Mental illness is serious. There are so many myths about depression which cause this particular illness to be discredited. We have to stop this.
First off, I want to say that depression isn’t just sadness. It’s a real illness that destroys lives in many ways. Depression takes away the ability to function in a consistent manner, just as any physical disease can do. There are so many other myths about depression which hinder the success of treating the illness. It’s devastating to think of how many cases deteriorate due to this misconception.
The various lies and myths about depression
Depression isn’t a joke or an excuse. The myths about depression manifest as comical to those who don’t understand the serious nature of the illness. I want to take the time to examine a few of these myths and debunk them for good.
Listen up! If you are guilty of making fun of depression, now’s the time to redeem yourself and help others. Let’s get started.
1. You’re just sad
One of the most common misconceptions about depression is that it means you are only feeling sad. Let me set this straight, depression is much more than just a sad emotion. You become sad when something negative happens in your life or when you miss someone. Sometimes you get sad when you’re lonely.
Depression is different. When you’re depressed, sometimes there is no reason for the experience. It can last for days, months or even years. Depression is an illness, not an emotion.
2. You have no willpower
Some people stand behind myths about depression as if these lies are the gospel truth. For instance, so many people push the agenda that you can forcefully change your mindset. Apparently, it’s about willpower.
Here’s a false idea: “Those who have no willpower will continue to suffer while those who do will be able to get better”. While this is a nice thought, it is misleading and hurtful. Some of the greatest leaders in history had strong willpower and still struggled with depression. There is no correlation.
3. You have to be triggered
Many people say that being triggered by something is the only way to become depressed. While triggers do create uncomfortable environments where depression thrives, they aren’t always to blame when someone becomes depressed.
Sometimes, depression just happens, with no warning and no explanation. This is one reason why the illness is so horrific. Just imagine, feeling darkness so heavy and not knowing why or what to do about it.
4. Only women get depressed
One of the most ridiculous myths about depression is how females are the only ones who suffer. While it seems, women, on average, report depression much more than men do, about double the rate, there could be various reasons for that.
For instance, what if men just didn’t like talking about what they go through, maybe because of pride? It’s possible that men could suffer almost as much as women do? They certainly need just as much consideration and care. In all honesty, there are around 6 million men in the states, who experience depression.
5. Depression is a sin
While I am a spiritual person, and I have heard this before, I do not believe in its entirety. Now, there are spiritual battles which closely resemble depression, but it’s not the same. You cannot just pray away illnesses.
Let me give you a good example that my former mother in law gave me. She said, “I have migraines, and I take a pain reliever. There are some people who tell me to pray my headache away and I tell them that just as God created prayer and faith, he also created man to be intelligent enough to take a pain reliever”. I just thought that example was humorous.
Now, many of you are not spiritual and that’s fine. But not all of us are spiritual fanatics. Also, not all of us believe that medicines and vaccinations are bad. In the news today, you hear about those who will not vaccinate or those who will not administer medical help because of their faith.
Well, forgive me, but not everything is a sin. Sometimes things happen, and we utilize our knowledge to treat and medicate these problems. Depression is NOT a sin and failing to approach this as a real illness is, well, dumb. It’s a myth about depression that’s beyond dangerous.
6. Healthy eating cures depression
A healthy lifestyle, including healthy eating, can improve many areas of our life. Yes, nutrition is important, but guess what, it might not be the cure to your depression!
While certain fruits and vegetables do decrease your risk for depression, they aren’t the cure-all in many cases. It’s narrow-minded to think that eating right is the only thing you need to do in order to ward off the illness of depression. It’s usually a combination of multiple factors that do the trick.
7. Depression should be kept a secret
Because of shame, many people keep their struggles with depression a secret. While others may not see their darkness, the darkness will grow stronger and drown its victim over time. With no one to talk to, the feelings of depression can overwhelm quickly and even pose more risk for suicide.
Another important reason why this myth should be debunked is that it’s imperative to talk about depression. To get the facts about this monster out in the open is a huge step toward killing stigma and finding new cures.
8. You will fail
A sad myth about depression is that people think you will never have a fulfilling life. Even you sometimes doubt your ability to be happy. Depression lies to us and it creates myths such as this. It’s the nature of the beast, really.
Now, there’s a key to destroying this myth, so listen carefully. In order to indeed live a happy life, you have to find the formula that’s right for you. Remember, what works for others might not be your solution. This is why therapy, counseling, correct medication and a healthy lifestyle is so important. It takes time to learn what works.
Taking back control
We have to destroy these myths about depression. There is no question. These myths are one of the things which stop us from being successful in our treatments, to be honest. After all, if you feel there’s no hope and that you’re a “sinful” person, your morale will fail. It’s always important to feel as good about yourself as you can, so you can feel even better.
Over time, you will take back the control that depression has stolen from you. Then, these myths about depression will become fading silly lies. Let’s concentrate on the facts, kill the stigma, and love each other. Now, that’s a cocktail that I can enjoy.