Depression: Myths and Facts

Myth: Depression is a weakness and not an illness.
Fact:
Depression is not a weakness or laziness, but a serious mental health condition that is caused due to various reasons.  Depression can affect anyone at any time in their life.

Myth: Malnutrition and poverty are not linked to depression.
Fact:
Poor nutrition may be one of the causes for depression. Carbohydrate-rich foods help in the production of chemicals such as serotonin and tryptophan that promote the feeling of wellbeing.

Myth: Depression runs in the family and people with depression should not get married.
Fact:
While genetics is one of the factors that makes a person more vulnerable to depression, it is possible that a person does not inherit the illness at all. Depression often manifests as a result of a combination of factors including genetic, psychological, and psychosocial. People with depression can get married and lead healthy lives. However they should speak to their partners about their illness.

Myth: Depression is always related to life events.
Fact:
Not all life events cause depression. Many other reasons such as lack of social support or other physical health problems such as heart disease, cancer, HIV, thyroid, etc. can trigger depression.

Myth: Depression can be cured by taking only antidepressants.
Fact:
Medication is not always required except in cases of severe depressive disorders. Treatment also includes psychotherapy. For mild or moderate depression, counseling and other therapies are also effective.

Myth: Depression cannot lead to suicide.
Fact:
It is important to understand the myths about suicide as well. This may not be true because only when people have severe depressive episodes, they may have suicidal thoughts. It is extremely important for family members and friends to be sensitive to the behavior and actions of the person and take preventive steps before it is too late.

Myth: Depression does not need medical intervention. 
Fact:
 A person with signs and symptoms of depression should see a mental health professional. Unfortunately, most people suffering from depression avoid getting help. Only about one-third of people with depression get treatment. Most of the time, people live with depression for almost a decade before seeking help. The sooner a person gets treatment — psychotherapy, medication, or other help — the more effective the treatment will be. A combination of treatments can also be quite useful.