More than 16 million adults struggle with major depressive disorder in the United States. It’s been studied in-depth and more people are aware of depression than ever before. Yet, many myths still persist when it comes to depression. These include how it develops and why, as well as what are the best ways to treat it.
Believing in these misconceptions is problematic. They hold you back from getting the help you need for treatment and support, but understanding them can help you through it.
Here are five common myths about depression and what you can do about them.
1. How You Get Depression
Many people simply don’t understand how you get depression. For example some myths around how you get depression are:
- If you have experienced trauma, then you’ll definitely have depression.
- You’re doomed to get depression if other family members have had it.
- If you just had a baby, you’ll most likely have postpartum depression.
It’s important to note that if you have had a family history of depression, experienced trauma, or just welcomed a child into this world that none of those mean you are destined to be depressed. However, they could indicate that you are more prone to experiencing depression than others and that you should take appropriate measures to maintain your mental wellbeing.
2. Sadness Causes Depression
If you’re struggling with depression symptoms, you might feel sad, down, or “have the blues.” However, sadness is not the cause of depression. Rather, it’s a byproduct. Depression is complex and can be triggered by a multitude of reasons and life experiences like genetics, death or loss, a major life event or a serious illness. But the truth is no one really knows exactly what causes depression.
But we do know that when you feel hopeless, you believe you don’t have any power or control over your situation. So you end up believing that things can’t change. It’s that sense of hopelessness that fuels depression and is the source of other emotions associated with it.
3. Depression is a Sign of Weakness
Another common myth is that depression is somehow linked to weakness, either physically or emotionally. For instance, a widespread myth is that men don’t get depression. When we know, that is completely wrong. Or, you believe that depression is a moral shortcoming, which isn’t true either.
Instead, depression results from life experiences that cause you to feel powerless, helpless, and even afraid. Rather than thinking that something is wrong with you, look at depression as a logical response to tough situations.
4. If You’re Depressed You’re Suicidal
Struggling with depression does not equate to suicidal thoughts. Many people have depression but never consider such drastic action. However, if you do have depression, the likelihood of having these kinds of thoughts is higher. This is especially true if your depression has gone on for a while now without treatment.
That’s why it’s so important to get help. If you think you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide and need immediate support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to talk to someone right now.
5. Therapy Doesn’t Help Depression
This is definitely not true! Therapeutic treatment is a powerful and useful tool for fighting depression. In fact, it’s an essential component for long-term recovery. Here’s why:
- You can identify your depression symptoms and how they’re affecting you.
- With the help of a therapist, you learn coping skills for when those symptoms arise.
- Treatment helps you understand why you’re depressed and also helps resolve those issues.
Perhaps the most powerful aspect of therapy is that you’ll be understood and valued. Many people who have depression believe that nobody understands them or what they’re experiencing, so they remove themselves from healthy relationships that could actually benefit them. But a mental health therapist will understand and have the compassion to support you.
Depression Therapist Columbus Ohio
If these depression myths are holding you back, it’s time to break free. If you’re ready for help and looking for an authentic and skilled depression counselor Columbus Ohio, please contact Blue Boat Counseling today to find out more about how depression treatment will help you.