Yesterday while I was doing my rounds on the internet, I stumbled upon an article titled “Whining Has Never Solved Anything: If You’re Not Going To Change, Stop Complaining.” The title didn’t necessarily intrigue me. It was the image that made me click because it’s a picture of a girl with the word DEPRESSED slapped across her face.
I thought that was interesting because in my mind, whining and complaining isn’t depression. Depression is an illness. It’s one that people very close to me suffer from, and one that I could possibly experience in the future due to genetics. I already suffer from anxiety, and though I’m currently able to manage it, I am afraid of how it’s going to progress and if depression will come into my life as I age.
I’m fortunate to be able to talk about mental illnesses openly. I don’t ever want to hide that I’m suffering from these things because I am not ashamed. But there are a lot of people who are because these illnesses are seriously misunderstood. That’s why we all need to learn and understand the reality of mental illness. The more we talk about them, the less taboo they’ll be.
So let’s talk about depression and debunk some myths.
So, so false. Are there lazy people who suffer from depression? Yes. Are there lazy people who don't? Yes. Are there depressed people who are not lazy? Yes. Lazy is not in any way, shape or for synonymous with depression. Depression can cause a lack of motivation and focus, which is actually depression telling you that you literally cannot do something. Depression makes you lose interest in things, which is why a lot of people think that being depressed means your lazy. However, it's not the same at all.
It Can Make You Lose Focus
Depression can cause a lack of interest in activities, but it can also mess up your ability to concentrate. Depression is an illness that consumes and twists your thoughts. While you're trying to focus on your history homework, depression is working to make sure that you think about everything else. It can also turn making simple decisions into an extremely hard task because your brain is not allowing you to focus.
Depression Can Occur At Any Point In Life
Some people experience depression first when they're young and carry it with them. Some don't experience depression until early adulthood. Those genetically pre-disposed to depression may not develop it until later in life. Some people even experience depression in late adulthood. So just because you're not "born" with depression does not mean you'll never have it.
Nope, sorry. Sad is not synonymous with depression either. Now, when you suffer from depression you may feel sadness. You will likely feel a lot of emotions at one time like sadness, anxiety, worthlessness, guilt, helpless, etc. If you feel sad about something, that does not mean you are depressed. Yes, you could be depressed, but you might just be sad. It's important to recognize that a chronic sadness for no reason is a sign of depression while being upset about something is not.
Depression Is The Same For Everyone
Depression is very different for everyone who suffers. Many symptoms will be similar, but there are different forms of depression like major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, minor depression, postpartum depression, psychotic depression and seasonal affective disorder. Depression also expresses itself differently in different people. Some people may suffer silently and not be visibly depressed while others show their symptoms on the outside.
All Depressed People Are Suicidal
Nope. While depression can cause suicidal thoughts and even cause those suffering to attempt or commit suicide, not all sufferers are suicidal or have these thoughts. And even though many suffers may have suicidal thoughts, it does not mean they will carry them out. However, depression is a major risk factor for suicide so it's important to take it very seriously. If you know anyone who mentions suicide or something alluding to suicide, don't ignore it. They could be crying out for help. It's also important to understand that if someone is depressed and having suicidal thoughts, they cannot control it, which is why treatment is so important.
It's All Genetic
Depression can be caused by many things. Some people are genetically predisposed to depression and are technically "born" with it. However, others may experience depression after a tragic or traumatizing event. Some may even become depressed after a breakup or loss of a loved one. It's not all in the genes.
Depression Can Make You Selfish And Irritable
Not in the "I want everything" way. Those with depression are dealing with a brain that is causing them to think solely about their depression. That's why concentration becomes an issue and why there's a loss in interest of things. Those who suffer from depression are not thinking about how their words or actions will affect other people. They're thinking about being depressed. They don't have the capability to factor how you feel about something into what they do, which is why you might find someone suffering from depression incredibly irritable. They might turn their phone off for days and not care that you're worrying sick about them because they didn't think about that.
Depression Can Cause Sleep Issues
Perhaps another reason why depression is mistakenly linked to laziness is the changes it can have on your sleep pattern. Every person is different, but depression can cause sleep issues. Some people may find it difficult to sleep and experience insomnia. Others might experience hypersomnia and are unable to stop sleeping.
It Will Go Away
Even those who suffer from minor depression need treatment. It's not something that will just go away in a few weeks if you ignore it. It will get worse. My therapist explained depression to me like a marble on a wheel. The longer it spins, the more difficult it is to stop. If your brain is dealing with depression, it's doing it over and over. The longer it sticks on this path, the harder it is to get it off. Many who suffer from depression will need medication to get their brains on the right track due to a chemical imbalance. Others may find solace in therapy alone. If you think you have a sign of depression, talk to a professional because the sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you can be treated.
Do you suffer from depression? Do you know someone with depression? Are there any other misconceptions you know of? Tell us in the comments!