When it comes to depression, there seems to be a lot of myths out there. It has become a stigmatized, uncomfortable word and whether you have dealt with it yourself, or have a close friend or family who has, depression is real and is affecting a lot of Americans. It is estimated that around 350 million people suffer from depression across the globe. Depression can make it hard to function day-to-day, can make decisions unbearable, and can take control of thoughts leading to significant feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Here are a few of the top misconceptions I hear the most often:
DEPRESSION MISCONCEPTION #1:
It is just sadness.
Depression is actually a really complex situation. It can stem from a set of events, genetics, or perceptions and often includes extreme and sometimes unexplainable sadness, anxiety, disturbed sleep, fear, mood swings, and other symptoms. The cause for depression can be complex as can the needed responses to help someone suffering. It is rarely straightforward or easy and rarely just feeling sad.
Over time, a person suffering from depression will just get better
Depending on the factors surrounding depression, time alone might not be the only thing a person needs. Stressful situations, dealing with the past, even working to regulate the chemicals in the brain can all be a part of treatment. Just as the onset of depression can be caused by a complex range of issues, the treatment and healing must also be approached from various perspectives.
Depressed people want to be left alone
It might not be easy to be around someone who is suffering from depression. Trust me, I have been on both sides- support and care can be vital to healing. If you are in a situation where you want to help a loved one, take the time to figure out what would best support them and be that for them. Often someone suffering from depression just wants to be left alone. It’s not like they wear a sign that reads, “Hey, I’m feeling down today!”. It can take every ounce of energy they have to be around people which can often be misread as disinterest. Remember, just because you can’t see depression doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
People of every age and background can suffer from depression. The time-line and time-frame may vary, but one thing is consistent – depression is not exclusive. Depression will lie to you. It will make you feel unloved and unworthy. I can assure you, friend, that’s not the case. Give yourself some grace. Memorizing scripture was helpful for me when I was going through a dark time in my life. One of my favorites is found in Psalm 40:
At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
they enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God.
If you are dealing with depression or are close to someone who is, reach out and find help and support. If you’re depressed but have made positive lifestyle changes and still find your depression getting worse, seek professional help. Needing additional help doesn’t mean you’re weak. Sometimes the negative thinking in depression can make you feel like you’re a lost cause, but depression can be treated and you can feel better!
If you would like to leave a comment so I can pray that your journey to finding your joy again is not long, please do so. XO
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