Thursday, 2 August 2018

Five Misconceptions Around Depression Debunked


The stigma surrounding depression is very very real. If you suffer from depression or know someone that does, you will understand this stigma. However, it is really important to recognise this stigma so that we can bust some of the common myths that surround depression, in order to help people gain a better understanding of depression, so sufferers and their families can get the support and care they deserve. 

Thanks to the media and the internet, there are some very common misconceptions that surround depression. The media portrays a very stereotypical image of what someone with depression looks like, acts like etc. These stereotypes are often far from the truth, which is why it is terribly important to debunk them.

Everyone experiences depression differently. Depression can manifest itself in different ways for different people, which is why I am going to debunk five very common misconceptions that surround depression in today's post, to hopefully try and help reduce stigma and spread much-needed awareness of what it really means to suffer from depression.


#1 EVERY DAY IS A BAD DAY

Nope, that just isn't the case. Even though there are a lot of bad days, it is not all bad days. In fact, there can be very happy days, the best days even when you struggle with depression. This is particularly true when it comes to recovery. There are good days, bad days and really bad days but that doesn't mean, just because someone has a bad day, it doesn't mean they aren't still suffering. Being happy and smiling doesn't suddenly mean that everything is better and you are miraculously cured. Far from that. It is natural to have good and bad days, whether you have a mental illness or not.

#2 NOBODY WITH DEPRESSION CAN GET OUT OF BED

Nope, wrong again. Depression falls on a spectrum, like every illness. There are people who are mildly affected and those who are severely affected. Those who have severe clinical depression may be more likely to struggle to get out of bed but that doesn't mean they will. In fact, many people with depression are able to hold down a job, get good grades at school and university and you wouldn't know they were struggling with such a devastating illness. Yet some people can't leave their beds or homes for weeks on end. So when someone says they have depression, don't respond with something like 'Of course you don't, your not in bed all day'


#3 EVERYONE WITH DEPRESSION SELF-HARMS 

False! This is a common misconception that is not accurate. Although it may be common for lots of people with depression to self-harm it doesn't mean that everyone will. This misconception can be terribly damaging because those who don't self-harm but still have depression can have their suffering and experiences belittled because they don't live up to their stereotypical expectations of what people think someone with depression looks like or behaves like. This can stop people from getting the help and support they need. So please, don't judge people based on what they do or don't do when it comes to their mental health.

#4 EVERYONE TAKES ANTI-DEPRESSANTS 

Although many do, not everyone does. Some people can't take anti-depressants because they don't agree with other medications that they have to take or with existing illnesses they may have. For others, they may have tried medications and found the side effects too unpleasant. While others, may not know they can take medication and others may feel ashamed of it. Some choose not to take medication because of personal choice, they may prefer to treat their depression with natural methods. Either way is totally okay. Do not shame people for taking or not taking medication for their mental health, nothing good comes out of it.

#5 EVERYONE WITH DEPRESSION IS SUICIDAL

Nope, although some do sadly experience suicidal thoughts and others do act on these suicidal thoughts that does not mean everyone with depression does. Even people without depression can experience suicidal thoughts, so no one is immune. It is unhelpful to associate depression with suicide, there are many ways to recover and deal with depression and all mental illness for that matter. Recovery is possible and suicide doesn't have to be the answer. 

Let me know what other misconceptions there are around depression and if you have experienced any of these. It is important to tackle the stigma, one day at a time.

Thanks for reading, as always X
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4 comments

  1. Thank you for this post! This is so important, and a lot of people need to be educated on the topic of depression.

    Nikki O.
    HerDaringThoughts

    ReplyDelete
  2. You've highlighted so many different points! Whilst those who have depression can suffer with similiar symptoms, everyone's experience is completely different. I hate it when people presume depression is lying around in bed all day doing nothing, when you can manage to do things and get out of bed, but still be clinically ill xx

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.co.uk

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  3. This is a brilliant post Nicole. There is such a huge spectrum when it comes to depression and most mental illness for that matter, and just because you aren't at the 'extreme' end, doesn't mean its any less valid!

    Lucy | Forever September

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  4. This is more like 5 strawmen about depression. I think you'd struggle to find even one example of people saying any one of these. Nobody believes that everyone with depression stays in bed all day cutting themselves and everyone who has depression is suicidal.

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