Top 10 Most Common Myths About DepressionCountless myths that circulate from person to person can lead to misunderstandings about what a depressed person is going through. Unsurprisingly, depression is one of the most common mental disorders, hence it's not uncommon for people to experience invalidation due to these common myths. If you want to understand the struggles a depressed person is undergoing, perhaps it may be best to look it at another way. This list counters 10 most common myths regarding depression.
Whenever depression is mentioned in a conversation, sadness and the blues are usually the first things that spring in mind for plenty of people. However, depression can manifest itself with multiple symptoms - including a lack of motivation, anger, apathy, or even poor personal hygiene. It's not uncommon to see people rushing to the conclusion that they're "depressed" after a short period of sadness.
Depression is frequently associated with traumatic experiences such as losing a loved one or a job, or failing at something which you put serious commitment on. Chemical or hormonal imbalances in the brain and body, and environmental factors are also reasons why people often get depressed. Remember that depression comes from a plethora of causes - most of which are complex and are hard to understand. Some people can get depressed without a reason and wonder why.
People can be depressed due to just being in a bad mental state, it has nothing to do with reasoning.
You can accomplish meeting your own expectations and goals, have a stable income and a job, supportive family and friends, and have a neat-looking house, yet still wonder why you are the same, sad person. Likewise, environmental factors can still affect you regardless of status, your socio-economic background, and supportive groups. Even a rich person can still wake up and feel moody throughout the day.
Depression and laziness may have similarities, but laziness is also a major factor that contributes to the mental disorder itself. You can choose to be lazy, but depression is typically accompanied with other symptoms that may be harder to control without medication or professional help. Laziness may last for usually for up to a few days, but the symptoms of depression are often consistent which can seriously impact how you live.
Good things can also happen to people who have depression from time to time; the difference is that they may not react much to it due to apathy, and how they would positively react to those incidents might be very temporary. There are days when their mind is a little clearer and experience joy in occasion, but it's often less shown.
The statement that depression can determine a person's strength is a common myth. Regardless of who you are, how many accomplishments you may have, or how strong (literally or figuratively) you are, depression can still affect anybody. It is a sickness - a mental sickness that can be treated but it isn't weakness itself.
Probably one of the most harmful misconceptions because it discourages victims from trying to get help.
The word "cured" can be thrown pretty often for most mental issues such as depression. While the intentions behind it are good this is false. Depression cannot be "cured", but there are plenty of ways to treat depression. It's not uncommon for people to conclude that they are cured from depression when symptoms start to dissipate. The chances are depression can relapse a while later, which can be improved given the appropriate treatments.
Telling a person to "snap out" of it doesn't usually help the person's mental state. They may snap out of it, but it comes very temporarily and doesn't entirely snap the person out of depression. If you claimed that you have "snapped" out of depression, that probably means you were just going through a bad mood. After all, you cannot snap out from a chemical or hormonal imbalance.
Antidepressants are usually effective for most people, but it isn't the only option that is available. Some people would avoid medication as they are accompanied with various side effects such as disrupting sleep or weight, or they may even become too dependent on it. Therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy can work wonders for people with mental disorders, and can be as effective as antidepressants.
Sometimes a psychologist or a therapist may not be an option for some people as they can cost a lot of money. But overall therapy is usually a hit or miss, as some are better equipped for dealing with trauma and other certain mental disorders. It's not uncommon to hear people advising them to seek a therapist or psychiatrist, but the thing is, they're not for everyone.
Similar as to experiencing sadness. But once again, depression consists of multiple varying symptoms and everyone's experience can be different. Just because someone is experiencing a depressive episode does not mean it could apply to everyone. This also applies on the severity of the depression.
The theory that depression is caused by low serotonin was recently rejected as unsupported by a major review of all studies on the subject. A lot of people still believe this and think depression is caused by a chemical imbalance. There is no evidence of this.
When I was younger, I thought I couldn't have "clinical depression," because the reason I always felt so depressed was because my life was terrible. I thought it's only called depression if it's caused by a chemical imbalance or something weird or dysfunctional that happens to you. But the truth is that if you have the symptoms of depression, you are considered to have depression...even if the reason you have those symptoms is because your life is terrible.