Debunking Myths About Depression
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 15 million adults aged 18 or older have reported at least one major depressive episode in their lifetime. It has been estimated that up to 15% of people around the world experience depression.
Facts and myths about depression have to be distinguished properly since myths tend to increase prejudice among those with mental illness. It is important to increase the general understanding of this condition and take away any misconceptions.
The stigma associated with depression is still there, so in this article, we will debunk some myths about depression. Here are some of the pervasive myths about depression we often hear:
Depression is just being sad
According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. Depression causes feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed.
Depression is not just sadness. Everyone gets bouts of sadness, but depression is something more chronic and more serious, and can potentially persist for weeks or months. Sadness can often go away with time, but depression stays for the long run if left untreated.
Depression is not an illness, it is just a state of mind
Depression is a medical illness with real signs and symptoms. It is a mental illness that involves changes in emotions, thinking or behavior. Myths about depression state that it is not a real illness, but just a case of having the blues.
Depression is a condition caused by a combination of biological, environmental, and social factors – impacting one’s emotions and actions.
Depression only affects women
Depression can affect both men and women. A common misconception is that depression only affects women and not men. This is based on the fact that unlike women, men are less likely to admit or report they have depression or have a mental illness – afraid to affect their masculinity.
Social and cultural norms make it difficult for men to show vulnerability, discuss their feelings, or reach out for help for depression. Men find it harder to admit they have depression, for fear of appearing weak or less masculine.
Depression is only due to loss or trauma
Depression can be triggered by death, job loss, break-up, or financial loss. However, sometimes, depression is not precipitated by any reason at all.
People who have depression cannot tell when their depression started or what made it start. Depression can happen to anyone, at any time, anywhere, in any circumstance.
Depression can be inherited
While it is true that depression has a genetic component, it does not necessarily follow that children born to depressed parents will also be depressed.
Previous researches have suggested a hereditary link with depression, more recent studies state that depression may increase risk, but is not a direct cause. Environmental factors still play a bigger role than genetics.
Children do not get depressed
Another myth about depression is that it only affects teens and adults, and not children. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental disorders such as depression can manifest before a child becomes a teen.
Even young children can show signs of mental health concerns such as depression. Early mental health support can help a child before the problem gets out of hand.
Antidepressants are the only solution
Depression is a complex condition with several factors. For this reason, the treatment also varies from person to person. Medication is not the only option, psychotherapy, physical therapy, and other modalities are also available for treatment.
Just like any other medical illness, depression requires a tailored treatment – whether it’s medication, psychotherapy, or other therapies. For people with depression, having a support network who understands this is key.
Here at Mindshift Wellness, we ensure that you receive the support and treatment you need. Head over to the nearest Mindshift Wellness near you and get an appointment for Psychotherapy or Teletherapy. Our Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, and Couples Counseling services can help you get to a better place. Visit any of the branches near me in California near Los Angeles, Newport Beach, and Corona. See also branches located in Southern California – Century City, Costa Mesa, and Brentwood. Take full control of your life and let’s heal together.