By: Shawn Soh
Depression is one of the most lethal and growing conditions all over the world. Although there is a growing number of studies on different dynamics of this condition, there is still a need to debunk a lot of myths surrounding it. Let's dive into some of the common myths people have associated with depression and find out the actual truth behind it.
Myths about Depression:
Myth 1: Depression is Sadness Exaggerated
Wrong. Though sadness is an important component of clinical depression, it is not at all true that people who report having depression only over-explain their sadness and try to seek attention that way. Depression is much deeper than feeling just sad. While sadness is a temporary state of human consciousness and is pretty normal, depression requires proper attention and management.
Myth 2: Depression Always Links with Inactivity
Not at all. Functional depression is a real thing to exist. We see that most depression is defined as the unwillingness to take part in activities and do tasks. It is usually linked with a lack of motivation, productivity, and general interest in life. However, we see functional depression as one of the types where a person apparently doesn’t have these traits. It is usually an attempt to “mask” the deep hidden, and uncomfortable feelings.
Myth 3: People with Depression Don’t Laugh Much
Depression is usually portrayed as prolonged periods of sadness and numbness. However, there are many examples of people who would mask their depression by laughing and smiling. It is an attempt to safeguard themselves from feeling exposed and vulnerable about their condition. Robert Williams and various famous people like him were victims of depression, and no one could identify from their expressions.
Myth 4: You Are Not Born with Depression
Genetics now show that just like other illnesses, there is also a trait for depression in certain families that passes along generations. Someone might have no particular cause of getting depression, but they might end up feeling "blued" all the time at some point in their lives. It turns out depression used to run in their ancestors, and they have to consider treatment from a healthcare professional.
Myth 5: You Can Eat Your Way to Cure Depression
Although there is a massive store of evidence suggesting a connection between depression and diet, it is important to note that you can't "cure" depression just by eating a certain food in a certain way. So, besides the Mediterranean diet, you need to look for additional help as well. You might want to ask a therapist, or get medications from a healthcare provider, for example.
These are some common myths associated with depression. As we seek to know more about this festering condition, it is our responsibility to educate others around us. Maybe, we can save a life by playing our part in raising awareness about this condition. So, make sure to discuss these myths and debunk them with your loved ones, colleagues, and peers. When there is more awareness, there is more hope. Don’t be afraid to speak up about your issues if you have any.