10 Myths and 11 Facts about Depression

Fact: Depression is a real and serious condition. It is no different than diabetes or heart disease in its ability to impact someone’s life. It can have both emotional and physical symptoms and make life very difficult for those who have it. The medical community has acknowledged the seriousness of depression and recognizes it as a disease. While no one is completely certain what causes depression, we know that genetic and biological factors play a significant role in development of this disease.  (Source: www.mentalhealthamerica.net)

Fact: No one chooses to be depressed, just like no one chooses to have any other health condition. People with depression cannot just “snap out of” their depression any more than someone with diabetes can. It is not a sign of weakness or laziness to be depressed; it is a health problem resulting from changes in brain structure or function due to environmental and biological factors.
(Source: www.mentalhealthamerica.net)

Fact: Depression is more than just having occasional sad thoughts. While everyone experiences ups and downs in life, and often will feel sad for some time after a serious loss or disappointment, developing depression does not require a specific negative event. Prolonged periods of hopelessness, sadness, and lack of interest in things someone usually enjoys are symptoms of depression. Depression can arise suddenly, even when things in life seem to be going well.
(Source: www.mentalhealthamerica.net)

Fact: While for some people, depression may go away without treatment, this is not usually the case. Without treatment, symptoms of depression can continue for weeks, months or even years. Depression can lead to suicide, the third leading cause of death for 18 to 24 year olds, reinforcing the importance of seeking treatment. The good news is that most people do get better with treatment.
(Source: www.mentalhealthamerica.net)

Fact: The thought of taking medicine that changes your brain chemistry can be scary. However, antidepressants are designed to change only certain chemicals that underlie the symptoms of depression, not to change your personality. Most people who take antidepressants are actually happy to feel like themselves again, rather than feeling like a different person. It is best to speak with your doctor about the effects that antidepressants can have.
(Source: www.mentalhealthamerica.net)

Fact: Everyone feels sad at different times about different things, not just young people. But when we talk about depression, we're talking about something that is much more serious than just being sad. It's when a person feels a sadness which is so severe it interferes with everyday life, and causes symptoms such as loss of appetite, sleeping issues, loss of concentration and/or low energy levels. Depression also lasts longer than a bout of sadness. If the above symptoms last longer than two weeks, it's likely that there's something more serious going on.
(Source: au.reachout.com)

Fact: Talking and listening to your friends and family is a great way to deal with with the day-to-day ups and downs of life. But when it's comes to depression, things can be more complicated than that. Just like any other illness, depression requires treatment from professionals to deal with the cause and symptoms of the illness. Talking about depression with a trusted friend or family member may help in the short term to feel better, but the seriousness of depression shouldn't be ignored. Doctors, counselors, and psychologists can all provide treatments and self-management strategies which your family can’t.
(Source: au.reachout.com)

Fact: The belief that depression is a side effect of weakness is a harmful misconception. If you think about it, it doesn't make much logical sense. Depression is an illness, in the same way diabetes, or MS is an illness. But people with physical illnesses aren't blamed for their conditions the way people with mental illnesses are. Depression can affect all different kinds of people, even those that are traditionally considered to be "strong", or appear to have no obvious reasons in their lives to be depressed. The connection between weakness and depression is one that makes it difficult for people to get the help they need. That's why it's important to break down the stigma around mental illness and reinforce  the fact that depression, and other mental illnesses, aren't the result of being weak.  (Source: au.reachout.com)

Fact: Just because women are twice as likely to develop depression doesn’t mean men should suffer in silence. In fact, middle-aged white men have experienced the greatest increase in number of suicides committed each year, and the majority of them can be linked back to depression. Men often express depression differently than women, which makes depression among men easier for society to overlook. Afraid of appearing less masculine, strong and stable, men often feel less able to speak up and receive the help they need. This makes depression even more dangerous for men, because they avoid treatment, tend to complicate their condition with substance abuse and are far more successful
in suicide attempts, should their condition worsen to that level.  
(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com)

Fact: Not always. Some people don't cry or even act terribly sad when they're depressed. Instead they are emotionally "blank" and may feel worthless or useless. Even without dramatic symptoms, untreated depression prevents people from living life to its fullest -- and takes a toll on families. (Source: www.webmd.com)

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