This topic makes people uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t. One in five Americans will be depressed at least once in their lifetime.
1. Depressed people do not cry constantly.
Depressed people don’t always appear sad and often keep intrusive thoughts to themselves.
2. Having “good” days doesn’t help.
Taking a depressed loved one on a trip will not cure their depression.
3. Failure is not the cause.
Failure is not the main cause of this illness. Many suffering from this illness may have inherited a genetic predisposition.
4. It changes perception.
This illness changes how the brain processes information.
5. It can cause extreme mental changes.
Severe depression can cause auditory and visual hallucinations.
6. Admitting to it is difficult.
Fear of being accused of “faking it” makes people anxious about admitting their feelings.
7. Being treated causes guilt.
Depressed people are not seeking attention. Bringing attention to themselves makes them feel selfish.
8. It destroys friendships.
Depressed individuals have periods of isolation and lashing out.
9…Which causes an interesting dilemma.
Depressed people need friendships and family for support.
10. Depressed individuals fear being “whiny.”
Many depressed people believe that their feelings are unimportant.
11. You cannot simply “snap out of it.”
It is not temporary. Those suffering from this illness need professional treatment.
12. Getting through your daily routine can feel impossible.
Depressed people don’t have the energy to complete daily living tasks and can’t focus on daily tasks.
13. It cannot be treated quickly.
Therapy and treatment can take months or even years.
14. It is still a stigmatized illness.
Our current societal view of “just be strong” undermines our understanding of this malady.
15. It causes pain.
Physical pain can manifest as back pain and headaches.
16. Treatment doesn’t make it just “go away.”
Symptoms that do not improve after six weeks of treatment often signal to a counselor or physician that another medication and/or treatment plan is necessary.
17. It is difficult to access core values when depressed.
A person may lose the desire to focus on things he or she once enjoyed.
18. People don’t know how to respond.
Loved ones may not know how to help a friend or family member who tells them that they are depressed.
19. Religion can both help and hurt.
While a belief in unconditional love offers comfort, some religions discourage focusing on one’s self.
20. Life doesn’t stop.
Disruptions such as the death of a loved one or the arrival of an unexpected bill can strengthen depressive symptoms.
21. Depressed people want to escape.
Depressed people often sleep for very long periods or abuse drugs to escape.
There are things that you or your loved one can do along with professional treatment to alleviate depression. Exercise can help someone to focus on the moment, and persisting in hobbies can help conquer these symptoms.