Depression is “all in your head.”
Depression is an illness, just like heart disease is an illness. Symptoms of depression can be both physical and emotional. While researchers continue to look for the precise causes of depression, the medical community does know that both genes, and brain chemistry play a role.
All it takes to get over depression is positive thinking.
Someone who is depressed can’t just snap out of it. Depression arises from a combination of factors, not the least of which is brain chemistry, genes and family history. The good news is that depression is treatable.
Depression happens only because bad things happen in your life.
Everyone experiences ups and downs. But depression is more than feeling sad in response to a loss or disappointment. In fact, depression can develop without any specific negative event. It can come on suddenly, even when everything is going well.
Depression goes away by itself.
Most episodes of depression will eventually go away by themselves. However, depression is a chronic illness, and for most people the depression will come back. Treatment is crucial to shorten the length of time that a person spends depressed, prevent negative consequences while depressed, and delay or prevent relapses.
Antidepressants will lead to personality changes.
Antidepressants work on certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Antidepressants help lift mood by changing the balance of neurotransmitters, but they don’t cause wholesale personality changes.
If you are successful and have all the material comforts in life, you can’t experience depression.
While the stresses of low socioeconomic status can contribute to depression, it is not true that being well-off prevents depression. Depression affects people from every walk of life.
Talking about depression makes it worse.
Keeping depression to yourself can lead to isolation, and isolation makes depression worse. If seeking medical or psychological support feels intimidating at first, find a supportive loved one or friend to talk to. Sharing your feelings is the first step in getting the treatment you need.
Sources: Mental Health America, HealthCentral, World Health Organization