In this blog post, we try to understand the notion behind people not believing in depression and various myths attached to it. We will also look at a list of things to do when you encounter people not believing in depression.
People not believing in depression
It is rather heartbreaking to think that even in the 21st century. When we are fighting the ongoing mental health epidemic with the coronavirus, there are people not believing in depression.
Depression is a mood disorder that involves a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is different from the mood fluctuations that people regularly experience as a part of life. Given that depression is the most difficult mental disorder to survive with, living with someone who does not believe in depression is even harder.
It is shameful that even today we encounter people not believing in depression very commonly within our own households. If you have been around such an environment you might have heard people not believing in depression say problematic things like:
‘I don’t really believe in depression, mate’
‘I don’t really get all that’
‘Can’t you just think positive, like everyone else?’
‘I think people just want to give a label to stuff, to be honest’
By saying things like this, not only do they disregard others’ feelings and suffering, but also add more to their aching condition. This has also lead to the stigma and discrimination of people with mental health disorders, leading them to not expressing their thoughts and emotions.
Depression is the most prevalent mental disorder, worldwide. 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem like anxiety and depression in any given week in England. Yet, not all of them get proper treatment. People are afraid to share their mental issues as they think they will be labeled ‘crazy’. This in turn leads to the living of a pathetic life. People often terminate themselves.
In this case, the society here is the murderer. We then have collectively terminated a person. It is time for society to wake up and realize the harms it has done to its own people.
Myths about depression
Before we understand how to question people not believing in depression, we need to become aware of a few myths that are revolving around depression.
- Depression is not a real condition
Some people disregard depression by claiming that it is not a real medical condition and that it is some sort of choice or personality trait instead. This is not true.
On the contrary, Depression is a well-established condition that causes both emotional and physical symptoms. In fact, around 63.8% of adults who experienced at least one episode of major depression in 2017 were severely impaired by the condition. Doctors have also linked depression to a mixture of biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
- Antidepressants always cure depression
Antidepressants can improve the secretion of the brain chemicals that manage mood and stress, and doctors often do prescribe them to help treat depression. However, antidepressants are not a cure-all for depression, and they do not work for everyone or in every situation. In fact, doctors usually prescribe antidepressants alongside psychotherapy and lifestyle changes in order to help treat depression.
- You can simply snap out of it
Depression is not a choice. Some people mistakenly believe that it happens when you allow yourself to wallow in your grief or sadness. They may think it can be cured with positive thoughts or a change in attitude.
In reality, depression isn’t a sign of self-pity, weakness, or laziness. It’s a medical condition in which your brain chemistry, function, and structure are negatively affected by environmental or biological factors.
- Depression is a normal part of growing up
Adolescence can be an emotionally, socially, and physiologically difficult time. The symptoms of depression can be similar to the effects of adolescence. These include oversleeping, irritability, pessimism, and anxiety.
Adolescents also seem to experience high rates of depression. An estimated 13.3% of U.S. teenagers aged 12–17 experienced at least one major depressive episode. However, depression is not a developmental milestone or a biological event that a person must go through to reach adulthood.
- Men do not develop depression.
Not only do people not believing in depression, take away the right pf people to express their emotions, but they also add a bias towards men. Cultural and societal stereotypes have maintained the myth that men do not or should not develop depression. As a result of this, many people overlooked male depression for a long time.
Although depression is more prevalent in women than in men, men do experience it, even if some of the symptoms may be different.
Men might seem angry or aggressive rather than sad, and they may also engage in high-risk activities. Men also tend to be less open to talking about their feelings and therefore may be less likely to seek help. Men are also more likely than women to die by suicide associated with depression.
- Talking about it only makes things worse
It’s a rather common misconception that discussing depression merely reinforces destructive feelings and keeps you focused on negative experiences in life. But for many people, being alone with your thoughts is much more harmful than hashing them out.
It is seen that talking to a supportive, reliable, and nonjudgmental listener about your feelings always helps. Your loved ones may be willing to provide a sympathetic ear. But in many cases, a certified therapist is better equipped to provide the support you need.
- Depression and sadness or self-pity are the same thing
Some people used to view depression as a type of extreme sadness or self-pity. This is not the case. Depression is a diagnosable condition, not a specific emotion or feeling. Unlike sadness or self-pity, depressive episodes cause symptoms that continue for at least 2 weeks and can significantly change how a person thinks, feels, and acts.
Even as the most prevalent disorder, depression is surrounded by myths and misconceptions. In order to burst this bubble of myths, we need to first understand what is depression.
Understanding depression: Signs and Symptoms
Depression is an ongoing problem of mood disorder, not a passing one. It consists of episodes during which the symptoms last for at least 2 weeks. Depression can last for several weeks, months, or years.
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms of depression can include:
- a depressed mood
- reduced interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- a loss of sexual desire
- changes in appetite
- unintentional weight loss or gain
- sleeping too much or too little
- agitation, restlessness, and pacing up and down
- slowed movement and speech
- fatigue or loss of energy
- feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or an attempt at suicide.
Things to do when you encounter people not believing in depression.
We have now understood that depression is a fact. It is a true medical condition caused by the alternation in the brain chemicals with other socio-psychological causes. Knowing this, it is important to fight the lack of awareness against depression.
Here is a list of things to do when you encounter people not believing in depression.
- Ask why they don’t believe in it.
This would be groundbreaking. If you understand the reason behind someone’s disbelief, it becomes easier for you to provide counter-arguments of that reason.
- Open about your condition.
If it so happens that you are suffering from depression and are disregarded by someone, this is your chance. Open up to them completely. Tell them your condition in depth. Tell them about sleeplessness, intrusive thoughts, sadness, anxiety, fatigue, etc. Bring to their attention what you are going through.
- Be prepared for ignorant questions and outright rejections.
Once you share your conditions, it is very obvious they will try to ask ignorant questions and reject your feelings. Chances are, you’ll have heard this sort of song-and-dance before. Rehearse answers, if rational answers can be had. For instance, explaining that depression can come and go, or outlining your own efforts to defeat depression with pure willpower. And minimize accusations of attention-seeking by having this conversation privately.
- Highlight your wish to get better
When in a situation where you are asked to snap out of it give them a counterargumnet showing that you have tried. Tell them all the things you wish you could still do — get out of bed, see friends, enjoy what you once loved doing — and the invisible psychological wall standing in your way. Leave it in no doubt that you are trying. Because you are, and you’re very brave.
- Have the science on hand
If they are people who pay attention to facts and figures, use a few respectable studies and websites that exist. Show them that depression is not abstarct, but has a scientific proof to it.
- Back up the diagnosis from somewhere they trust
It is possible that people may not believe your word, because you are no expert in the field. In such as case get a doctor,look for positive quotes about depression from politicians or parties that they follow; and if they look to religious leaders for guidance, cite them.
It is more certainly not easy to fight with depression as well ws to fight with people not believing in depression. But it is us who know that we are not fooling around. Stand for yourself. Stay strong.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
In this blog post, we have tried to understand the notion behind people not believing in depression and various myths attached to it. We have also looked at a list of things to do when you encounter people not believing in depression.
FAQs: People not believing in depression
What are the types of depression?
Depression comes in various forms based on its cause and the episodes. Some major types of depression are:
Persistent Depressive Disorder.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Does everyone struggle with mental health?
It is said that there is no health without mental health. It is not necsaary that people may have to face a mental dioder during their lifetime, but it can be possible that over the period of life people can have a distressing mental health.
What are the causes of depression?
Even though there is no one single cause of depression. It is seen that depression is a combinationn of biological, social and psychological causes. Few causes of depression are
Abuse. Past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can increase the vulnerability to clinical depression later in life.
Death or a loss
Other personal problems
What we recommend for depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.