Most of us know someone who suffers from depression or have battled it ourselves. The dark, painful disorder affects people worldwide -- even those without access to good health care and treatments. It's no surprise that, despite all we know about the illness, myths and misconceptions still prevail. This lack of knowledge can lead to misunderstanding, fear and rejection -- all of which can make it harder for people to get the help they need.
"There are still so many misconceptions about depression," says the best psychiatrist in Bhopal. People with depression are often perceived as being weak, weird, dangerous or incapable. "This stigma is one of the biggest obstacles to living with depression," he adds.
Here are five myths about the illness that may surprise you:
1. Depression isn't common or deadly serious.
Depression is a serious medical condition that can have severe consequences unless it's treated. It negatively affects how you feel, think and handle daily activities, including sleeping, eating and working. And while depression symptoms may go away on their own after a few days or weeks, this doesn't mean that treatment isn't needed -- it just means you've recovered emotionally enough to manage life's challenges without becoming overwhelmed.
People with depression are 16 times more likely to commit suicide than people without the illness. Most depressive episodes occur in women 25-44 years of age. This is why being open about your thoughts of suicide will not only help you but others as well. The best psychiatrist in Bhopal has given some terrifyingly real statistics on these risks.
2. Medications are the only way to treat depression.
While medications can ease symptoms for many people, they don't work for everyone. And some people choose not to take medications, either because of fears about side effects or simply not wanting to rely on a pharmaceutical solution.
But you can also try psychotherapy and other forms of treatment without meds -- such as mindfulness meditation. The best psychiatrist in Bhopal says that many people with depression benefit from a combination of medication and therapy.
3. Only older folks suffer from depression.
Not true! While women are more likely than men to develop depression at any age, baby boomers experience the highest levels of stress, which may contribute to risk factors for this illness. So it's important to stay vigilant during these years: If you haven't already done so, schedule an annual visit to your primary care doctor or mental health professional. By ensuring your physical and emotional well-being, you'll help protect yourself (and possibly your family) from depression.
4. Depression isn't treatable.
While some cases of the illness are milder than others, it is highly treatable with good outcomes. More than 80 percent of people treated for depression show significant improvement or full remission, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). And even when symptoms don't disappear altogether, most people feel significantly better able to manage their lives after receiving effective treatment.
5. People with depression can't do anything to feel better.
Untrue! Making healthy choices plays a huge role in managing depression, but it isn't always enough. The best psychiatrist in Bhopal says that, for some people, ongoing talk therapy is necessary to help them maintain their treatment gains and prevent relapse.
Depression is a common illness that can affect anyone. You can't always control when it strikes, but you do have more power than you think to treat and manage it -- and keep it from coming back. Through depression treatment and self-care, most people with depression will be able to find relief for their symptoms and go on enjoying full and satisfying lives. So take charge of your depression by learning everything you can about the illness; don't let myths make you wary or ashamed of seeking help.
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