This weeks blog I am going to get real with you about some of the misconceptions that come with depression. Living with depression is hard enough and dealing with the comments or misunderstandings of others can only make things worse! Lets talk about these misconceptions and explain what is really going on.
1. "It is very obvious when someone has depression".
Truth: Unfortunately this is not the case AT ALL for many with depression. Some people with depression may be in a depressed state of mind here and there throughout the day, others will have entire days without depressing thoughts. Then there are people, like myself, who cannot go a day without having deep depressing thoughts. Everyone is different. More often than not people with depression are REALLY good at "putting on a happy face" when needed, because putting on a happy face is a lot easier than explaining why you are depressed. Sometimes there is no easily explainable reason for feeling depressed, so trying to talk about it is just really difficult. Also it may not be the right time to talk about your depression - ie. a family party, holiday party, at work. There is no joy in "explaining" why you are depressed and may sometimes make things worse, so "putting on a happy face" is what you choose to do.
2. "Everyone gets sad, just get over it" - "Snap out of it"
Truth: Depression is not just being sad and without proper therapy tools (& even with them) it is not as easy as "snapping out of it". Clinical Depression is defined as "A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life." PERSISTENTLY DEPRESSED MOOD & IMPAIRMENT IN DAILY LIFE. If something is effecting your day to day life and you feel this constantly - how can you be expected to just "snap out of it". Has anyone ever told you "go for a walk, get some sun on your face it'll make everything better"? For someone with clinical depression that will most likely not do anything for you! You need some serious therapeutic tools to train your mind to "snap out of it".
3. "Anti-Depressants alone will "fix" everything"
Truth: This may be true for some, but everyone is different! A lot of people, myself included, may need therapeutic tools to deal with day to day struggles on top of their daily regiment of anti-depressants. There are many different types of depression, many components that make us depressed and a pill is not going to "fix it". Talk to your psychologist if you feel like anti-depressants alone are not helping. There are many psychotherapy tools they will be able to give you to help you're depressed thoughts.
Please feel free to share this blog with others who may have misunderstood your diagnosis - it may help them become more aware of how they perceive people with depression.
Please share with someone who has talked about these internal misunderstandings, to let them know they are not alone. More people than you know have dealt with these misconception conflicts internally and are more than willing to guide you in anyway they can!