It’s a heavy feeling, a somber feeling, a feeling you know all too well. The feeling of hopelessness, feeling unworthy, unloved, lost, confused, and even angry. Depression is a condition that affects 350 million people worldwide and possibly even you. While this condition may be common, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Recognizing the symptoms and understanding the facts about this complex condition will benefit and impact the lives of millions, having the knowledge to recognize when someone is depressed and how you could help. To help combat harmful misinformation, we have put together five common misconceptions some may have about depression.
Depression is the same as feeling sad. While feeling sad may be a part of some people’s depression, there’s more to it than that. Everyone feels sad from time to time, but depression is a mental illness that can stick with a person for years. Depression can affect people’s relationships and make seemingly simple tasks feel like a battle.
Antidepressants are the only way to treat depression (and if they don’t work for you, then nothing will). There is nothing wrong with taking antidepressants for depression, however, it would be foolish to think that medication is the only known treatment for depression. Everyone is different, and for some people, medication is the best solution for treating their depression. That being said, a lot of people don’t like being on antidepressants. Some people don’t like the way antidepressants make them feel physically, and other people don’t like the idea of taking a pill everyday. Regardless of your feelings towards medication, there are other treatment options. Some people find a solution in a regimen of frequent exercise, a healthy diet, and talk therapy. There are a lot of options for depression treatment, it’s just a matter of finding the mixture that works for you
Depression is a weakness. We live in a culture that values mental stamina, hard work, and perseverance. These qualities can be great things, but sometimes we might value them a bit too much. If we live in an environment where we’re supposed to be more than capable on our own, it can be viewed as a weakness when someone needs an extra push. It’s important for us to all remember that depression is a medical condition and we should treat it as such. Don’t ask someone with depression to “stop being a downer” when they’re having an off day
Depression is a one-size-fits-all diagnosis. There are actually different types of depression. From psychotic depression to seasonal affective disorder, no two people experience the same “depression.” When talking about depression, major depression is probably what comes to mind. It’s the most common and the symptoms of this type can be found in other types of depression as well. But it’s important to recognize that there are a variety of types of depression, which affect each person differently
If people just changed their attitude, they wouldn’t have depression. It’s true that positive thinking can help lessen the symptoms of depression, but it’s inaccurate to reduce depression to simply a state of mind. There are chemical imbalances happening in the brain that often make depressed people feel empty or worthless; finding positives in life when you feel this way can be difficult to say the least.