Depression is one of the most common forms of mental disorders. In 2015, experiencing a major depression is the third most common cause of hospitalization in the United States, both for the youth and adults in the age range from 18 to 44. Despite the high prevalence of this mental disorder, it is often understood and dismissed as a trivial matter by many. Little do they know that depression is more dangerous than it is often perceived.
Due to such ignorance by the public towards depression, it is no wonder the sufferers choose not to talk about their symptoms, nor do they seek help to treat themselves. Last week, we spoke on Dwayne Johnson coping with depression and eventually breakthrough to become the happy-go-lucky man he is today. Therefore, I am about to list down the five most common misconceptions of the public towards depression.
Depression will not happen to me because it is rare
No. You do not need to have specific criteria fulfilled to be diagnosed with depression. Depression can happen to anyone, regardless of your gender, age, or even race. As of 2012, the WHO (World Health Organisation) stated that depression affects as many as 121 million people worldwide, becoming the most common form of mental health problem. WHO estimated that as many as 20% of people carry the risk of developing depression at any point in their lifetime; that’s 1 in every five people!
Depression is just sadness
Depression is more than just feeling sad. However, one of the symptoms of depression includes persistent feelings of sadness. Aside from that, other symptoms of depression can be seen physically, such as changes in appetite, quality of sleep deteriorated, a sense of feeling unworthy, and even the loss of interest in activities which we usually enjoy. To find out more symptoms of depression, click here.
You have depression? You’re just weak.
Generally, depression does not correlate with the strength of someone’s character at all. Instead, it should be taken as a serious matter as it can be as dangerous as medical conditions like asthma or diabetes. There are many scenarios in a person’s life that could easily trigger depression attacks, such as the loss of a loved one or even losing a job.
Depression is not really a thing. It will go away.
There is also another misconception that depression is simply something temporary and will eventually fade. Depression will stay as long as we take no action about it. Further dismissal of depression may also be potentially worse than the current condition. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for treatment to be sought at the earlier stage to prevent the symptoms from becoming worse.
Depression is only treatable through medication.
False. Yes, medication will be administered as part of the treatment for the disorder, but a large part of the treatment also requires the will for the patients to be cured. There are several other forms of treatment being used as well, such as changing lifestyles, counseling as well as psychological intervention.
Moreover, the treatment varies depending on the patients. A lot of the time, a combination of different treatments are used depending on the subjectivity of the patients’ cases. Hence, it is essential to seek professional help rather than taking matters into your own hands and resort to over-the-counter medication as depression is more than just medicines.