Depression: Debunking the Myths

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 9th Sep 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2hw_n6-p/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Depression

Clinical depression is a mental disorder and the number on mental disorder in Canada. Yet, there are still people who do not believe depression is debilitating at all. This article attempts to break down the myths about depression.

Depression stats

According to Statistics Canada, there will be 13 to 14 million Canadians who will experience some form of depression. Montrealers are as hard hit by depression disorder. So is the rest of the country and the rest of North America for that matter. Over sixteen percent of Canadians will experience depression at anytime during their lifetime.Depression remains the largest growing mental disorder in Canada at this time.

Despite the amount of people who are affected by depression and the amount of literature out there to explain what depression is all about, there are still misconceptions about the disorder. Many people seem to have the attitude that all you have to do is suck it up and get on with your life. They simply will not accept that the clinical type of depression renders individuals incapable of sucking it up and moving it on with their lives.

This article will not focus on the symptoms and causes; though clinical depression is a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain that inhibits individuals to “think and feel like normal people.” Rather it will concentrate on common misconceptions about depression.

Here are some of the common myths:

Hard work will cure depression.


This myth is a two way sword. For mild cases it may be true that hard work will take the mind off problems that may be the cause of depression, but for the most part men especially throw themselves into their work when they are depressed. Some men do not even know they are avoiding the issues of depression by doing this and others have shut down and do nothing else but work, and then come home and sleep.

Furthermore many clinically depressed people have lost their zest for life. They have shut down socially.They are filled with deep despair and lose their jobs because they can no longer function properly on the job, or they cannot find the energy or desire to get up and go to work.

Mental disorder

Depression is not a disorder

Probably the biggest myth of all is that Montrealers, like many people across the world still believe that depression is not a mental disorder. People think that depression is just sadness and people should stop being sad and feel happy. Some Montrealers as well as people all over the world feel that people who say they are depressed are just using it to be an excuse for not doing the things they should be doing in life.

The truth of the matter is depression is a mood disorder with a biological basis. Research shows that brains of clinically depressed people (particularly in the limbic area of the brain, most notably the hypocampus) are different than those of non-depressed people. Furthermore the biggest research on serotonin and brain chemicals show the imbalance of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a brain chemical responsible for mood. Lower levels of serotonin causes clinical depression.

Only women get depressed

Although it is true that more women go to seek help for depression. It isn’t true to think that only women are affected by depression or even to think that more women than men are affected by depression. Researchers cannot properly calculate the gender differences here. The reason is due to how differently men and women cope with depression.

Women are more likely to seek professional help when they are depressed, whereas men tend to hide their depression, become workaholics or isolated themselves and not talk about it. Having said that, the stats for either gender are not true stats, because many people who are so severely depressed do not believe anyone can help them and so they do not seek help in the first place.

Suck it up buttercup

Suck it up Buttercup

There is a common belief that depressed people are just lazy, making excuses, or whining and looking for pity. This could not be further from the truth. Depression is a real mental disease. Our society is revved up on will power and strong characters and personalities. The trouble is you just can’t will yourself out of a clinical depression it just doesn’t work that way. If you are depressed you need treatment, the same way as you need treatment for most physical illnesses. The sad part of the this is the general public does not tolerate anyone who cannot step it up.

Everyone has problems but we don’t get depressed

There is a common belief that depression only happens to people who let it happen. The truth of the matter is depression can happen to anyone at any time. Though it is true some people handle life situations better than others. It does not mean these people are better than people who are depressed because they can’t. It also does not mean that these people who have never suffered from depression before will never face depression at some point in their lives. Depressions affects one out of eight people in this country.

People who are depressed many not be facing what seemingly is what convention calls “problems.” Depression has a lot to do with lifestyle, but the disease can affect people who should be happy yet they still feel depressed, still feel something is missing, still feel lack of hope and desire in life. Depression can affect homeless people, millionaires, the unemployed, the CEO, the teenager, the media celebrity, the doctor, the school principal, the psychiatrist, the motivational speaker and so on. Depression can affect anyone at anytime.

to be continued


All photos taken from the public domain


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Tags

Depresion, Depressed People, Depression Info, Depressive Disorders, Mental Disorder, Mental Disorders, Mental Illness, Mentally Ill, Serotonin

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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Comments

author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
10th Sep 2015 (#)

Very thoughtful piece, Carol. Someone once suggested the other way around, ie that laziness is a manifestation of depression. The person who feels work is hopeless may be less inclined to get the work done.

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author avatar Carol Roach
10th Sep 2015 (#)

yes that is true also

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author avatar pohtiongho
10th Sep 2015 (#)

Carol: Most of the depressed people cannot be helped because they don't admit it. Proper medications and meditation have been proved to be effective for some patients. But before the meditation program is introduced, medication from specialists must be obtained first. Otherwise, the condition of the patient will actually become worse after a few meditation sessions.

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author avatar Carol Roach
10th Sep 2015 (#)

It all depends on the severity of the depression, as a counsel/therapist I treated my patients with therapy not medication. If they truly needed medication they were referred to a psychiatrist but not all of them did,

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author avatar Retired
10th Sep 2015 (#)

Carol, you are absolutely right. I used to be a volunteer for the Samaritans (befriending the suicidal and despairing) and my first wife suffered from bouts of depression, so I have had close associations with the condition and with the stupid things that people say to those who suffer from it.

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author avatar Retired
10th Sep 2015 (#)

Like John, I was a samaritan, too, when I lived in the UK. That feeng of hopelessness that modern living can bring to some people is not easily overcome; but I have found that listening to someone who is depressed gives them an outlet to their concerns. But one must resist the urge to suggest anything to 'fix the problem' as that can make the depression deeper.

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author avatar Carol Roach
10th Sep 2015 (#)

Yes Christopher you are absolutely right

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author avatar Retired
10th Sep 2015 (#)

*feeling of hepelessness*

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author avatar Retired
10th Sep 2015 (#)

*hopelessness* (the fingers just refuse to work)

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author avatar Carol Roach
10th Sep 2015 (#)

hopelessness and helplessness are both signs of depression

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