Many people experience passing moments of sadness or anxiety during their lives. Clinical depression is distinguished by sadness that lingers and doesn’t diminish. It can have adverse effects on many aspects of life. To fully understand how to cope with clinical depression, it’s important to be able to discern fact from fiction. Here are some of the most common myths surrounding clinical depression.
1. Depression and Sadness Are the Same Thing
Although sadness is often a symptom, it’s not synonymous with depression. Those who struggle with clinical depression can feel many things, including a sense of worthlessness, fatigue or low energy and difficulty concentrating and making decisions, in addition to a depressed mood most of the day and a loss of interest in normal activities and relationships.
2. It’s Not a Real Illness
Some people who have never experienced depression personally or through a loved one may have a difficult time realizing that depression is a diagnosable medical condition. Men and women trying to cope with it can’t simply stop feeling depressed, as there are a number of neurological and hormonal factors that contribute to its symptoms.
3. Antidepressants Will Cure Depression
Unfortunately, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to clinical depression. While antidepressants can help many people dealing with depression, they are most effective when combined with therapy to address underlying factors contributing to depression. Each individual may respond to each treatment differently, so while antidepressants can lift your mood, they are not miracle pills that will solve all of the underlying factors that may be contributing to depression.
4. Talking about It Will Only Make It Worse
It can be difficult to open up to others about your depression. Many people feel reluctant to talk about their depression at first because of potential discomfort. However, talking to friends, family, a professional or even others going through a similar situation—for example, peers in an outpatient program—can be one of the best ways to begin your healing journey.