Depression impacts thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, to the point where it can become difficult for people to engage with others and perform everyday activities. Yet, depression frequently goes undiagnosed and untreated, despite the fact that trying to ignore its symptoms can cause long-term health problems.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that results in ongoing feelings of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness.
The symptoms of depression can include loss of appetite, anxiety, agitation, slowed thinking, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances. In some instances, people coping with depression also experience recurring thoughts of death or suicide.
Initial symptoms of depression can appear at a young age and continue into adulthood. Regardless of age, it is important to seek medical treatment for depression so that symptoms can be safely managed. However, misconceptions about depression can lead people to shy away from exploring treatment options for their symptoms.
10 Misconceptions About Depression
Common misconceptions about depression include:
1. Depression Is Temporary
Some people mistake depression as nothing more than a “case of the blues.” In these instances, people experience depression symptoms and believe they are only temporary. However, depression can persist for many months or years, and people with MDD cannot “snap out of it” without proper treatment.
2. Depression Is Not a “Real” Illness
Depression is a real illness, but the misconception persists that the condition is entirely in the head. The exact cause of depression remains unknown, but the condition may be linked to brain chemistry, genetics, and other biological factors. Depression can also cause physical and emotional symptoms that replicate those associated with other illnesses.
3. Depression Is Only a Problem for Women
There is a misconception that depression only affects women. Both men and women can experience depression symptoms at any time.
4. People Coping with Depression Are Weak
Depression may be perceived as a sign of weakness, and this misconception can lead people to try to hide their symptoms and avoid treatment. Depression is a problem that affects millions of people globally, and the condition has nothing to do with strength or work ethic. In fact, many celebrities have battled depression and sought treatment for their symptoms. Depression is a brain disease.
5. Talking About Depression Only Makes It Worse
Talk therapy is one of the most common ways to help manage depression, but some people believe that talking about depression makes symptoms worse. , Talk therapy can be helpful in managing depression symptoms.
6. Depression Medication Causes Significant Personality Changes
Along with talk therapy, medication may be prescribed to help people manage their depression symptoms. Some people believe using antidepressants to help cope with symptoms will drastically alter their personality. Antidepressants are one of many depression therapy options, and there is no medication that delivers response and remission for all patients.
A doctor evaluates a patient to determine which medication, if any, may be used to help safely manage depression symptoms. The patient’s response to medication is also monitored to ensure side effects are limited and tolerable.
7. Cheering Someone Up Can Cure Depression
Although it may seem helpful to try to do something to cheer up family members, friends, or colleagues if they are coping with depression, doing so won’t cure underlying symptoms. Depression is complex, and there is no one-size-fits-all “cure” for the condition. Instead, people must seek treatment, so they can find the best way to manage and mitigate depression symptoms over time.
8. Experiencing a Traumatic Event Is the Sole Cause of Depression
The loss of a loved one or other trauma can be a trigger for depression symptoms. A traumatic event can cause or heighten depression symptoms, but many other factors can cause depression symptoms, as well.
9. Depression Affects All People in the Same Way
Some people believe that depression affects each person the same way. How depression affects a person varies based on many personal, social, biological, and environmental factors. Depression symptoms can range from mild to severe and will look different for each individual.
10. People Need to Go It Alone to Manage Depression
There is a misconception that people are responsible for fighting their own battles with depression. Ultimately, depression can occur at different times of life, but living with the condition is not a problem that anyone should have to face alone. With the right approach to depression therapy, people can manage symptoms as they occur throughout life.
What to Do If Someone Is Experiencing Depression
Misconceptions about depression can prevent people from exploring ways to manage their depression symptoms. At the first sign of depression symptoms, look past the misconceptions about depression, and meet with a doctor to discuss the most effective ways to manage these symptoms.
A doctor can perform a physical exam, lab tests, and a psychiatric evaluation as part of a depression diagnosis. Then, the doctor and patient can explore depression treatment options.
If family members, friends, or colleagues display signs of depression, be open and honest with them. Communication provides one of the best ways to put misconceptions about depression to rest. By letting others know that it is acceptable and encouraged to talk about depression symptoms, it may help them take the first step toward treatment.
It may also be helpful to go to a doctor’s appointment with a family member, friend, or colleague who is coping with depression. That way, a patient feels supported when meeting with a doctor to discuss depression treatment options.
What Is the Best Way to Manage Depression Symptoms?
Talk therapy, medication, or both are the most common “first lines of defense” for managing depression symptoms. Different types of talk therapy and medication are available to patients, and a doctor may use a trial-and-error approach to determine if talk therapy and/or medication can help a patient achieve the desired results.
In addition to talk therapy and medication, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may be used to help manage unresolved depression symptoms.
TMS involves the use of magnetic pulses to stimulate neurons in regions of the brain that are responsible for mood, which may help relieve patients’ depression symptoms and improve their quality of life.
A TMS therapy program is conducted over the course of six weeks, with five sessions per week, and each session requiring approximately 20 minutes to complete.
TMS has very few side effects, and it does not require anesthesia, electrical shocks, or medication. Plus, there is no downtime with TMS, and patients can resume their normal activities after a therapy session. TMS has also been FDA-approved to treat depression for over 12 years, and the depression therapy is a safe and minimally invasive option for patients who cannot tolerate the severe side effects sometimes caused by antidepressant medications.
At Achieve TMS, we teach patients about depression and its associated symptoms. We also provide TMS to help patients manage depression, and we are available to discuss this revolutionary therapy option. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, please contact us online, or call or text us today at 877-285-0822.