The 5 most common myths about depression - psychology - 2023



It's a common fact experiencing a feeling of sadness or grief during certain life episodes. The occasional appearance of these emotional states is part of our normal functioning and in most cases our body has no major problem to recover in a short time.

Five myths about people with depression

However, when we speak of depressive disorders we are referring to a set of various symptoms that can be expressed in a very different way depending on the case. Perhaps for this reason, most people have tended to internalize the concept of "depression" under a series of stereotypical labels about depressed people, to make their understanding easier.

This fact has contributed to feeding a series of myths about depression that only serve to give a biased and unrealistic picture of this phenomenon. Here are some of these myths or stereotypes that claim to describe people with this mood disorder.

Common prejudices about people with depression

1. People with depression are always sad

It is true that the diagnostic picture of depression includes a feeling of sadness that lasts over time, but this does not have to be the case in all cases. Some people with depression are in a state of emotional flattening, which means that they do not experience any particular emotion, or to a very low degree. Anhedonia is also common, that is, the inability to experience sensations of pleasure, without this entailing falling into a state of deep sadness.

2. People with depression are depressed as a result of a traumatic event

On some occasions, depression is triggered by a situation that is perceived as something very negative, such as the death of a loved one or the loss of a job, but Is not always that way. Sometimes people with depression are unable to recognize an external event that has caused the manifestation of this disorder. There may be cases in which a person with depression seems to have all the material conditions to live happily: money, good luck, many friends, etc.

3. Depression occurs as a result of poor decisions

This myth is a continuation of the previous one, and that is precisely why it is just as wrong. People with depression are not depressed for "having made a mistake in life", simply they are due to several factors that are intertwined in a very complex way. Blaming these people for the disorder they experience is perverse and a major mistake.

4. Depression is a sign of weakness

Depression, like many other forms of mental disorder, is strongly stigmatized Even today. It is possible that part of the reasons this keeps happening is the cult of happiness which has become popular with the consolidation of welfare societies. Apparently we are all capable of aspiring to happiness and whoever does not achieve it is showing weakness, likes to recreate the misfortunes that happen to them and throws in the towel before time.

Sadness has been characterized as the opposite side of happiness and it is something that should be avoided at all costs: the ideal is never to be sad. Evidently, this myth leads to confusion between sadness and depression, in addition to starting from a fundamentalist vision of what happiness is. Unfortunately, he also blames people with depression in favor of an unrealistic way of life.

5. Depression only has effects on the mind

It is always confusing to speak of "mind" without clarifying what this word refers to, but despite this it is quite common that depression affects only the mood of people and their way of seeing things. Holding this idea is, in fact, make invisible much of the effects that depression has on the entire body, and that are not few: stress, sleep and digestion problems, pain in various areas of the body, fatigue, etc. Depression is not only about maintaining a state of mind, but also includes biological processes that run throughout the body and affect each other.