Myths and Facts About Depression

Written by Dr. Veena Madhankumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team

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Though hard to define, depression can basically be summed up as the lack of hope or courage pertaining to your life. When one goes through traumatic events and experiences a great loss, it can lead to a depressive state that can change the way a person acts forever. Depression is a serious mental illness that is shrouded in many misconceptions. Some of these myths contribute to the stigma around depression, antidepressants, and therapy. But breaking these myths and getting help is important.

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Myth 1 – You Can Snap Out of Depression On Your Own

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Fact – It is not something that will just clear up without any treatment. Depression is just like any other medical condition. Hence it has to be addressed. Depression is a mental disorder that causes physiological changes in sleep, energy, appetite, and many more. If depression is left untreated or unnoticed, it can spiral, leading to suicidal thoughts and many more physical complications.

Myth 2 – Depression Only Affects the Brain

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Fact – Depression can affect the entire body. If left untreated, it can affect other systems, causing loss of appetite, indigestion, malnutrition, fatigue, etc. It can also affect the cardiovascular system, leading to premature death.

 
 
Myth 3 – Antidepressants Are the Only Way To Cure Depression

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Fact – Depression is treatable. Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants for your condition. These drugs can alter your brain chemistry and address the deep-rooted biological issues that may be contributing to your condition. But antidepressants will just not be enough. You may also need some psychotherapy.

Myth 4 – You Need to Take Antidepressants Permanently

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Fact – Antidepressants can be a long-term treatment option for many people with depression. But the duration can vary according to the severity of your condition. Your doctor will recommend psychotherapy along with medications. This psychotherapy can help you to learn ways to cope up with life. So you may not have to take antidepressants for the rest of your life and can gradually stop taking them once the symptoms improve.

Myth 5 – Depression Usually Affects Only Women

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Fact – Most men are not comfortable discussing their feelings or asking for help because of social pressures. So it is mistaken that depression is a disease of women. But it is untrue. Women are more commonly affected by depression, but it can affect men as well. In fact, it can create serious consequences for men.

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