Depression is a serious mental illness that has become highly prevalent in the United States and around the world. Nearly 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression, and it’s estimated that about 15% of people will experience this at some point in their lives. Despite all the knowledge we have on depression, however, there are still lots of myths out there to confuse us.
In light of the myths about depression, it is important to note that you don’t have to live with your condition. It can be treated in a number of ways and individuals should not be discouraged from seeking help for their symptoms. Furthermore, the only way to address these myths is by combating them with facts, hopefully increasing understanding of the condition.
1. Myth: People who are depressed don’t really need to see a mental health professional.
Fact: Depression is an illness with real symptoms that can impact your quality of life.
Depression is not just a mood, it’s an illness. Some people believe that depression is merely feeling down or blue occasionally. However, depression is a multidimensional condition. It’s caused by biological, environmental, and social factors. Depression can also lead to thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make it difficult for a person to interact with others.
Depression can lead to a significant amount of distress and difficulties in an individual’s day-to-day functioning, including emotional, social, academic, and occupational struggles. It may require long-term treatment that is not always easy to overcome.
2. Myth: Talking about depression makes it worse
Fact: Talking about depression can help lessen symptoms.
When a person who suffers from depression finally opens up about his or her mental state, it can help him or her escape the cycle and overcome symptoms. Some people feel that keeping it to themselves doesn’t help but actually hurts them by feeling like they are burdening others. Talking with friends and family members as well as therapists can play an important role in helping someone suffering from depression.
3. Myth: Most people become depressed after a traumatic event, which is false.
Fact: While depression can be brought on by a traumatic event, it usually results from other causes.
Depression is more complex than a person not feeling happy. Symptoms can be triggered by biological, hereditary, and environmental factors, and they can happen without cause when things are going well in a person’s life. Even if someone is experiencing stress before depression, it will only make their symptoms worse if they encounter another traumatic event.
4. Myth: Depression is a sign of weakness
Fact: Depression doesn’t measure a person’s character.
Depression is a serious mental condition that generally stems from chemical changes in the brain. Depression is not chosen or based on character. Depression can affect anyone and there’s nothing wrong with feeling sad at times. But because society views this as a weakness, people haven’t been able to truly fight back against it. It doesn’t reflect any person’s mental, emotional, or physical strength.
5. Myth: It’s all in your head
Fact: Depression is a legitimate mental health condition.
Mental health is an important part of maintaining good physical health. Studies show that living with depression can put you at a higher risk of chronic physical diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Depression is a health disorder that comes from biological, emotional, and environmental factors. Disrupted sleeping patterns, fatigue, aches, and pains are all physical symptoms of depression. A person who is depressed isn’t imagining their symptoms—they can’t be easily resolved.
Aware of what it can feel like to live with both depression and substance use disorder, Boca Recovery Center wants to help. Give us a call to talk about effective treatment options today at 800-516-4357.