According to the World Health Organization, depression is estimated to affect up to 350 million people worldwide, making it one of the biggest problems in the world. For example, in India, an estimated 7% of the entire adult population is said to at least have one episode of depression on a yearly basis. It is
According to the World Health Organization, depression is estimated to affect up to 350 million people worldwide, making it one of the biggest problems in the world. For example, in India, an estimated 7% of the entire adult population is said to at least have one episode of depression on a yearly basis.
It is incredibly prevalent, making it more surprising that it has such stigma attached to it. However, since depression cannot be measured or seen, it is harder for most people to understand it. In the recent past, depression has slowly grown to become something that most people can talk about. Let us first have a look at the traits of a depressed person.
- Weight or Appetite Changes: Usually a significant weight gain or loss can occur, this could lead to loss of more than 5% of the total weight within a month.
- Feeling of hopelessness/helplessness: One may think that nothing will ever get better and that there is nothing that can be done to improve the current situation.
- Energy Loss: There are times when one might feel physically drained, fatigued and sluggish.
- Losing interest in daily activities: The person will stop caring about social activities, hobbies or pastimes, losing the ability to feel pleasure and joy.
- Reckless behavior: Taking part in escapist behavior such as compulsive gambling, dangerous sports, reckless driving and substance criticize.
- Irritability or Anger: One gets feelings of violence and restlessness. The tolerance level drops and they may become short tempered.
- Unexplained pains or aches: There is an increase in physical complaints such as back pain, stomach pain, aching muscles and headaches.
Below are some of the top five most common misconceptions about depression experienced in our society.
- It is Just Sadness
There are times when we all get down in the dumps time and again, that is natural. Since we have all felt sad and managed to overcome it all by ourselves, it is tempting to tell the depressed people to pull themselves together.
In real sense, that is the least helpful thing any person could tell a depressed person. Depression is considered more than just sadness, it is known to be an all-pervasive bleakness that will take you over. It includes worry, anxiety, emotional pain and tension.
- It is Mental Weakness
Most people are known to have the tendency of thinking, if a depressed individual just tried a little bit harder, they could fight off this episode. However, that is not how it works.
Depression is known to be a biochemical disposition that takes no prisoners and not just a whimsical mood as many people think. This false belief that has completely prevented most individuals from coming clean about their depression.
- It all starts after Trauma
Most people usually believe that depression is usually caused by traumatic life events. This is partially true. There are times when bad breakup or bereavement can start a depressive episode. This is referred to as exogenous depression.
A person does not need a life event to set depression off. This is usually referred to as endogenous depression, one that comes without any common external stimulus.
- It is Never a Real Illness
Depression is real! To realize that, one only needs to speak to someone who has the condition. However, most people still believe that it is some mumbo jumbo that is made up of skivers condition, which is completely wrong.
Medical practitioners have discovered physical changes in the structure of the brain of depressed people, also measuring neurotransmitters and hormone changes.
- Real men never get depressed
This is not always the case. Depression may be more common in women than in men, but men too can suffer from depression. There has been an increase in the number of middle aged men who commit suicide due to depression in recent years. The stigma that is attached to men is nothing but ignorance.
Men may often hesitate to talk about their depression for they consider expression of emotions to be a threat to their masculinity, something that might have a detrimental impact on their ability of getting help and managing depression.
Depression is real, it can happen to anyone, and it needs to be dealt with in a proper manner.