7 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT DEPRESSION
1. Depression must have a reason.
Depression isn’t always the result of bad luck or an unfortunate event. In fact, some people who face these great stresses will never experience depression, while those with depression don’t always have significant stress or trauma in their lives. Major depressive disorder is caused by a chemical
2. Depression is mostly about sadness.
Before I knew anything about depression, I thought the condition felt like being enveloped in a blanket of sorrow. Instead of feeling only sad, however, I felt tired, empty, weak, and slowed-down, I became unhealthy thin, and wanted nothing to do with things or situations that had once interested me. It was like I was sick with a cold. Clinical depression is complex in how it can present itself in many different ways not only psychologically, but physically as well.
3. Having depression is a sign of weakness.
Before I was diagnosed with depression, I assumed anyone living with the condition must be weak. Why would someone “allow themselves” to be depressed? Depression must reflect a failure of willpower. Eventually, I learned the opposite to be true. It takes great strength to endure depression. Mental Health patients are some of the strongest individuals I've ever met. They must be because they are faced with unique challenges and heightened psychologal obstacles to overcome every day that most neurotypicals will not experience.
This idea that depression is a sign of weakness adds to the stigma surrounding the condition and makes those living with the illness feel worse about themselves. As a result, they may start to blame themselves and feel ashamed to ask for help.
4. Talking about depression will just make it worse.
Naturally, if you see depression as a personal failing, you’ll believe it’s something to be embarrassed about. I felt that way, so I concealed my depression from most of my friends and family. I believed that talking about depression would only make it worse.
As it turns out, the idea that you should stay quiet about your depression is inaccurate. Talking about depression may not cure you, but not talking about it increases feelings of isolation and closes off the potential benefits of being heard.
5. You should fight depression by yourself.
Another pitfall of depression is feeling completely alone. I didn’t think other people could understand what I was going through and I was better off not asking for help. However, believing I needed to face my depression on my own kept me from getting the help I needed. I wish I knew that depression feeds off loneliness and building a social support system is key to healing.
6. Thinking positive thoughts or exercising will always make depression go away.
One of the biggest myths about depression is that there is a single trick to make it go away. These days, there is a quick fix for almost anything. Of course, positive thinking, regular exercise, and eating well are helpful for people with depression, but it’s not always a cure.
Depression can last weeks, or potentially months and sometimes even years, and the length of depression symptoms can often depend on a variety of things – from lifestyle factors to how well a person responds to a particular management plan.
Living with depression takes patience, support, and the help of a mental health professional. Don’t give up if you’re not able to heal as quickly as you would like.
7. If you have depression, you will never lead a fulfilled, productive life.
depression is almost unbearably frustrating. You may feel as though you have no future but it isn’t permanent. My depression was incredibly destructive, but it didn’t mean my life was over. After my diagnosis and an effective treatment plan, I started a family, found a new career, and made new friends. In my research, I’ve learned I am in good company. Many people often go on to live fulfilled and productive lives after depression.