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  • Writer's pictureLisa McJunkin, LMFT & COO

Unveiling Myths Surrounding Depression

Updated: May 6

Feeling a bit tired, worn out, or down at least once a week is a common experience—often associated with the notorious Monday blues. It's normal to have intermittent low moods due to work stress, family issues, or financial concerns. However, if your persistently low mood is unrelated to these factors and is accompanied by low appetite, sleep disturbances, and physical symptoms like headaches, it may be indicative of something more, possibly depression.

At Daydream MD, we specialize in assisting those struggling with depression who haven't responded to conventional treatments. To enhance awareness of this challenging condition, this article delves into five prevalent myths surrounding depression, aiming to provide clarity and dispel misconceptions.

What Is Depression?

Let's begin with a straightforward definition: depression is a mental health disorder, a common mental health issue affecting nearly 50% of adults at some point in their lives.

For those experiencing depression, it often manifests as an overwhelming feeling of sadness or a persistently flat mood, accompanied by feelings of guilt and worthlessness. Physical symptoms of depression range from insomnia to excessive sleep, changes in appetite, body aches, and digestive issues. In severe cases, signs of depression may escalate to suicidal thoughts or attempts. A crucial aspect of diagnosis involves these symptoms persisting for at least two weeks. Understanding depression involves recognizing both the emotional and physical signs associated with this common mental health disorder.

Five Myths About Depression

If you or a family member are grappling with concerns about this mental health issue, you might be seeking a straightforward breakdown of the myths and facts surrounding depression. So, here are 5 myths about depression to consider, whether discussing it with friends or seeking a diagnosis for yourself or a family member.

What is a common myth about depression? One prevalent myth about depression is the belief that it's merely a heightened state of sadness. However, for many individuals diagnosed with this disorder, depression doesn't manifest as typical sadness. In fact, depression often feels like a loss of emotions, where there's a lack of emotional response to both positive and negative news.

Contrary to a common belief, individuals with depression cannot simply "snap out of it." Another widespread myth about depression suggests that those who experience depression merely need to adopt a positive mindset. However, research shows that, especially in cases of major depressive disorder, positive thinking has a limited impact on this medical condition. Therefore, relying solely on optimistic thoughts is not among the most effective treatments for depression. Talk therapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), proves valuable in helping people with depression cope by identifying and challenging the thoughts and behaviors associated with major depression.

Dispelling another significant depression myth is the notion that depression can develop due to traumatic events, such as familial loss or job loss. However, clinically, this isn't always the case. Research indicates that brain chemistry plays a role in depression development, making it as spontaneous as developing spots or having great hair. While environmental factors, diet, hormones, and medications can influence it, it's not always contingent on a specific sad event occurring.

The belief that having depression in your family guarantees you'll experience it yourself involves a nature versus nurture perspective. While a family history of depression increases the risk, the question arises: is it a learned behavior or a genetic component? When treating depression, professionals like psychologists, psychiatrists, or our team at Daydream MD may inquire about family members with depression to gauge its prevalence in your bloodline. However, having a parent or sibling diagnosed with depression doesn't automatically mean you will develop it yourself.

Individuals diagnosed with major depression often receive treatment through medications like antidepressants. A prevailing belief suggests that once you start antidepressants, it's a lifelong commitment. This is one of those depression myths that, unfortunately, can discourage people from seeking help. However, it's important to engage in regular discussions with your doctor to evaluate the severity of your depression and gradually taper off medications when you feel prepared. Abruptly stopping antidepressants is not recommended, as it can lead to withdrawal and, in extreme cases, trigger a serotonin storm, which is a potentially life-threatening condition.

If you are taking antidepressants and notice minimal improvement in your mood, talk-based therapy may be suggested. Another option is to reach out to our team at Daydream MD for assistance. We offer psychedelic medicine and ketamine treatment, known for effectively helping individuals with treatment-resistant depression experience improvements in their symptoms in as little as 90 minutes.

If you're looking to enhance your depression treatment, don't hesitate to call or contact our team at Daydream MD today.

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