Depression is a condition that has been questioned and misperceived for decades. Some people openly admit to depression, while others hide their depression in embarrassment, feeling it makes them look weak. It is a misunderstood disease because everyone goes through times when they are down, but it is the length of time and the deepness of the sadness that determine when depression should be diagnosed. There are many facts and myths surrounding depression, and 6 of them are explained below:
1. Myth: The Best Treatment Is Counseling and Medications
There is no one blanket cure for everyone. Each situation and each person must be looked at individually before a treatment plan can be decided. Not everyone will need counseling, not everyone will need medications. Some people may need both treatment options, or an alternating of these treatments, but these decisions can only be made after a thorough analysis of the individual’s situation and history.
2. Myth: Depression Cannot Be Considered a Medical Condition
Depression is an illness that affects every aspect of someone’s life. Emotional and physical changes are present during an episode of depression so that an individual has difficulty doing every day things. Clinical depression causes stress hormones to be higher in the body, and may even affect the activity of certain areas of the brain.
3. Myth: Only Women Suffer from Depression
Depression is diagnosed in women at least twice as often as in men, but that doesn’t mean it affects twice as many women as men. Many times depression in men goes unreported because men see it as a sign of weakness. Men do, however, have a higher reported rate of suicide, making it critical for men to get the treatment they need.
4. Fact: Depression Affects People of All Age Groups
Depression doesn’t discriminate. Regardless of your age, social status, race or religion, depression can affect you. Though certain age groups may be more susceptible to depression because of life factors, such as teenagers, it can affect anyone at anytime in their life.
5. Fact: Depression Can Be Inherited
Depression doesn’t always occur just because of events that occur in a person’s life. The fact is, some people can inherit depression just as they can any other disease. If an immediate family member has a history of depression, there is a chance that it could be passed genetically to offspring. It is important to understand though, even though the chances of developing depression increase when there is a family history, it is not a guarantee that depression will occur.
6. Fact: Depression Is Treatable
Medical science is constantly reviewing treatments of depression and discovering new ones. With a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, over 80% of patients can show improvement. Individual therapy, group therapy, medications and electroconvulsive therapy are all available treatment options that can be explored depending on each individual’s recommended plan.