How offend have you heard someone say that they depressed? Or that they feeling depressed? Even better how offend have you heard someone say that depression isn’t an illness, or that real men don’t get depressed?
With the casual use of the word to describe a variety of moods and experiences, the actual meaning of it gets watered down and lost in the mix of things. Furthermore, because simple bad moods are universal experiences, plenty of people think that if they’ve had the blues, they know all about depression.
Due to that, a number of myths and misconceptions about depression have been created and today, we dispel some of them.
Myth: Depression isn’t a real illness
Being depressed isn’t just a mere state of sadness or a sign of being weak in character. It is a complex mental health disorder that has social, psychological and biological origins. Depression should be taken as seriously as any illness out there. If you think that you could be depressed it’s important that you talk to your doctor and ensure that you get all the support you need in order to manage your condition.
Myth: Talking about it only makes it worse
Talking about your depression does not reinforce destructive feelings or negative experiences. Talking about how your feelings can be somewhat therapeutic especially if the person that you are confiding to is supportive, reliable and non-judgemental. Just keep in mind that in some cases, a certified therapist is better equipped to provide the support and resources that you need.
Myth: You can simply ‘snap out of it’
The truth is that a person doesn’t choose to be depressed. Most people believe that it can be cured with positive thoughts or change in attitude. Depression is an actual medical condition.
Myth: Depression only affects women
Even though women more commonly report symptoms of depression, believe it or not, it does affect men as well.
Myth: Depression occurs because of a sad situation
Different things can spark depression which can then cause periods of hopelessness, sadness, lethargy and in some case cases suicidal tendencies.
If you think that you might be depressed it is important to go and seek help.
Here are the contact details of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group:
For counselling queries e-mail: [email protected]
To contact a counsellor between 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday
Call: 011 234 4837
Fax number: 011 234 8182
For a suicidal Emergency: 0800 567 567
24hr Helpline 0800 12 13 14