Causes

8 Common Myths About Depression

John McManamy Mar 19th, 2015 (updated Jul 28th, 2015)
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Our lack of knowledge is the greatest obstacle to our wellness and recovery. Here are eight myths that stand in the way …

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My friends tell me to snap out it. Depression must be my fault, right?
My friends tell me to snap out it. Depression must be my fault, right?

Wrong. Depression is not a sign of personal weakness. People can no more snap out of depression than they can snap out of diabetes.

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Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance of the brain.
Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance of the brain.

Extremely over-simplistic. Depression is the result of complex interactions between your biology and your environment. There are no easy answers – nor easy fixes.

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I should take an antidepressant for depression.
I should take an antidepressant for depression.

Not necessarily. Not all depressions are the same. An antidepressant may be your lifesaver, but for many people that is not the case. Talking therapy is another option, sometimes used in combination with an antidepressant. 

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Antidepressants are terrible drugs.
Antidepressants are terrible drugs.

For some people, yes. But you may be one of those who benefits. Part of the problem is that general practitioners tend to prescribe antidepressants without a careful screening and no adequate monitoring.      

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There is nothing I can do to prevent depression.
There is nothing I can do to prevent depression.

False. Good lifestyle (diet, exercise, sleep) works both as treatment and prevention. Support is also critical, as is learning to manage stress. So is picking up a range of coping skills, such as recognizing erroneous thoughts as they occur.

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There is nothing good about depression.
There is nothing good about depression.

Not exactly. Negative emotions are a vital part of our survival skills, which greatly assist us in our decision-making and in our appreciation of our surroundings. True, we all want depression to go away, but while it is there we need to be listening to what it may be telling us.

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My life would be much better without depression.
My life would be much better without depression.

No doubt about it. For many of us, though, depression is a constant in our lives. In this case, our only choice may be to cultivate an attitude of acceptance. Paradoxically, this robs depression of much of its force and allows us to get on with our lives.

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Life is hopeless.
Life is hopeless.

If this is where you are coming from right now, yes – you are correct. Depression is the absence of hope. That is why we are taking you seriously. We know what you're up against. Please - don't be afraid to reach out.