More and more people are struggling with depression nowadays, yet discussions of depression inevitably lead to misconceptions, stereotyping, and stigmatizing. Part of the reason why this happens is because people fear why they can’t understand. If you have an injured leg, it’s easier for people to understand your pain and sympathize with you than if you’re suffering from depression and they can’t see the problem. Today, we’re going to look at 4 of the most common misconceptions about depression and uncover the truth hiding behind them.
4 Common Misconceptions about Depression
1. There’s Always a Clear Reason for People Being Depressed
The truth is that depression can affect anyone, without a definite reason. Especially since people tend to equate being depressed with feeling sad (misconception that we’re going to address later on), they also automatically think that depression is a result of a sad event in your life, such as someone close to you passing away, or you getting fired. While these are definitely possible causes of depression, you can still suffer from this condition without a clear reason. This is especially true if you’re genetically predisposed to such illnesses.
2. Depression Means Sadness
Partly because of the countless media depictions of depression as sadness, people have ended up equating the two. We expect people who are depressed to be sad, and when this doesn’t happen and the person manages to function quite normally, we tend to deny their “right” to this condition. Sadness is indeed one of the symptoms of depression, but it’s one among many, and it’s also not a requirement. Sadness can fade away, it can come and go, but depression won’t do that unless given the proper assistance. Moreover, depression can also make people feel anxious, hopeless, empty, tense, apathetic, or unable to function.
3. People Can Just “Get Over It”
If you’ve ever struggled with depression, then you’ve probably also heard the phrase “just get over it”. As insensitive as this sounds, there are people who actually believe that it is in your power to get over depression just by wanting to. Which is again proof of how we treat depression differently. If you were in bed with the flu, no one would tell you to just get over it and start feeling better. The truth is that depressed people can’t feel better just by forcing themselves to ignore their condition. Some things can improve their mood, but the process of overcoming depression is complicated and it involves many factors.
4. Medication Can Cure Depression
Yet another misconception about depression is the fact that if you take medication, you’ll instantly feel better. It’s true that antidepressants are effective in treating many people who suffer from depression, but this isn’t neither the only cure, nor something that works instantly and/or for everyone. A lot of people respond better to a combination of medication and therapy, while others simply need therapy in order to deal with their issues. Even with medication, patients have to wait for at least six weeks to see any changes in their condition.
We hope we’ve managed to clear out these 4 misconceptions about depression and inform you of the truth behind them. If you need any help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255.
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