Depression is a serious medical illness that negatively affects the way you feel, think, and function. Prevailing myths about depression can cause you to avoid seeking help. You may believe that it’s not a real illness, or that you just need to tough it out until it passes on its own.
The team at Wellness Road Psychology wants you to know that depression is treatable and that you deserve help in managing depression. Our team of psychologists, psychotherapists, and counselors help treat a full range of issues that impact mental health, including depression. In this post, our experts dispel some common myths about depression. We encourage you to discuss your experience with one of our providers.
Myth: Depression is all in your head
Because you can’t see depression the way you can see a broken leg on an X-ray scan, it’s easy to feel as though depression isn’t real. It’s important to know that depression is indeed real, and it is a serious condition no different than conditions like diabetes in its impact on your life. Depression is a brain disease that has emotional and physical symptoms and can have a significant impact on your daily life and the lives of your loved ones.
Depression is complex and multifaceted. While it’s normal to feel down at times, depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent sadness and lack of interest in life. While the exact cause remains unknown, we know that biological, genetic, and environmental contributions to the development of depression.
Myth: You can snap yourself out of depression
Depression is a clinical diagnosis and just like any other medical condition, depression requires help from a health professional. While a family or friend may have suggested that you just “snap out of it,” we’re here to tell you that depression treatment is necessary to restore your happiness and quality of life. There’s no way to put a bandage on depression. We find that a combination of therapy and medication works well in treating depression and helping people feel and function better.
Myth: I’m not depressed because I’m not always sad
If you’re struggling with sadness, it’s crucial to see a mental health professional. Persistent feelings of sadness aren’t the only symptoms of depression. It’s important to allow a professional who specializes in mental health talk to you.
Depression can cause irritability, anger, low motivation, problems sleeping, low energy, and changes in appetite. It can cause low functioning at work or school as well. Other symptoms such as headaches, back pain, and stomach pain are common. There’s no need to focus on a specific diagnosis. The most important point is that you form a partnership with a mental health professional to help you feel better.
Myth: You can push through depression on your own
Many people with depression believe they can tough it out and get through it on their own. Depression is not something you can push through on your own. Unaddressed depression can spiral. It increases the risk of substance abuse, job loss, and suicide.
Depression can rob you of healthy relationships and the good quality of life that you deserve. Just as someone with heart disease should seek care from a cardiovascular physician, anyone with depression should seek care from a mental health professional. Appropriate treatment can help most people with depression recover.
Myth: Only major depression needs treatment
Depression exists on a spectrum. Some people have high functioning depression. They put on a smile on the outside, and handle their work, family, and personal responsibilities, all while feeling sad inside. Even if you’re holding it together well on the outside, it’s necessary to seek help if you’re dealing with symptoms of depression that you may hide from the outside world.
Because depression affects everyone differently, you shouldn’t hold off on getting treatment under the assumption that depression has to look a certain way in order to seek treatment. Maybe you excel at your profession or in school but you feel hopeless and empty inside. You deserve effective treatment as much as someone with major depression who isn’t functioning as well.
You don’t have to struggle alone. If you have symptoms of depression, we can help. Contact us at Wellness Road Psychology to schedule an appointment with one of our providers -- Philip Glickman, Psy.D, Jamie Karia, LCSW, Viviana Martinez, LMHC, Tasha Vitales, PhD, Janice Moore, LCSW, and Erica Sztabnik, LMHC. We have offices in NYC and Dobbs Ferry. You can book your request online also. We offer in-person, online, and phone coaching sessions.