Myths And Misconceptions About Depression

Published on October 16th, 2015

Updated on January 2nd, 2024

Myths About Depression

Depression is a common experience that can occur for different reasons and be felt in different ways. Many myths and misconceptions about depression prevent people from getting the help they need. Knowing the truth about common impressions of depression can help with determining whether it is time to seek professional treatment. The following are common myths and misconceptions about depression:

Depression is a sign of laziness and mental weakness

Depression is a mental illness, it is not a choice. People do not choose to have depression. Instead, depression occurs as a result of altered brain chemistry, genetics, early traumas, or significant losses. Suffering from depression does not mean you are lazy, weak, or cowardly. Being proactive about treatment will help you healthily manage symptoms.

Men do not get depressed

Men have historically been discouraged from speaking openly about emotional challenges, which causes low awareness of how men are affected by depression. Men are often told that being depressed or having strong emotions is a sign of weakness. The truth is that men still unquestionably experience depression.

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An antidepressant will fix your depression

Antidepressants are an effective treatment option if you are suffering from depression, but they are not the quick fix many are looking for. Taking medication for your depression can help you manage the symptoms, but it is not a cure for depression. It is recommended to also seek therapy if you are struggling with depression.

Depression is just about feeling sad

People who suffer from depression are not always visibly and chronically sad. Sadness is only one of several symptoms, and people with depression often mask their depression by showing other emotions on the outside. This could be done for several reasons, including preventing loved ones from knowing the truth about their condition.

Many people who feel depressed are unable to connect that depression with any emotion (even sadness) and frequently feel nothing at all. Feeling nothing is commonly described as apathy, numbing, or emptiness.

Misconceptions About Depression

The depression will pass

The severity and length of depressive episodes can vary from person to person. People may think it will “pass with time” or that you can “snap out of it” by thinking more positively, but this is not true. If you are suffering from clinical depression, ” being positive”, “looking at the bright side”, or “remembering that other people have it way worse” can worsen the condition. Do not wait for depression to pass. Seek professional help if you need it.

Depression only occurs after a traumatic event

Depression is not always brought on by a traumatic event (a rape, a death, a divorce, etc.). It can occur without a known or single trigger. People who experience depression may have an otherwise happy life in terms of career, family, money, etc. That is the thing though- depression is not always about life circumstances.

Many life events can be triggers for depression. They may include, but are not limited to the following:

Depression is just a normal a part of life

Everyone goes through periods of sadness and grief in life. Depression is more than just feelings of sadness. It interrupts your life in so many ways. Your relationships, career/school life, family life, and more can be affected. While most people will be depressed at some point, it is not something to be taken lightly. Depression can cause hopelessness and suicidal thoughts or actions if not properly treated.

Most people experience everyday disappointment and low mood sometimes, but if the sadness becomes debilitating and interferes with the ability to manage daily life, it may be time to seek help.

The following statements reflect some common experiences of depression:

You will need to be on medication your whole life

Antidepressants can be a long-term solution for your depression, but this is not always necessary. The length of time someone takes depression medication varies, depending on the severity of symptoms and other treatment interventions being used. They may be used on a short-term or long-term, basis.

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