DEBUNKING 8 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT DEPRESSION

There are far too many misconceptions about mental health. These misconceptions make it even harder for people to live with their depression and other mental disorders. Here are some of those common myths about depression, along with the facts.

1. DEPRESSED PEOPLE NEED TO JUST SNAP OUT OF IT

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The truth is that people can’t just stop being depressed. It is an illness. Depression can’t be snapped out of and can only be treated with the help of a trained mental health professional. Being able to recognise the signs of depression in yourself and others can help to get help early on and prevent some of the more long term issues associated with this illness.

2. DEPRESSED PEOPLE ARE JUST GOING THROUGH A ROUGH PATCH

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While it is true that going through something particularly rough, such as a breakup or watching your parents get divorced, can lead to depression it isn’t the only cause of the problem. Depression can also be caused by physical problems, feeling abandoned or isolated, and being verbally or physically abused. Sometimes depression doesn’t even have an obvious cause and sometimes it is even caused by chemical imbalances in a person’s brain.

3. DRINKING ALCOHOL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DEPRESSION; IT’S JUST WHAT PEOPLE DO WHEN THEY GET OLDER

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The truth is that drinking alcohol increases your chances of being depressed and, if you are depressed, drinking just makes it worse.

4. SMART PEOPLE AND EMOTIONALLY STRONG PEOPLE DON’T SUFFER FROM MENTAL ILLNESSES

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The truth is that mental illnesses, including depression, can affect anyone at any time. It doesn’t matter if you are smart or are strong mentally, emotionally, or physically. It doesn’t matter how old you are and it doesn’t matter what gender you are. Mental illnesses can affect you.

It is true that some personal characteristics can help keep depression at bay. You reduce your chances of being depressed if you keep an optimistic outlook, are a good problem solver, have high self-esteem, have close personal relationships with people who can provide you support, and getting involved in your school or community. It’s important to remember that all of that won’t mean you never get depressed. It just means you are less likely to.

5. PEOPLE ARE BORN OPTIMISTS OR PESSIMISTS AND THEY CAN’T CHANGE THAT

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The truth is that the most effective depression treatment is known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This therapy involves taking your negative thoughts, such as feeling you aren’t good enough or can never change, and making them positive thoughts. CBT teaches you how you should be responding to what goes on in your life. There are still cases where you need the help of medication to correct chemical imbalances.

6. DEPRESSION HAS TO BE TREATED WITH ANTI-DEPRESSANTS

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The truth is that for the less severe cases of depression counselling should always be the first treatment option. You may be able to talk your way through the issues to deal with them. If you have a more severe depression then the counsellor or another metal health professional may choose to refer you to a psychiatrist who can provide better help and assess if you need medication.

It is important that you get along with your therapist. You need to work closely with them to come up with the best treatment plan.

7. ALL YOUNG PEOPLE GET DEPRESSED; IT’S JUST A PART OF GROWING UP

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The truth is that feeling sad or unhappy is a part of life. It’s a part of growing up and being grown up. Life always goes up and down no matter your age.

Despite that, depression is a lot more than just feeling sad. Depression is being so miserable that it impacts your daily life and affects your ability to function normally. Depression is an illness. It is like having the flu, or diabetes. It affects anyone, no matter their age, and it needs to be treated as soon as it is recognised.

8. YOU CAN TREAT DEPRESSION BY JUST TALKING TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS

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The truth is that talking to your friends and family can help you deal with the regular ups and downs of life, but it’s not enough to treat depression. Depression requires professional help. Consult your doctor, school counsellor, or an adult you trust about the choices you have.