Depression is a serious mental illness that affects nearly one in five Americans. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, it’s estimated that four percent of children and adolescents suffer from this condition as well. Depression is different for everyone and it can manifest itself in many ways. It’s important to learn more about depression so we can help those who are suffering from this illness feel better. In this article, I’ll talk about some common misconceptions about depression, as well as how you can support someone with depression or yourself if you’re experiencing it yourself.
Depression is not a choice.
When someone says they are depressed, we often assume they are choosing to feel that way and could just “snap out of it.” Depression is an illness, one that can’t be fixed by simply changing your attitude or thinking differently. It’s much more complex than that, and affects everyone differently. The feelings associated with depression—anxiety, hopelessness and despair among them—are intense and overpowering for many people who suffer from it. But there are steps you can take to help yourself get better: getting treatment from a doctor; speaking up if you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts; talking about your feelings with loved ones; exercising regularly (or at least taking time for physical activity); eating well-balanced meals; getting enough rest at night; practicing mindfulness meditation—these all help!
Depression is different for everyone.
Depression can manifest different ways for different people. While some people experience depression as a condition that lasts their entire life and causes them to feel hopeless, others might have episodes of depression throughout their lives.
Episodic depressions are periods of time when you’re feeling depressed, while chronic depressions are persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness that last for weeks or more. Mild symptoms can make it difficult to function in everyday life without treatment, while severe symptoms may cause you to lose interest in things you used to enjoy doing.
Depression doesn’t mean you’re always sad.
There’s a difference between feeling depressed and feeling sad. The two can overlap, but depression is a chronic condition that affects your day-to-day life. It can be treated with therapy or medication, and it’s important to know the symptoms so you can seek help if you need it.
Some people may think that if they’re not always crying in the corner of their room, they don’t have depression—but this isn’t true at all! Depression doesn’t mean you’re always sad; sometimes it manifests itself with feelings of emptiness or apathy instead. If this sounds like something you’re experiencing, talk to someone about it: talk to your parents or another trusted adult; talk with a counselor or doctor; even reach out on social media!
People often don’t recognize the signs of depression.
Depression is a serious mental illness that affects one in five people in their lifetime. It is not about being sad, or having bad days. It is not about being lazy, weak, or selfish. Depression can be so severe that it can cause someone to lose interest in life altogether—to the point where they may feel suicidal. Sadly, many people with depression do not seek treatment because they do not recognize the signs of it themselves; when you’re depressed and suffering from an illness like this one, it’s easy to just assume your feelings are normal and brush them off as something you should just deal with on your own time.
There are many subtypes of depression and each is unique.
Depression is a mood disorder that can make you feel down, sad, empty, and hopeless. Depression changes how you think, feel, and behave. It can be caused by things like serious illness, financial difficulties or relationship breakdowns. Sometimes it comes on for no obvious reason although there may have been an event in your life that triggered it (such as bereavement). There are many subtypes of depression, and each type is unique.
You may have heard of some of the main types of depression: major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder and dysthymia. But there are many different kinds of depression—and they’re all challenging to deal with in their own way!
Talking about depression can be hard.
Talking about depression can be hard. Depression is a very isolating experience, and it’s not always easy to know what to say or who to talk to if you’re feeling depressed.
It’s true that some people may have trouble talking about their depression because they don’t know how, and others may struggle because they’re afraid of being seen as “weak” if they open up. However, there are several ways in which sharing your experiences with depression can help:
There are many reasons to talk about depression.
There are many reasons to talk about depression.
- If you share your story with others, it might help them feel less alone.
- You can help others understand what you are going through by sharing your experience and letting them know that they’re not alone. It’s also important for people to see how common depression is, especially in order for those who don’t suffer from it to understand that depression isn’t a choice or something that can be easily controlled by willpower alone.
- By talking about depression, we can help dispel the stigma associated with mental illness; when we all speak up about our experiences, it shows others that we’re all in this together—and brings us one step closer toward understanding each other better as humans and creating more empathy across communities around the world
It’s important to learn and talk about how to support people with depression.
Depression is a serious condition that can affect anyone at any time. However, it’s important to learn and talk about how to support people with depression.
There are many ways that you can help someone who has depression. You could encourage them to seek medical treatment for their condition, or simply listen when they need someone to talk to. If a friend or family member is experiencing symptoms of depression, these are some ways in which you can help:
- Recognize the signs of depression: Pay attention if someone misses work or school frequently, withdraws from social activities, loses interest in their usual activities, becomes tearful easily or sleeps more than usual
Be an advocate for better mental health care.
So, what can you do to help?
- Talk to your doctor or therapist. If you have one and they’re not helping, find another one. If there is a way that your health care provider can provide better medical treatment or therapy for depression, they will be open to it if they know you want it.
- Find support groups in your area through local hospitals or clinics; some are free, others charge a small fee (but the cost is worth it). Support groups allow people who experience similar symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders to gather together and share their experiences with each other in an environment where everyone understands what’s going on and how hard this process can be for everyone involved. It also gives participants a chance to build friendships outside of these gatherings that may last throughout their entire lives if they choose so!
- Speak up on social media platforms like Twitter: When someone tweets about experiencing depression or anxiety-related symptoms—for example: “I just feel so sad today”—and uses hashtags such as #depressionawarenessmonth
We have made a lot of progress as a society when it comes to talking more openly about mental health and depression. However, what we still need to do is make sure that people know where they can get help when they need it. We also need to educate each other about the signs and symptoms of depression so that we can better identify and treat them in ourselves or our loved ones.
Melixa Carbonell, MA, LMHC, ADHD-CCSP, NCC is a clinical mental health provider with a private practice specializing in anxiety, ADHD, and life changes.