Truth or Fiction?

once-upon-a-time-719174_1280Do you believe that depression is not a real illness?  Or that if the person only engaged in hard work, he or she would beat depression?  Or worse, that depression is just self-pity?  And if you are familiar with depression, do you believe that getting help for it means drugs for life?  Or that talking makes things worse?

Those are just a few of the myths about depression that keep appearing in different places.  I have encountered so many in the past two weeks that it is time to set the story straight.

First of all depression is a real illness.  It took my spouse over forty years to realize and accept that.  It is an illness like cancer or heart disease and deserves to be treated as one.  People don’t plan on getting cancer or heart disease.  People with depression don’t plan on the illness coming into their lives.

Next, engaging in hard work is a variation of the “pull yourself by the bootstraps” theory.  Hard work might work for a mild case of the blues but not for depression and sometimes in men who overwork, it is often a sign of clinical depression.

People with depression are not caught up in self pity.  They are not lazy or feeling sorry for themselves.  Depression is a real health problem with real changes to the brain.   And being treated for depression does not mean that the person will be on drugs for life.  Some will, some won’t just as in other illnesses some people need to have radiation, some need chemo, and some need both.  Some stay on it for life.  Some only a few months or weeks.  When it comes to depression, medication can be a help and some people do maintain a regimen for life, others for only the time that they need, and still others opt for talk therapy or other methods to deal with the illness.

Other myths include the wild idea that depression is part of aging.  It can appear during the golden years but many navigate those years without depression.  People think depressed people cry a lot.  It’s true that some individuals do, but many simply feel worthless and think there is not emotion in them.  Some people believe talking makes the depression worse when in reality many depressed individuals find their salvation in talk therapy.

There are other myths, but maybe listing these few will make you think twice before you believe so called “facts” about depression.  Find out about the illness so that together we can make life better for so many individuals suffering from depression.

-Bernadette

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One Response

  1. Excellent blog – I appreciated the insight.

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