With a recent spike in the number of suicides in 2017, there has been an increased concern over the principal cause of which these deaths seem to be stemming from: depression. When it goes unnoticed or untreated, depression often leads to other dangerous, more complicated conditions that can change the thinking and rationalization of an individual.
Misconceptions about depression mainly mean that it remains a subject that is only brought up when its effects are evident. When you know the difference between the facts and fiction surrounding the condition, you will be in a better position to handle it if it ever comes your way and also be able to identify when someone is depressed.
Following are some of the common myths and misconceptions about depression.
- Sadness and Depression
Most of the people that are dealing with depression often tend to have overwhelming feelings of sadness and it can feel as if positive emotions are being supressed. For example, grief is quite dangerous as it can cause someone to withdraw from others and retreat into seclusion which can further aggravate the situation.
Due to the anxiety that comes alongside the sadness, someone may tend to feel tense and pent up all the while without realizing the real cause. Depression is often masked as sadness and signs of prolonged grief and sorrow are good indicators of the condition and should not be taken lightly. A common misperception is that prolonged signs of depression including sadness, grief and anxiety can be cured by a positive change in attitude.
Depression and Mental Weakness
People in the vicinity of someone suffering from depression often tend to see them as being mentally weak or even unstable, something that is not the case as there are several dimensions to the condition which include psychological and physical indications. Even people that are considered to be strong fighters are at times faced with the same condition and often have to put up a fierce battle to manage it and avoid breaking down.
There are many arguments against depression being a mere mental disorder and this article by Synergy Research Centers emphasises the condition as an illness, not just a weakness. The inability to recover from depression on your own is certainly not a sign of weakness or mental incapacity but rather a sign that you are suffering from a serious condition that requires sensitivity and proper treatment for recovery.
3. Situational Triggers for Depression
Situational triggers could cause depression including the loss of a loved one or when going through a terrible divorce. However, the actual depression gets to be observed when one has been going through extended periods of sadness and feelings of hopelessness for weeks at a time. It is a common myth that situational triggers are the sole cause of depression.
Furthermore, circumstances leading to hopelessness and grief do not necessarily have to be present for depression to occur. Depression is often an inexplicable condition and does not always have a single situational root.
It’s all in the Head
As an emotional issue, depression often tends to be associated with a mental breakdown as people perceive depression as resulting from thinking too much about feelings of emptiness and loneliness. However, the signs and symptoms of this condition most often manifest physically with indigestion being one of the leading signs followed by tightness in the chest, a difficulty in breathing, and a general feeling of tiredness.
Headaches, insomnia and even stomach problems resulting from anxiety linked to depression are just a few of the symptoms that could occur throughout the body as symptoms of the condition. In this article, the executive director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center explains that physical symptoms, especially those associated with mood changes, are serious indications of underlying depression and should be treated accordingly.
Some people tend to think that whenever you have been diagnosed with depression, you will be on antidepressants for the rest of your life. However, this is very rarely true as you could be on and off the medication in a short while and also be able to get back to your normal form. Therefore, being depressed does not imply that you will get hooked on antidepressants for the rest of your life.
Another common myth is that antidepressants are the only means through which depression can be alleviated. Changes in lifestyle including efforts to maintain regular sleeping patterns, healthy eating and natural supplements are great natural ways to make the struggle with depression a bit easier.
These are some of the common myths about depression and getting to know them can ensure that you are not drawn into a void of despair and desperateness as this could lead to further complications.
Marcus regularly blogs at psysci, a psychology, science blog that examines the latest research and explains how findings can impact and improve people’s lives.