There are plenty of myths floating around out there about depression. Even though we have made plenty of progress concerning mental health in recent years, those misconceptions continue to persist.
This means that people who experience depression often face hurdles in their day-to-day lives, due to the stigma attached to mental health disorders.
But what’s worse — even those suffering from depression may believe some of the misconceptions themselves.
It’s time to stop believing the myths!
I’m here to debunk some of the common misconceptions concerning depression.
Depression Happens After a Sad Situation or Traumatic Event
Although sad and unfortunate events can raise your risk of depression, it isn’t always caused by a negative incident. Depression can also show up as unexplained periods of hopelessness, sadness, and lethargy — seemingly caused by nothing at all, or showing up during a relatively happy time in your life.
No Big Deal – Depression Isn’t a Real Illness
People who don’t suffer from depression can sometimes have a hard time grasping what it really is. They often mistake depression for mere sadness, but feeling sad and being depressed are two different things.
Depression is actually a complex mental health disorder. It has social, psychological, and biological origins.
You Can Snap Out of It by Being Positive
If only it were that easy, am I right? No one chooses to be depressed. If that were the case, we wouldn’t see any cases of depression!
It sure would be nice to just “snap out of it” by thinking lots of positive thoughts. But, because it’s a medical condition in which your brain chemistry, function, and structure are to blame, it’s simply not that easy.
Antidepressants Will Cure Your Depression
Antidepressants can help address deep-rooted biological issues that could be contributing to your condition by altering your brain chemistry. However, this isn’t really the same thing as a cure.
Unfortunately, there is no “cure-all” for depression — antidepressants included. For many, antidepressants alone aren’t enough. Medication often needs to be paired with some form of therapy to create an effective treatment strategy.
Antidepressants Will Change Your Personality
Antidepressants help by changing your brain chemistry. That could sound pretty scary without a deeper understanding, and people often worry that they’ll feel like an entirely different person when they take them.
If you look into how antidepressants work, they’re designed to change only certain brain chemicals — to help relieve symptoms of depression. They won’t change anything else that might change your personality. In fact, many people taking antidepressants actually say they feel more like themselves again.
You’ll Have to Take Antidepressants For the Rest of Your Life
Antidepressants do provide a long-term treatment option for many people. However, the length of time that you actually take them can vary based on your prescribed treatment plan, the severity of your condition, and your own personal situation in general.
You might not need to take medication for the rest of your life. In fact, many people eventually don’t need it anymore. But again, it depends on you and your own unique situation. In many cases, doctors may prescribe therapy to help you learn new ways of coping, and it could lessen your need for medication over time.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has proven to be very effective at helping people with depression. It can help address and change unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors, and help you develop new coping strategies.
It’s worth noting, though, that it’s okay to take antidepressants for longer periods, too. Depression is different for everyone, and your personal path to wellness may look different than others’.