Although we have made plenty of strides concerning mental health in recent years, myths and misconceptions about depression persist.
This means that people who experience depression often face challenges and prejudice, due to the stigma attached to mental health disorders.
Even those suffering from depression may believe some of the misconceptions.
It’s important to take the time to learn about some of the common myths, and the real facts about depression.
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.
Depression is actually a complex mental health disorder. It has social, psychological, and biological origins.
You Can’t Snap Out of It
If only it were that easy, am I right? Look, no one chooses to be depressed. It would be nice to just “snap out of it” by thinking lots of positive thoughts. Because it’s a medical condition in which your brain chemistry, function, and structure are to blame, it’s simply not that easy.
Depression Stems From a Sad Situation
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.
Antidepressants Cure Depression
Depression is definitely treatable. Antidepressants can help address deep-rooted biological issues that could be contributing to your condition by altering your brain chemistry.
Unfortunately, there is no “cure-all” for depression — antidepressants included. For many, antidepressants alone aren’t enough. Often, medication needs to be paired with some form of therapy to create an effective treatment strategy.
Antidepressants Will Change Your Personality
The antidepressants work because they change your brain chemistry. That could sound pretty scary, 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 chemicals — to help relieve symptoms of depression. They won’t change your entire personality. In fact, many people taking antidepressants actually start feeling more like themselves again.
You’ll Have to Take Antidepressants Forever
Sure, antidepressants do provide a long-term treatment option for many people. However, the length of time that your doctor advises you to take them can vary based on your prescribed treatment plan, your own personal situation, and the severity of your condition.
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 psychotherapy to help you learn new ways of coping, and it could lessen your need for medication over time.
It’s worth noting, though, that it’s okay to take antidepressants for longer periods, too.