Myths about clinical depression
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 2% of the adult population struggles with clinical depression at some point in their lives. This psychiatric disorder is one of the most common in the United States.
When diagnosed, many individuals seek treatment for their clinical depression. However, many avoid treatment and continue to suffer. There are several reasons why people don’t seek treatment for their clinical depression. For instance, they may not believe the diagnosis and may be hesitant to accept the fact that they have clinical depression. They may not believe that treatment for clinical depression can help them. There is also a chance that they don’t even recognize that they need help.
Some believe the common myths that are associated with clinical depression. Understanding these myths about depression can help individuals seek the help they need and find answers to the questions they are seeking. Common myths about depression include:
Only women get depressed. Although it’s not true that only women get depressed, it is true that women are more likely to report it to their doctors, or talk about their depression symptoms with other people. Men need help just as much as women when it comes to overcoming depression, especially since they rarely seek out help or support on their own.
Antidepressants will cure depression. While antidepressants can help to minimize the symptoms of depression, therapy will generally also be prescribed to help those struggling with clinical depression. Whether individuals participate in therapy in an outpatient setting or a clinical depression treatment center, the combination of therapy and antidepressants can help patients find quick and more long-lasting relief from their depression symptoms.
Depression is hereditary; if a parent suffers from clinical depression, the child will suffer from depression too. Although a family history of depression can be a contributing factor to a diagnosis of clinical depression, it is not the primary factor. If a parent has struggled with depression, it can be helpful to find out what treatment was effective in overcoming the depression for the parent. The more one knows, the better equipped they may be to recover from their own battle with clinical depression.
Depression will go away on its own. Sometimes this happens, but more often, depression symptoms can linger with many people for months, even years. For individuals with clinical depression, the symptoms may seem to pass momentarily, only to come back at a later date.
Depression always leads to suicide. This is a common myth – especially among young people. But just because an individual is suffering from clinical depression, it doesn’t mean that they are having suicidal thoughts or actions. Many symptoms of depression have nothing to do with thoughts of suicide, such as lack of drive or motivation, having no desire to be social, lack of appetite, or an inability to get out of bed. Usually, suicidal thoughts come with very severe depression, and can be a symptom of another psychiatric disorder.