Depression is invisible, real and often has devastating financial, emotional and physical consequences. Some believe it’s a myth! Depression is not a choice, myth or weakness. It’s a medical condition when every day is Blue Monday and needs to be treated like one!
A few years ago, I watched helplessly as a friend’s marriage broke down. He lost his home, job and ended up sleeping in the streets. Though diagnosed with depression, he believed that “grown men” don’t get depression.
He found it difficult to concentrate or make decisions; he felt guilty, helpless and suffered from constant fatigue. Only later did we learn that these are all signs and symptoms of depression.
Believing all he needed was for everyone to let him just be, he sought no help and got none. The strain on his family and work got unbearable and he lost the life he had worked so hard for.
Do you think like that “other people” get depression, not someone like you? Or maybe you think, like some people I’ve come across, that depression is just a condition lazy people invent to excuse their laziness.
Here are some other popular myths about depression
– Real men don’t get depression
– I’m a busy woman and I have no time to be depressed
– Depression is a condition some hypochondriacs develop when they run out of medical conditions to complain about
– I’m too strong to be depressed
– I wouldn’t be depressed if everyone else would just leave me alone
However, depression doesn’t happen by choice or design! Nobody chooses to get depression.
But how they choose to deal with it may be a matter of choice.
Depression has no respect for a person’s status. Anyone can develop it – rich, poor, old, young, executive, teenager, man or woman.
It can happen to anyone and at any time. Slowly or over time. It can hit you hard when you least expect it.
Real, strong men can not get depression. Yes, they can, and they do!
In fact, if you think like this, you are more liable to suffer more from depression – you remain in denial longer. You cause more emotional harm to yourself and your loved ones, and you would be more likely to lose your job!
Now to the people who often think they have to be the strong towers always- women. They may think they have no time to be ill.
They are too busy – they have to run the family, take care of all the people they love, run businesses and ensure their careers are upwardly mobile, always!!
Who else is going to do all these things we alone as women can do?
Yes, women have to make time to take care of ourselves, too.
Otherwise, there may no one and nothing left for us to care for!
Depression is unseen but nevertheless real. The fact that we cannot see the physical signs and symptoms of depression does not make it less real.
Depression does not develop because you are weak. It’s not a matter of lack of strength on your part.
If you fall down and break a leg, do you regard this as a lack of strength on your part?
Or does someone get cancer because they are weak?
You don’t get depression because you are too weak to overcome the obstacles of life while being reasonably happy and successful with your life.
You do not get depression because you are a weak person. It’s not a matter of emotional strength or weakness!!
It’s not a matter of emotional strength or weakness!!
Another myth is believing that the depression we are experiencing would cease to be if everyone would just leave us in total peace.
The myth of having absolute peace and quiet making you no longer depressed.
Absolute peace and quiet from our children, our partners, colleagues, neighbors and bosses. Well, what’s the chance of that being a reality?
Since that dream may never become a reality, we have to confront depression from another angle – treat it as the medical condition it is and not just the fault of everyone else in our lives.
Take it that you need some intervention. You need some help to overcome this condition, just like everyone else, at some point in life.
You know, it’s possible to have outer quiet and still suffer from inner turmoil. Especially, when you need help. But remain in denial.
Let’s give a helping hand, show more understanding and treat depression as the medical condition it is.
What To Remember
•Depression is not some condition that only weak people develop
•Depression is not a condition that happens by choice or weakness
•Depression is not a something hypochondriacs develop when they run out of conditions to suffer from
•Depression is not a condition that is only linked to a certain age group or class of persons. It can happen to anyone!
Having listened to other people and witnessed first hand the devastation that depression and other mental health conditions cause, it’s my firm belief that it’s time we as a society put mental health as equally important as physical health.
After all, without a healthy mental health, no person is truly enjoying a balanced state of health and well-being.