Myths and Facts About Depression

Today, depression is considered one of the most dangerous mental disorders. High stress levels, life in an atmosphere of constant tension, conflict and negative emotions are all risk factors for adverse psychosomatic conditions. Often depression leads not only to mental, but also to physical distress – a decrease in immunity, the development of heart and vascular diseases. But, despite the fact that it is officially recognized as a disease, many people still believe that the development of depression is a consequence of laziness and unwillingness to work on themselves.    

Depression is one of the most serious mental disorders.

Some people mistake the short-term bouts of sadness, longing, or despair for depression. It is necessary to distinguish those moments when something helped a person to distract from sad thoughts, for example, watching a movie or meeting with friends. With depression, this does not happen. Neither a change of scenery, nor a movie watching, nor a new experience helps.

If adverse symptoms such as gloomy thoughts, depressed mood, irritability, causeless tears persist for two weeks, then a person’s condition can cause serious concern. A mental disorder that is not noticed on time or ignored by loved ones can lead to sad consequences, up to suicide attempts.

Nevertheless, many still believe that depressive mental disorders do not seem to exist, or that they are easily “cured” by physical labor or memories of difficulties suffered by distant ancestors during wars or other upheavals. But such statements are not able to console a person. Instead, they exacerbate an already unfavorable mental state.

Myths and facts about depression and other mental disorders

The fact that a depressed state is not just “blues” or short-term sadness has begun to be talked about and written in the media over the past few years. Bloggers, artists and other famous people began to openly talk about how a person who is experiencing a depressive episode actually feels. But many still refuse to acknowledge this mental disorder.

There are many myths and misconceptions around depressive states. Some of them relate to medication and antidepressants. For example, many people believe that antidepressants can change a person’s personality, suppress the will and turn it into a “vegetable”. But in fact, they confuse antidepressants with potent tranquilizers, used several decades ago.

Stress from job loss, death of a loved one or divorce is not always a catalyst for a depressive episode. Sometimes such conditions also arise against the background of the person’s external well-being, which may look joyful and optimistic externally and not reduce life activity. It is believed that depressive episodes do not happen in adolescent life, but this is not true.

Each depressive episode is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. The goal of drug treatment is to restore this balance. Aggression, dissatisfaction with oneself or the surrounding life situation are a consequence, not a cause of a depressive state.

One of the most harmful misconceptions that can seriously ruin a relationship with a person in a depressed state is the assertion that it arises from a weakness in character. But physical illnesses like flu or diabetes do not occur due to weakness or laziness. The same applies to depressive episodes.

Stress can cause a depressive episode, but it is far from the only reason for its occurrence. An unfavorable mental state can develop against a background of reduced immunity, hormonal imbalance, or a deficiency of certain foods in the human diet. In some cases, positive emotions help to get out of a depressive state, but not cure it. 

Many people find it uncomfortable to be depressed with a person. But for the patient, it is the support of loved ones that is important and their willingness to help him, including of a therapeutic nature. The myth that a depressive episode can be treated with alcohol, smoking or drugs is one of the most dangerous. Any harmful means of stimulation can worsen the condition of the patient.

Treatment for Depression: Stress Prevention and More

The first step in the treatment of depressive conditions or other mental disorders is the selection of a qualified specialist. To begin with, you should consult a psychologist, who will then refer you to a therapist if necessary. He has the right to prescribe medication in accordance with the physical condition and wishes of the patient.

An equally important step will be to change the patient’s lifestyle. If before this the level of stressful situations was quite high, while improper diet and lack of physical activity were added, then it is necessary to introduce the main components of a healthy lifestyle into your life. The most basic of them is a large number of hours of sleep, because it is insufficient or poor quality sleep that can lead to adverse consequences for the psyche.

Exercise strengthens not only the body, but also the psyche. They help improve hormonal levels and the functioning of the nervous system. Therefore, psychotherapists often recommend a specific type of physical activity to their patients, such as dancing or yoga.

Any disease is easier to prevent than to cure. Few people think about the prevention of depressive conditions. Among the main preventive measures are observing the regimen of the day, proper nutrition and physical activity. It is also necessary to limit or exclude from everyday life factors contributing to the development of increased anxiety – negative news or reading disturbing information on social networks.

Measures such as hobbies, creativity, communication with people and working with negative emotions significantly reduce the likelihood of depressive disorders. For a person, the ability to properly relax and bring into life as many positive aspects as possible before stressful situations or the wrong lifestyle will seriously harm his psyche.

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