Depression

Facts From Myths About Depression

Myths About Depression  Can you separate facts from myths about depression?

Depression is hurtful but not a major medical condition.

 

The correct answer is: Myth

Depression isn’t simply a temporary case of “the blues.” It’s a common, serious medical condition that can disrupt one’s daily functioning. At the extreme, people with depression may harm themselves. Brain imaging research shows that the brains of people with depression function differently than those of non-depressed people. In depressed people, brain areas that regulate mood, behavior, thinking, appetite and sleep seem to function abnormally. Also, important brain chemicals called neurotransmitters appear to be out of balance.

 

 Myths About Depression  Can you separate facts from myths about depression?

Depression is hurtful but not a major medical condition.

 

The correct answer is: Myth

Depression isn’t simply a temporary case of “the blues.” It’s a common, serious medical condition that can disrupt one’s daily functioning. At the extreme, people with depression may harm themselves. Brain imaging research shows that the brains of people with depression function differently than those of non-depressed people. In depressed people, brain areas that regulate mood, behavior, thinking, appetite and sleep seem to function abnormally. Also, important brain chemicals called neurotransmitters appear to be out of balance.

  • If your parent and grandparent had depression, you’re sure to get it eventually.
     

    The correct answer is: Myth

    Because depression can run in families, scientists suspect that genes play a role. You’re three times more likely to develop depression if your parents suffered depression. But it’s not inevitable that you’ll get the illness, too. Scientists believe the risk of developing depression results from a combination of genetic, biochemical, psychological, and environmental factors.

  • Only emotionally troubled people become depressed.
     

    The correct answer is: Myth

    Depression affects people from all walks of life, not just people with previous emotional troubles. Depression can strike after the loss of a loved one, trauma, or other stressful situations like the loss of a job.

  • Most people with depression never go to a mental health professional.
     

    The correct answer is: Fact

    Only 39% of people with severe depression see a mental health professional. People with depression often see their primary care doctor. Also, many depressed patients remain undiagnosed or undertreated. Some cases of depression are tough to treat. But the vast majority of cases are highly treatable with antidepressants and talk therapy. The earlier treatment begins, the more effective it is.

  • Depression is most common in elderly people.
     

    The correct answer is: Myth

    People assume the elderly suffer depression most often. In fact, middle-aged people 40 to 59 have the highest rates of depression. Depression is not a normal part of aging. However, ill health, medication side effects, social isolation, and financial troubles can trigger depression in elderly people. Older people belong to a generation that often feels ashamed to admit to feelings of sadness and grief. But it’s crucial that they seek help, especially because white men 85 and older have the highest suicide rate.

  • Depression causes physical pain.
     

     The correct answer is: Fact

    Depression causes emotional symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and hopelessness. But it can also cause physical symptoms such as chest pain, queasy or nauseated sensations, dizziness or lightheadedness, chest pain, sleep problems, exhaustion, and changes in weight and appetite. It can also worsen back and joint pain and muscle aches.

  • Talking about depression only makes it worse.
     

    The correct answer is: Myth

    Different types of psychotherapy, or talk therapy, have been proven effective in treating depression. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) teaches people new ways of thinking to replace negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to depression. In another approach, interpersonal therapy (IPT) helps people to understand troubled relationships and find ways to work through the difficulties.

  • Being optimistic can cure depression.
     

    The correct answer is: Myth

    Depression is debilitating. Most people with the disorder will require treatment to get better. Few can will themselves to get well through positive thinking. Depressed people may need medication to normalize brain chemicals.

  • Source:

    National Institute of Mental Health: “Depression.” American Psychiatric Association: “Psychiatric News: Children of Depressed Parents Have More Health Problems.” CDC: “Depression in the United States Household Population, 2005-2006.” MedlinePlus: “Depression.” WebMD Medical Reference: “Depression: Recognizing the Physical Symptoms.” This tool does not provide medical advice. THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
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