Are You Really Depressed? Myths and Facts
Your fast paced life sometimes brings you down, your relationships may seem stressed out at times, often at work you might feel unaccomplished because you have been saturated for so long, and the pressure of studying can feel so overwhelming at the moment; guess what? You are not alone.
These things happen to most of us at some point in our lives. Regularly or rarely, varying in the intensity and situations, but most of us manage to deal with it and find some comfort somewhere. Unfortunately, some of us, nearly 300 million people around the globe (as per WHO) cannot ‘DEAL’ with it by themselves, they often need lots of support from family and medical help.
“I am depressed!” has somehow become a casual phenomenon, leaving those who actually suffer depression feeling left out and neglected (and they already have many more negative emotions within).
What is depression?
“Depression is more than just sadness. People with depression may experience a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. Depression is the most common mental disorder. Fortunately, depression is treatable. A combination of therapy and antidepressant medication can help ensure recovery.” -Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Psychology
This article is my attempt to draw some lines between ‘Depression’ and ‘Being Very Sad’. No! They are not the same thing.
Let me break it down for you!
1. Myth: “I am depressed because I am sad”
Fact: Depression is a medical condition that is related to the brain nerves. That being said, if you are depressed, you are sick, really sick, just like an ill person. Think about someone who is suffering from a long lasting illness, lying on the bed with a blanket and unable to do the basic chores. That is how this illness works.
So if you are calling yourself depressed when you are ‘sad’, then you might as well say “I am sad” or super sad for that matter. If you are doing your work well, going to school/work every day, getting even half your work done, if you remember your lunch and dinner times. Then chances are you are just SAD, and you must stop using the big D word.
2. Myth: “Depression is only a state of mind.”
Fact: Well technically, yes! It is a state of the mind, only that the nerves in the mind are malfunctioning. So if you hang out with friends and think happy things, you come back home happy and relaxed. Then that is not depression! Depression often makes it impossible for the individual to relax. In many cases, the symptoms involve blank state of emotions and feelings; some involve excessive sadness not triggered by a situation or event. They need counseling for even 'trying' to think positively.
3. Myth: “Depression is a phase, it passes!”
Fact: It is possible that some mild depression can pass on its own, if early intervention is made. However, it is not a phase, because it is an illness. Just like flu, you are sick, it can go away on its own, with some at- home or over- the- counter treatment. Most people cannot snap out of it because it is not in their control. Nobody likes to be down all the time, it often comes as an add -on to a disease. So just be there for your loved one for as long as they need, this one might be a long haul.
4. Myth: “Depression is all about crying all the time.”
Fact: No, in fact many individuals don’t feel anything like a normal healthy person. Depression can affect various walks of life. It could be emotionally challenging for some people and cognitive for the others. These symptoms slowly might also affect the physical wellness of the victim. There are so many varied symptoms, a few of those are: lack of interest or pleasure in doing things that they once enjoyed doing; feeling low and tired all the time; trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much; changes in appetite; trouble concentrating or making decisions; moving or speaking slowly; being restless. The most dangerous symptom: wanting to hurt self. These symptoms will be different for different people.
I hope this article has got you thinking about the severity of this rising issue of our millennial world. We as a society have pushed depression aside for far too long, while all the people who have actually suffered the condition continue to suffer in solidarity, because we dismiss the notion as a whole. Depression is the cancer of the mind, it will multiply and if not treated will lead to irrevocable conditions. If your friend of relative suffers from depression please know they need love and support, even though they won’t be able to tell you. I urge you to be by them and use the Deadly D word with caution.
Why say you’re sick when you’re just sad?
Stay informed! Stay Happy!