seeing dead people. The norms like sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch are the ones you know.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Deyan Georgiev/Shutterstock]
Yet others like nociception and balance are just a few important senses we all have too. Your sense of balance allows you to walk correctly. Nociception is highly important, as it’s our sense of pain. On top of these is proprioception. This is the awareness of the position and movement of your body. It’s obviously a huge sense to have too. There are a lot more than this too. Check out a full list here.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Konbini.com]

Myth 8. All Fingerprints Are Unique

While it was once assumed that all fingerprints differed from each other, we now know this is not actually true. In fact, at one point it was considered an open and shut case the moment fingerprints matched in a crime situation. It was so relied upon that people felt there was no way it could be refuted. However, fingerprints do not work like this as all are not different.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Eetasia]
Fingerprints are sadly all very similar to one another. In fact, family members often have similar fingerprints, such as the ridge of the print being an exact match. Even experts in the field of fingerprint analysis may get different results from the exact same prints they studied previously. This proves that fingerprints are not completely unique and any type of criminal case relying on them to be are using old data that is now becoming almost inadmissible in court similar to lie detector tests.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Yael Dror Nutrition]

Myth 7. A Strong Immune System Fights Colds

It is sad but true that many people still assume that their Immune System is ultimately what fights your cold. However, we now know that a cold literally IS your Immune System. Let us explain because that may be a bit confusing. The major symptoms that you seem to get from colds are actually 100% caused by your Immune System and not the cold virus. It’s virtually harmless to the human body and mostly does nothing to us.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Diabetes]
The problem is that our Immune System does not see the cold virus in this way, so it goes freaking crazy trying to rid itself of the foreign invader. Your Immune System battles viruses and infections all the time, so it attacks colds just like it does the other stuff. It’s just that it seems to have lots of trouble with it. In order to rid itself of the cold virus, it has to do a lot. This is why you may get a low-grade fever, feel nauseated, tired, and much more.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via youngisthan.in]

Myth 6. Thin People Have A Quicker Metabolism

For the longest time, we assumed that bigger people had to have a slower metabolism. Meanwhile, a thin person clearly had a faster one. In fact, we still talk about speeding up metabolisms in order for people to lose weight. However, recent research from the Mayo Clinic has proven this untrue.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Newatlas]
They found that things were the exact opposite of how we always assumed. Their research found that thin people actually have a slower metabolism. Bigger people have a faster one because apparently the bigger you are, the faster the metabolism has to do be due to needing to move around. Thin people obviously don’t need the faster metabolism knowing this.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Reddit]

Myth 5. A Flatling Heart Can Be Restarted With A Defibrillator

We all know that on television or in films when someone flatlines a nurse and/or doctor will rush in and shock them to bring them back. In fact, they may do it numerous times with words like “don’t you die on me!” or something else dramatic similar to that. However, this actually makes no sense and the use of any type of shock or defibrillator is useless. When a person flatlines, it means that there is no longer any effective electrical activity going in the heart.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Racha Phuangpoo/Shutterstock]
That said, shocking someone to try and get back that electrical activity would literally be impossible. If there is no electrical activity, then there is nothing to shock back. A defibrillator is used when the heart goes into fibrillation because it actually causes the flatline. To help get someone back, you need to get the heart to a blank slate, then start normal CPR. This will help get the heart back to its normal rhythm. They’ll also administer certain drugs to hopefully help too.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Harvard Health-Harvard University]

Myth 4. Black People Have a Higher Pain Threshold Than Others

Yet again, another racist concept that is completely untrue. To help people better live with themselves during the era of slavery, they believed that black people were tough and did not feel pain like white people did. Essentially, they felt black people had impressively high pain thresholds. This is also why they felt beating them to help them “learn their place” was also not a problem.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Healthywomen]
This racist and idiotic ideology is rampant and to this day, people believe it. In fact, a nursing textbook that many colleges in the United States used actually claimed this. It was not pulled or changed until 2017!!! Black people are consistently not given proper treatment for pain at emergency rooms or Pain Centers. Any time they might ask for more to help their pain, they are labeled as “drug-seeking.” Some big news here, black people on average feel pain the same as anyone else. Remember that!

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via LongevityLive.com]

Myth 3. Addiction Isn’t A Disease

One of the biggest myths about the human body has to do with addiction. For those unaware, addiction happens when the body feels it needs something. This is very different from drug misuse and even abuse at times. People seem to think that addiction is a choice and that anyone claiming they are addicted to something can stop at any time if they just try hard enough. Not exactly true. Sure, a person has to start something before addiction takes place.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Uk-rehab]
However, addiction itself is the disease that happens once a brain feels it needs something that it doesn’t. On top of this, outside marijuana, most addiction involves pharmaceutical drugs that a doctor prescribes to someone. That means a person began something due to a need and simply got hooked to it. Therefore, a large number of addictions are not really “chosen,” honestly. People needed medication when it was prescribed. This happens the most with painkillers after surgeries, in fact.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via MotherJones.com]

Myth 1. Vaccines Cause Autism

For some reason, it seems people want to never vaccinate themselves or their children. They fear the vaccines will cause autism to develop. First and foremost, vaccines do not work like that. Autism is a brain disorder that you’re born with, which can show within the first 2 years of life. You cannot just catch like it like an infection or virus. Even if a vaccine were to damage the brain, it won’t affect the way autism does. Damage to the brain from any random occurrence after birth is a form of TBI.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Npr]
Neither is linked to autism or even downs syndrome. The myth of vaccines causing autism began in the 90s when a research study came out claiming it to be true. However, the testing was flawed and a lot of things were just made up. The man responsible for it had his medical license taken away even. The entire thing is proven to be crap now. Everyone linked to it has even come out against it. Vaccines do not now nor have they ever caused autism. This is simple, proven science, people.

***BONUS MYTHS***

 

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
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Extra Myth 1. Antibiotics Get Rid Of Infections

While it is recommended to finish your course of antibiotics when they are started, this is not due to it fighting off your infection. In fact, Antibiotics do not actually get rid of your infection no matter what version it happens to be. You may then rightfully wonder, why do we use them then? Your body actually fights off the infection itself, as it has to do so. Yet infections come with symptoms and side effects that can be quite deadly.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Brainscientific]
In fact, they break the body down to allow the infection to further harm us. Antibiotics actually treat these symptoms and take them off the table. This allows your body to better fight off an infection, which is why you feel better in a few days. The reason we have to finish the course is that sometimes, an infection might not be completely gone and could attempt a sneak attack. This won’t work with proper defenses still in play.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Pixelbliss/Shutterstock.com]

Extra Myth 2. Organic Foods Are Better For You

Some people may tell you that eating organic foods is better for you compared to regular food products. Not only is this not actually true, but they cost more at the same time. What a rip-off, right? Why are they not really much better, you might ask? People say that they are free of pesticides unlike other food but this is a lie, as many still use them. To count as organic, farmers must only use chemicals from which they are naturally derived.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Goodhousekeeping]
That opens up a huge list of potential chemicals. On top of that, they can even be worse for the environment than synthetic counterparts. Of course, any chemical usage used in organic or non-organic foods is so low that they won’t harm you. There have been a little over 98,000 studies done on organic foods that prove there are no actual nutritional benefits compared to non-organic foods.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Dudinart/Shutterstock.com]

Extra Myth 3. You Can Eat Snow To Avoid Dehydration

Snow is just a version of frozen water from the sky, right? Well, not exactly. Yet it can become essentially like rainwater once it thaws out. Therefore, one could eat snow and get water out of it. Yet you should know that this is actually a bad move when you’re going through dehydration symptoms. Why? Keep in mind that snow must thaw to become water.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Spectrumlocalnews]
This means our body has to produce enough heat, which uses metabolism, and then utilize the water that is now in our stomach. It must then be shifted into our blood. This takes a lot of effort on the part of the human body. For a body low on water, you’re asking a lot of it and its remaining supply to utilize the snow. Therefore, you’re actually more likely to experience dehydration by eating snow than not.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Pathdoc/Shutterstock.com]

Extra Myth 4. Stress Causes High Blood Pressure

It is true that stress can be caused by a lot of factors but our blood pressure itself is not really affected by it. This can be difficult to believe because some stressful moments may make us feel like our blood pressure is changing on us. Why does it feel that way and what is the difference between acute and chronic stress? First off, acute stress can cause a change in blood pressure.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Onlinefirstaid]
This is the kind of stress that comes from something surprising us, like walking into class and being told to hand in a paper due and that a test is happening. Neither of which you knew about. Chronic stress is different and does not affect blood pressure. This is the kind of day-to-day stress we might be in, like finding a way to pay our bills on a low salary. Our normal blood pressure, stressed or not, can be caused by many things. Genetic issues, our diet, and much more. Stress isn’t part of it.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via KTSdesign/Shutterstock.com]

Extra Myth 5. HIV Exists In Humans Because A Human “Got It On” With A Monkey

This has been actually assumed for several decades now. Ever since we found out that HIV came from some type of monkey in Africa, everyone assumed a dude had sexual relations with one and caught it. However, HIV/AIDS does not need to be passed only by having sex with someone. In fact, many people contract it from others by coming in contact with their blood.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Zastavki]
This is likely the cause of how it passed from the monkey to human. Many believe that a monkey with HIV was killed and eaten by a man or group of men. Since the blood could have likely gotten on the human from carrying and cutting open the animal, that alone could have spread it. Yet if the blood was not completely removed, even if it is cooked, the HIV can still pass. This is especially true if it was eaten raw.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Ken Griffiths/Shutterstock.com]

Extra Myth 6. People Get Warts From Frogs

We’re not sure where this myth began but many feel that humans get warts from frogs or toads. It is likely assumed because people see how they look and notice areas of the frog and toad species that can appear like warts. Yet those are not actually warts and simply part of their skin more often than not. This means that humans do not actually get warts from one.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Cahabaderm]
Yet did you know you could actually get warts from other humans? Seriously, something as little as shaking a person’s hand could pass warts onto you. Of course, warts are caused in humans by the Human Papillomavirus and this is actually unique to humans. Therefore, even if you have HPV, you could not pass this onto your dog or cat, for instance.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com]

Extra Myth 7. You Can’t Die From A Broken Heart

Not only can you actually die from a broken heart, but people actually have. There is an actual medical explanation for it too! The medical world calls it “Broken Heart Syndrome.” It is an event that a person can go through when both mental health and heart issues combine after a stressful event in a person’s life. The American Heart Association warns people of it all the time.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Pexels]
For example, a person could find out about the death of a loved one and their risks of getting a heart attack due to it more than double! This is due to something known as “stress-induced cardiomyopathy.” During Broken Heart Syndrome, your heart will temporarily enlarge. This can make you feel like you’re having a heart attack at times. Most people recover from the issue without an issue but it can actually cause death. Therefore, yes, you CAN die from a broken heart.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com]

Extra Myth 8. It’s Normal To Snore

Small bits of snoring as one sleeps is not really a big deal. It might just be caused by allergies or sinus trouble, particularly during Spring and Fall/Autumn periods when these problems are present more often. However, major snoring, especially on a consistent basis, is actually a terrible thing that could actually result in your potential death.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Today]
Today, we know snoring is actually a huge issue that the medical community classifies as “Sleep Apnea.” The reason snoring is happening is that, as a person sleeps, their airway is being blocked or not opening correctly. Thus, making it harder to breathe. Not only could Sleep Apnea cause problems breathing but there is also a higher risk for both heart disease & Alzheimer’s disease.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Aksanaku/Shutterstock.com]

Extra Myth 9. Flat Feet Prevents People From Participating In Sports Or Physical Activity

We often say a person has Flat Feet when they have a low arch in their foot or feet. This was assumed for years to be problematic due to the high potential of injury. For years we felt that flat feet increased injury risk and kept people out of sports. It was even an issue for the United States Army, where they would not allow you in if you had feet like this.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Orthovirginia]
Yet this idea was misguided. Now, we know it is actually completely wrong. There was a study done on Israeli Soldiers with low arches, which concluded with the surprising news that people with low arches actually had a much lower risk of injury compared to those with high arches…or what we consider normal. Meanwhile, other studies found no difference between the two at all. Each study done proved that flat feet were not an issue and never were.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock.com]

Extra Myth 10. Mental Illness Can Be Cured If You Have Great Willpower

Likely one that everyone with any sort of depression and/or anxiety has heard. If you were just mentally stronger or could have proper willpower, then none of your mental issues would be a problem, right? While no one really says this about major mental disorders like Alzheimer’s or Dementia, they do with many more. From Depression to ADHD, people assume you just lack mental strength. Yet this line of thinking is dangerous and often prevents people from getting professional help.

False Health Myths Debunked by Science
[Image via TZIDO SUN/Shutterstock]
Think of it like this….would you tell a person with a broken arm that if they will it strong enough, their arm would be unbroken? No? The same applies here. People with any mental disorder often do far more than you think and go through a ton more than you’d ever realize. Many are some of the toughest mentally you’ll ever meet as a result. Therefore, if they could “will” their mental disorder away, they’d have done it by now.

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