Depression is a devastating mood condition characterized by inexplicable melancholy, loss of interest in life, poor appetite, low energy levels, inability to focus, and low self-esteem. It’s enough to damage someone’s quality of life, and to make matters worse, there’s a terrible stigma linked to depression in our society that makes people who suffer from it feel embarrassed.
Many myths surround depression, such as the belief that it is not a serious disorder or that it only affects specific people. These misconceptions discourage people from getting treatment and contribute to the stigma associated with the disorder. Here are six myths about depression that should be addressed ASAP.
1. You should be ashamed of depression
The shame associated with depression (or any other mental health illness) is real, but it does not justify humiliation. As much as 9% of the population in the United States and its territories already meets the criteria for depression. Hundreds of celebrities, athletes, and political figures have been known to suffer from depression. You have nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. Depression does not indicate laziness, pouting, or ungratefulness.
2. Depression is always cured with antidepressants
Depression is curable. Your doctor may recommend antidepressant medications, among other treatments. These medications affect the chemistry of your brain. They can help you address underlying biological abnormalities that may be contributing to your disease.
However, antidepressants alone are insufficient for many people. Your doctor may also advise you to seek psychotherapy or talk therapy. Talk therapy and pharmaceutical co-administration are typical treatment plans.
3. Depression is an indication of weakness
Depression is a medical illness, not a sign of weakness. It is a treatable chemical imbalance in the brain. Depression, like asthma or diabetes, is a serious medical disorder that has nothing to do with a person’s character. Depression is frequently provoked by major life events that are difficult to cope with, such as the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, and so on.
4. Depression doesn’t affect men
One or two men in ten will experience severe depression at some point in their lives, according to Harvard Health. Moreover, depression is a key cause of suicide, and males are four times more likely than women to commit suicide.
Men communicating their concerns have an unpleasant stigma in our society. Perhaps this is because males have historically been trained to feel less manly if they display “weakness” in this way. However, talking about depression is a show of strength, and it may even save your life.
5. Depression is a natural part of aging
Most people manage the difficulties of aging without getting depressed. However, when it does occur, it is possible that it will be neglected. Older adults may hide their unhappiness or have distinct, subtle symptoms, such as food no longer tasting good, aches and pains worsening, or sleep patterns changing. Medical difficulties can cause seniors to become depressed, and depression can delay recovery following a heart attack or surgery.
6. Keeping occupied alleviates depression
Some people think that maintaining a busy schedule in the job, study, or extracurricular pursuits might aid in preventing or avoiding depression episodes. Getting the necessary amount of exercise and spending time with family and friends might help a person manage depression, but just immersing oneself in work or other activities will not always alleviate symptoms.
As part of their depression treatment, a person might focus on a hobby, project, or other significant activity. However, during depressed periods, people should postpone making any critical decisions or promises in order to make better, more objective choices.