The Final Showdown: Myths vs. Truths!


Image credit: ejbsf on Flickr

In honor of our Myth Mugshots Photo contest, in this week’s #HAChat, we encouraged Health Activists to put it all out there.  No pomp and frills, just stating the myths and then debunking them with truths that we, as empowered patients in the online community, are all too aware of.  It is your job as Health Activists to wear these truths on your sleeves, to educate others, to raise awareness. Here is the list of myths Health Activists are debunking and the truths they wear proudly.


Myths about patients:

Natasha_tracy: #myth – People with mental illness are violent. People with depression are lazy. #hachat

Kimmiecollas: people with invisible illnesses are all faking to get out of doing things they don’t want to do (like work) #HAchat

PurdueMocha: Patients “deserve” their conditions #HAchat

Pamressler: If there is no physical evidence (ie xray, mri) pain must be psychological #HAchat


Truths about patients:

Kimmiecollas: Truth1: therapy doesn’t CURE mental illness, but it can help you learn to cope with it better #HAchat

Natasha_tracy: #Truth – people with a mental illness are more likely to be victims of crime/violence than perpetrators of it. #hachat

PurdueMocha: The hardest part of dealing with conditions for a patient should be dealing with the condition, not the myths. #truth#HAchat

Sara_Ringer: Not all sick people look sick at all times. #HAchat

Pamressler: Truth1: Pain is subjective. It is what a patient says it is #HAchat

Kimmiecollas: Truth1: We DO have good days, but it doesn’t mean we’ve “recovered” #HAchat

Makethislookawe: T1: 96% of #chronicillness(es) are invisible

TiffanyAndLupus: #Truth : Patients don’t need to have a medical degree to comprehend when a physician is being dismissive about their illness! #HaChat


Myths about ePatients

CIRants: M2: Empowered patients are just looking for special treatment #myth#HAchat

TiffanyAndLupus: #Myth Epatients are “god-like”. They’re rude, annoying and think they know more that their doctors. #HaChat

PurdueMocha: M2: Asking for a different form of treatment (after doing research) is overstepping the patient’s role and should be ignored. #myth#HAchat


Truths about ePatients

Natashay_tracy: Access is important to being an e-patient. Not everyone can be one right now – we need to work on this. #truth#HAchat

CIRants: We work hard to learn as much as we can to improve our health as much as possible. #HAchat

Natasha_tracy:#truth patients deserve to be treated with respect and asked for their opinion whether or not they come with an “e” #hachat

TiffanyAndLupus: #Truth ~> T2: The goal for most Epatients is to overall help. There is no other agenda but for better healthcare & wellness. #HaChat

MakeThisLookAwe: M2: #ePatients can’t tell the difference between snake oil and scholarly articles #HAchat


Myths about Doctors and Healthcare Professionals

Kimmiecollas: Myth3: doctors know (and warn you about) all dangerous side effects and interactions of the meds they give you #HAchat

TiffanyAndLupus: #Myth There are no good doctors or healthcare professionals out there. (Not true. It takes persistence, they’re out there!) #HaChat


Truths about Doctors and Healthcare Professionals

TiffanyAndLupus:#Truth: Physicians are NOT above the law, god-like, higher-than-thou. They are people & also patients just like everyone else. #HaChat

Eczemasupport: Truth: it takes time in a consultation and trust to enable an equal partnership between patient and doctor #HAChat

Makethislookawe: Doctors continue to educate themselves & their staff, even after graduation. #truth#HAchat

wegohealth:  There are doctors/HCPs who want to progress with technology, apps, & epatients. #truth It takes time! #HAchat

TiffanyAndLupus: #Truth There are doctors who positively embrace their patients when they bring in online resources & openly discuss options. #HaChat


Myths about Conditions and Treatments

Wegohealth: People in pain are drug-seeking. #myth #HAchat

Makethislookawe: All medications work the same on everyone (same results, same side effects) #myth #HAchat

natasha_tracy: #myth – medication makes you slow or stupid or somehow less than you are. #hachat

Pamressler: #Myth 4: All diseases/illnesses are curable #HAchat

Natasha_tracy: #myth – mental illness isn’t real because there is no blood test for it. #hachat

Natasha_tracy: #myth – you can think your way out of a mental illness. #hachat

No_H_cristina@wegohealth: M4: Just improve your diet & exercise-go outside & get some sun! -and youll be fine #myth #hachat” smile u’ll feel better, too


Truths about Conditions, Treatments and Care

MakeThisLookAwe: #Truth#addiction from pain medications does not happen when the medications are taken according to the prescription #FDA #HAchat

PurdueMocha: There isn’t a “one size fits all” for any condition. Sometimes it takes a lot of experimentation. #truth #HAchat

Rlanzara: Every medical test has both false positives and negatives

wegohealth: “Getting better” is a process. It takes many steps. It is different for everyone. #truth #HAchat

natasha_tracy: #truth – many illnesses do not have or are not diagnosed by a specific test but they are still real #HAchat

NAMIMass: Most chronic illnesses are diagnosed by excluding all other illnesses with similar symptoms #truth #HAchat

Kimmiecollas: adding another med to handle side effects is not always the best option. Sometimes changing meds is the way to go. #HAchat

Myths about Social Media:

Wegohealth: Social media can’t make a difference in people’s lives because it’s not “real” #myth #HAchat


Truths about Social Media:


kimmieCollas: online communities are great places to find options and opinions, but you still need to do the research #HAchat

Crankypancreas: Online networks can be of great support when it comes to chronic illness, but you can’t rely solely on them. #HAchat

TiffanyAndLupus: #Truth Patient communities have the power to inform, educate, heal, and even save lives. (I’ve witnessed it many times over!) #HaChat

wegohealth: Blogs can be journalistic. Twitter help foster real connections. Facebook-you can be you-you. #truth #HAchat

Makethislookawe: Social networking can help us find the right #diagnosis, when we’re able compare notes with other patients who feel the same way #HAchat

wegohealth: Online relationships are legitimate. But they need care/attention just as offline ones do! #truth #HAchat


Keep in mind that any of these truths would be great for our Myths Mugshots Photo Contest, which closes next Monday, May 28th.  Feel free to use any of the above truths to take your photo, and to email us with any questions or concerns.  We are always here to help at


Be sure to tune in next week for a special chat on the DSM-V – and how diagnosis relates to identity.








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