There are a lot of misconceptions and myths around depression that may discourage people from seeking treatment. People experiencing depression are often met with bias because of stigma surrounding mental health disorders. The stigma surrounding depression often prevents people from getting so needed help. Other mental health conditions, such as Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse, may also be linked to Depression.
Although depression is one of the most common mental health conditions, many people fail to recognize the symptoms of depression or overlook the severity of this issue. Although Depression affects a large number of people, many people are unaware of the symptoms or the treatments for Depression. While a lot of people are facing challenges in their mental health right now, there is still a lot of negativity and misconceptions around depression that are part of the conversation. These myths and misconceptions can foster stigma around depression, discouraging people affected from talking about their symptoms or seeking help and treatment.
7 Misconceptions About Depression
1. You’re Not Depressed if You Don’t Feel Sad
Depression is a mental illness characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, anger, agitation, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, disturbed sleep patterns, appetite changes, and thoughts of death or suicide. If you do not experience these symptoms, then you may have depression but you are not clinically depressed.
2. Depression is Caused by Chemical Imbalances in the Brain
The idea that depression is caused by chemical imbalance in the brain is false. There is no evidence that depression is caused by any kind of imbalance in the brain. In fact, many people who suffer from depression have normal levels of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and other neurotransmitters.
3. Depression is a Sign of Weakness
Depression is not a sign of weakness. Many people who suffer from depression are strong enough to get out of bed each day and face their problems head-on.
4. Depression is a Choice
Many people who suffer from depression believe they have chosen to be depressed. However, research shows that depression is a disease that affects about 350 million people worldwide. People who suffer from depression cannot choose whether or not they will become depressed.
5. Depression is a Character Flaw
People who suffer from depression often think they are defective or flawed. But depression is a medical condition that requires treatment.
6. Depression is a Sign That Something Bad is Going to Happen
Some people who suffer from depression fear that their depression means something bad is going to occur. While some events can trigger depression, there is nothing inherently negative about being depressed.
7. Depression is a Sign You Are Weak
If someone tells you that you are weak because you are suffering from depression, you should tell them that they are wrong. Being depressed does not make you weak.
Depression is a well-known condition, which sadly affects millions around the world, and it comes with many misconceptions. Medication, life events, hormonal changes like pregnancy or menopause, illnesses, or stress all have the potential to alter depression. Unfortunately, this lack of awareness is part of why Mental Health America says that only about 35% of depressed patients get help.