Since depression is a condition that does not display obvious signs we can see easily, some of us have developed myths about it. Myths and negative feelings that ensure that much stigma is still attached to this condition.
Do you belong to the group of persons who have this thought – other weak people get depression – not people like us. Or even told someone who is really depressed, “get hold of yourself. There is nothing like depression. Live in the real world like the rest of us, lazy git!”?
No wonder people with depression get so little understanding and often struggle with accepting the fact that they have the condition themselves!
Here are some other myths people are spreading about depression
- Real men don’t get depression
- I am a busy woman and I have no time to be depressed
- Depression is a condition hypochondriacs develop when they run out of medical conditions to complain about
- I am too strong to be depressed
- I will not have depression if everyone would just leave me alone
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, at any time. It can slowly creep up on you over time. Or hit you hard when you least expect it.
Real, strong men cannot get depression.
Yes, they can, and they do!
I am the woman and I must remain strong!
Now as women, we often feel that we have no time to be ill. We are too busy – we have to run the family, maintain social contacts with friends and take care of all the people we love.
We run our businesses and make many sacrifices to ensure our careers are upwardly mobile. Who is taking care of us??
Who else is going to juggle all these areas of life, like women alone can?!
As women, we should make time to take care of ourselves. Otherwise, there may no one and nothing left for us to care for.Yes, lots of women often feel this way. They are so busy taking care of everybody else in their lives. Just not themselves!
Here’s my experience on this – My children talking to me when I drag myself around with flu when I really ought to be in bed. “Mom, stop moaning that you are ill. You are not! If you really are ill, lie down or sit down!”
The fact that we cannot see the physical signs and symptoms of depression does not make it any less real.
Depression is for weak people
As for depression being solely as a result of strength – 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 do not get depression because you are a weak person.
I am not depressed, I just need absolute peace
Another myth is believing that the depression we are experiencing would cease to be if everyone would just leave us in total peace.
Do you feel you need to be in an island all by yourself? Lots of us would love this too. At least, sometimes! But it’s the regularity of needing this, not wanting it, that makes a huge difference!
Absolute peace and quiet. From – children, partners, colleagues, neighbors and bosses. It’s difficult, if not downright impossible to have that amount of peace and quiet! For more than a few days!
So, how about you confront depression as what it is. From another angle – treat it as the medical condition it is and not just as the fault of everyone else in your life! Although, on the light side, living with very negative people would be enough to make anyone depressed!
It’s possible to have outer quiet and still suffer from inner turmoil.
If you know of other myths and misconceptions around depression,please get in touch, dear people!
Do get in touch with your experiences, comments and questions here. I would really appreciate it!
To your Optimum Health & Well-being,
Cecilia Scheyerle, MPharm