We have come a long way. We no longer live in an era that considers depression to be a mere construct of the mind. Depression is real, and we as a society are beginning to recognise it. But even though we have made some progress, and moved miles, we still have certain misconceptions and myths prevalent about depression. These myths are usually born from half-knowledge and are creations of those who haven’t really suffered from depression, but have pictured it and created these myths. 

“It’s just a phase”, “It’s all in your head”, “you’re not in a sound mind”, there are an array of statements we have heard from someone trying to console the other, only to make things worse. 

It’s essential that one carefully thinks about what to say to someone with depression. Because most often, we say the wrong things. But we get it, it may be challenging. You wouldn’t know what would be the right thing to say. 

It all starts with knowledge and correct information. The first thing you need is to differentiate between fact and fiction. You need to discard these myths to take care of someone with depression. 

This blog will talk about certain myths about depression that we must do away with. 

Myth 1: Depression is mere sadness

Unfortunately, depression and sadness have been used interchangeably. If you are feeling sad for a while, people call it depression. 

But truth be told, depression is not just mere sadness. Sadness is just one aspect of depression. Remember, there are a ton of emotions one feels when they are depressed. Apart from sadness, it also includes anxiety, emptiness, numbness, anger, and loss of interest in every aspect of life. These are persistent symptoms of depression that last for a long time. 

Consequently, they affect your lifestyle, career and relationships. 

Here is what depression may feel like

  • There seems to be no joy in life
  • Concentrating becomes a challenge 
  • You feel hopeless
  • You lose self-esteem
  • Energy levels are low
  • You may also experience headaches, body pain and nausea

Myth 2: Trauma causes depression

True, trauma can be one of the causes of depression but it isn’t always the case. The exact cause of depression is unknown. However, these causes may have something to do with a combination of genetic, biological,and environmental factors. Traumatic events are not the only risk factors. 

Sometimes, depression can also occur without any good reason, even when everything in life is going fine. However, in case a traumatic event occurs to someone who is already dealing with depression, the symptoms may intensify. 

Myth 3: Depression is not actually an “illness”

When we said depression is real, we meant it is actually an illness. It is not a “construct of the mind” or a “mere sadness”, as we discussed above. 

It is in fact, a real mental health condition that stems from environmental, biological and emotional factors. Having said that, it may also have physical symptoms, including loss of sleep, anxiety, chest pains and body pain. Consequently, it requires medical intervention. 

Myth 4: You will definitely have depression if you have a family history of it 

While most illnesses can be hereditary, it may not be the case with depression. Although some genetic factors can cause depression, environmental causes, relationships and lifestyle can also be a cause. So, if you had someone in your family diagnosed with depression, it’s not necessary that you’ll have it too later in life. 

Myth 5: Depression will go away on its own 

Certain episodes of sadness may fade away, but not depression. Depression can last for years, if not months. This is one of the differences between sadness and depression we discussed above. 

Once again, seeking medical help becomes pivotal in managing the symptoms of depression. Without it, depression can last for months or even years. Seeking medical help also becomes essential as depression can lead to self-harming behaviours or suicide.

If you feel you have had these symptoms for a long time, you must see a therapist. 

Myth 6: You are weak if you are depressed  

You are not weak if you are depressed. Depression has nothing to do with your strength or character. It is a mental health condition that is caused by a chemical imbalance, not emotional strength.  A person having depression does not choose to be depressed. The fact that it is considered a weakness stems from the stigma that society has about depression. Depression is not a construct, but the belief that the weak suffer from it, is. 

Myth 7: You can be okay if you want to 

There isn’t a thing such as “snapping out of depression”. You cannot just snap out of it if you want to. It is beyond self control. As said, depression stems from chemical imbalance induced by certain genetic, environmental or emotional factors. You cannot choose to “not be depressed”. 

Medical intervention is necessary to manage the symptoms as sometimes, it can also be chronic. 

Closing thoughts 

It’s time we ditch these old-school ideas about depression. It’s not just a case of feeling a bit down or lacking strength—it’s a complex mental health issue. Tossing these misconceptions aside isn’t just about

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