Most Americans don’t know that depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorders diagnosed each year in the United States. Every year approximately 23 million adults are affected and diagnosed. Despite this, there are many myths that still exist about depression, what it is, how it can be treated and what kind of prognosis can be expected following treatment. One of the biggest hurdles that stand in people’s way of admitting they are depressed and seeking help is the stigma related to it.
Myth Number 1: Depression is not a medical condition or a real disease
Fact: Even though there are usually no outward physical signs that a person is suffering from depression it is, indeed, a real condition and a disease.While a person who is depressed may not seem to be so, like a person who has a broken leg can not walk, people who are depressed are nonetheless ill and need treatment.
Myth Number 2: Depression can be overcome by thinking positively
Fact: No person ever chooses to be depressed. In the same way that a person would not choose to have diabetes or asthma. Depression is usually caused by neurochemical imbalances within the brain. People who are depressed are no more able to just “snap out of it” than they are to be able to change the colour of their eyes. That said, about 80% of the people who seek treatment for their depression will feel markedly better within 4 to 6 weeks.
Myth Number 3: If you ignore it, it will go away by itself
Fact: Generally, a person who is suffering from a major depression will not be able to escape it if they just ignore it. People who try to deal with their illness in this way will often suffer with it for a long time, often for years. Treatment for depression can include medication, psychotherapy or joining a support group or a combination of all there.
Myth Number 4: Taking medication for depression will make your personality change
Fact: Antidepressants have been developed to change the neurochemical production in the brain. They do not cause a person’s personality to change. They are not adjusted. People may experience a wide range of side effects and may become less inhibited as their depression begins to lift. This does not mean that their personality has undergone a major, fundamental change. They are still the same person they always were.
Myth Number 5: You shouldn’t talk about depression because you will only make it worse
Fact: People who are depressed are often reluctant to bring it up in conversation because they feel helpless or embarrassed or ashamed. Most of them desperately want to talk about their feelings with someone they trust. If you do talk to them about it, it is important to be as non-judgmental as possible. Encourage them to get help. Reinforce to them that it is not their fault that they are depressed and encourage them to get help. One of the best resources for help with depression in the United States is at HelpGuide.org. This website offers a wealth of information for the person who is feeling depressed as well as anyone who might have a loved one dealing with depression.
Kids who are suffering from depression are becoming more and more prevalent. There are dozens of theories about why mental health providers are seeing such a spike in depressed youth. It is a serious matter. If you are a child you is feeling depressed or you are the parent of a child suffering from depression, an excellent resource is Youth Beyond Blue.
If anyone you know is feeling suicidal, this is a medical emergency and needs to be dealt with immediately. Call 911 or take the person to the nearest emergency room.
Sari Crossman has been crafting high-quality articles for the internet since 2007. She lives in Canada where she owns and operates an article content business called Eiji Media. She specializes in the health, personal finance and technology niches. Visit her at her website.
Article Source: Debunking Some Common Myths About Depression