The Myths Of Depression Explained.

With depression never straying far from the media eye, whether in a popular television series, a national celebrity or on the daily news, it is far to easy to believe the misconceptions surrounding depression and mental illness. This easy to read article aims to distinguish some of the myths and explain where these come from, the truth behind them and how thinking about depression away from these myths can provide a far more effective basis on your steps to treatment.


Myth 1: Depression is just a medical disease.

This is simply not true, while modern science can only further our understanding so far it is essential to understand depression as an illness that is completely different, and so requires different treatment to say, asthma or diabetes. It is helpful to understand depression as a combination of factors including those that are social, biological and psychological. Therefore treatments that require solely on medication alone often fail and much more support and advice is needed.


Myth 2: Depression is not real medical illness.

Despite what we have stated above depression should be regarded as a medical condition, while it is not just a medical disease depression can effect not only thoughts and moods but also the body. Like a medical illness depression can have both biological and genetic causes. The key to the successful treatment of depression is to treat it with flexibility and understanding, which must occur as a balance between viewing depression as medical, but not wholly so.


Myth 3: Depression is a normal part of life.

Unlike popular myth depression is simply not just feeling down in the dumps. People who have depression are also not just suffering from a short term spell of ‘the blues’, instead depression can last a lifetime and has a much deeper effect than just feeling upset for a while.


Myth 4: Someone with depression is just feeling sorry for themselves.

This is just not true. Many great people of our time, such as Churchill, Darwin and Florence Nightingale are all sited to have had depression- not exactly people who had the disposition or indeed the time to sit around feeling sorry for themselves.


Myth 5: Nothing can be done about depression.

Unfortunately in today’s society, when we are always on the move, have somewhere to be and something to do we can often feel nothing can be done about depression- indeed a great deal of the time we are simply not prepared to take the time to try and treat depression. The fact that nothing can be done about depression is deemed untrue by the statistic that around 80% of people with depressive disorders improve with treatment.


Myth 6: With enough willpower you can make depression go away.

Now, it is indeed true that a strong mental attitude can help with the treatment of depression. However simply willing depression away, would do as much good as, for example willing away diabetes. Depression is caused by chemical changes and therefore seeking help is an act of strength not weakness.


Myth 7: Depression does not affect children or teenagers- this feeling is just part of growing up.

Unfortunately 1 in 33 children and 1 in 8 teenagers are estimated to be suffering with depression at any one time. This differs from changes in mood and body you would normally expect to see as you hit puberty. Children and teenagers often find it harder to express their feelings as an adult can, so it is essential they attain the correct treatment and care.


As we can see there are so many myths about depression, and this article has only really skimmed the surface of the issues. One thing to always remember is having depression does not make you crazy or weak and finding the courage to start treatment is quite possibly the most positive thing you will do on the road to recovery.