According to the World Health Organization ( WHO), 5% of adults and 5.7 % of adults older than 60 suffer from depression. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9.4 % of Children, about 2.7 million (age 3 – 17), suffer from anxiety, and about 4.4 % of children (age 3-17) have been diagnosed with depression.
This isn’t about numbers and facts about depression because, apart from these, many people are silent about being depressed. It is not easy to share about being depressed or having mental health issues.
Because our society has developed a certain stigma around mental health issues, it believes that mental health is not severe and just a choice to be happy or sad. Because of this, people don’t feel safe opening up about their problems.
The first thing required is awareness of different myths and facts about depression. People are unaware of the issues of depression and still have their heads wrapped around certain myths. There are many interesting facts about depression that you need to learn.
Let’s first understand what depression is.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), depression is a common and severe illness among adults and children. Depression negatively affects a person’s feelings and daily activities. Depression can be a leading cause of emotional and physical problems.
But fortunately, depression is treatable. Different mental health exercises help with dealing with depression. Professional therapists and psychiatrists can also help you overcome depression when it becomes a severe issue. Properly understanding the myths and facts about depression is important.
13 Myths and Facts about depression
1. Depression Isn’t Real
Myth: The first of depression myths and facts is some people believe that depression is not an actual condition. Depression is just about being sad and doesn’t need any treatment.
Fact: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Health Disorders (DSM) is the guideline to diagnose any mental health illness by a professional therapist or psychiatrist. American Psychiatric Association released DSM – 5. According to the manual, to be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms should prevail for more than two weeks and adversely affect a person’s emotions and actions.
Thus depression is an actual condition that needs to be treated so that its symptoms don’t get adverse over time.
2. Only Trauma Can Cause Depression
Myth: It is a common belief that only a person who has experienced trauma will undergo depression.
Fact: Trauma is one of the factors of depression. There can be many other reasons that can lead to depression. A combination of many factors can lead to depression.
Depression can result from childhood experiences, mental health problems, physical health problems, recreational drugs and alcohol, and problems related to livelihood.
3. Depression Is Just A Part Of Life
Myth: The third one in depression myths and facts is some people believe that depression is just a part of growing up. They link depression to irritability or oversleeping, which is seen during adolescence, and thus they deny the concept of depression and instead blame it on the age factor.
Fact: According to the National Institute Of Mental Health (NIMH), depression facts and statistics, an estimated 21.0 million Adolescents in the U.S. have had one depressive episode.
Depression is not a biological sign that every adolescent experiences while growing up. Instead, if someone is constantly feeling sad, upset, or irritated, they may talk to any mental health professional to see if they are undergoing depression.
4. Only Females Have Depression
Myth: It is believed by people that men cannot be depressed. Men are supposed to be strong, and depression is a sign of weakness and is generally shown by women.
Fact: Men also experience depression.
Though the percentage of women experiencing depression is indeed more, they experience postpartum depression, which causes extreme episodes of feeling sad and exhausted that they can’t take care of themselves or their babies.
Similarly, men also experience depression; the worst part is that they don’t express it. These societal stereotypes have made it hard for them to accept that they are undergoing depression.
Men also experience irritation, anxiousness, and restlessness due to different factors in their life.
If these symptoms persist for longer, they should consult a doctor.
5. Keeping Oneself Busy Is a Cure For Depression.
Myth: Another one in depression facts and myths is if someone sits idle, then they develop depression because of negative thoughts that keep coming in. Keeping yourself occupied will help cure depression, as one will be distracted from their negative feelings.
Fact: Spending time with family and friends can help in managing depression. Just by being busy, one cannot cure depression. One can focus on suitable activities that might help them mentally, like hobbies or anything they love. This is known as cognitive behavioral therapy. This therapy helps one manage mental health issues by changing their thought process and behavior. This therapy includes exercises that help stimulate the brain and fight mental disorders.
6. Depression Develops At A Certain Age
Myth: It is believed that older people experience depression more than children or adolescents. This belief has developed because maximum people have their episodes of depression around the age of 20 to 30.
Fact: Depression is not selective to age. Even if it is common in ages 20 to 30, children and adolescents also experience depression. Depression is not an age-related factor. Not all people who are old experience depression. If they are experiencing some severe health issues, they might experience depression.
It is irrelevant what one’s age is; if someone believes that they are experiencing symptoms of depression, they can consult a doctor.
7. Talking About Depression Makes It Worse
Myth: It is a prevailing belief that talking about your feelings will make it worse. So if someone is depressed, they should try to forget it rather than talk about it.
Fact: Sharing emotions is a necessity for someone who is depressed. It will help them understand their feelings better, and others will be able to help them through their journey. Talk Therapy is a part of curing depression.
It is hard to share your feelings and discuss why you are depressed, which is normal. You can only share feelings with someone trustworthy and will not judge you. So take your time until you can come forward and talk about your feelings.
Also Read: What You Need To Know About Dating Someone With Depression.
8. Herbal Supplements Can Treat Depression
Myth: Some believe combining herbal supplements with antidepressants will treat depression.
Fact: Combining medications can be risky and cause serious health issues. Though there are some medications like omega – 3 fatty acids, there is no conclusive proof that they completely cure depression but can reduce the effects of depression. So if someone wants to mix medications, they should consult a health professional.
9. Depression Means Feeling Sad
Myth: When people hear depression, they deduct it with being sad. So a person who is depressed is just sad.
Fact: Depression is not just being sad. There can be several other emotions that can lead to depression. A person who is depressed can feel sad, stressed, hopeless, irritated, frustrated, tired, and anxious. These emotions are more than just being sad. The feelings which develop during depression can prevail for a very long time.
Also Read: Gift Ideas For Your Friend Having Depression On This Friendship Day
10. Depression Is Always Hereditary
Myth: Depression is hereditary. If your parents have depression, you are likely to be depressed.
Fact: The tenth one in depression myths and facts is it can’t always be hereditary. There is a chance that one might develop depression if it runs in the family.
According to the Stanford School Of Law, depression facts and statistics, ten percent of Americans experience clinical depression at some point. This depression is likely to be shared by siblings and children.
Sometimes spending time with a parent who suffers from depression may also be a factor in depression in their children. This cannot be said of hereditary depression.
11. Depression Is Not a Serious Issue
Myth: Some people say that depression is not a severe issue. It is just what one thinks in their mind. If someone wants to get out of depression, they can easily do it. There are no adverse effects of depression.
Fact: Any kind of mental health issue is a serious issue. If someone is suffering from severe depression and is not taken care of, they might start substance abuse, can no longer stay happy, lose weight and even have suicidal thoughts. So someone experiencing depression should start taking professional help because mental health issues are serious.
Also read: The Advantages Of Yoga For Depression
12. Children Cannot Be Depressed
Myth: Children cannot experience depression because they can’t think about what’s good or bad for them.
Fact: Depression is not selective; anyone can experience depression. Children have different ways of displaying symptoms of depression. A child who is constantly sad and has difficulty engaging with others may be experiencing depression. Consulting a mental health professional as soon as possible is the best step to help clear out all depression myths and facts.
13. Depression Is The Same For Everyone
Myth: Some people believe that depression is the same for everyone.
Fact: The final one in depression myths and facts about depression is that it is not the same for everyone. All people show emotions differently. A person who is depressed might not show any symptoms or show serious feelings and signs.
So while dealing with depression, one should understand that response to a mental health issue varies; thus, different people undergo different treatments.
These were some of the depression myths and facts. The main thing that is becoming an issue is the lack of awareness of mental health issues. Some people know nothing about many mental health issues, which is the root cause of all the myths. These myths become a difficulty for people who are undergoing mental health issues. If you want more information about depression and its effects, click here.
So if you want to understand what depression is, try researching facts about depression rather than sticking to societal stereotypes. Many platforms help you understand different mental health issues and how to deal with them.
Our website, Your Mental Health Pal, will guide you through different categories of mental health issues, including interesting facts about depression and how to deal with it.