Experts of the World Health Organization estimated that depression is present in about 300 million people on our planet. This condition can develop in people of different ages and genders, even in children. Despite the high prevalence of this disease, it is associated with many myths. Largely because of them, patients with such a problem are in no hurry to seek medical help, as they fear misunderstanding or condemnation. Let’s try to debunk some popular myths about depression.
Writing to a psychiatrist is not needed: you can cope with depression yourself
This is perhaps one of the most common myths about depression. Many people believe that such a state is not a disease at all and can go away by itself if you “pull yourself together.” But in reality, in depressive disorders, a person has absolutely no power over his own mood and most often simply cannot cope with the problem. After all, the factors that trigger the disease disrupt the normal activity of chemical compounds in the brain. On their own, they cannot stabilize; for this, proper treatment is necessary.
In the entire civilized world, depression is considered a real disease, and quite serious. It can even be fatal. Therefore, the appearance of clinical signs of depression in oneself or in close people should be considered as a serious reason for records to a psychiatrist. Only a qualified specialist will help identify the problem and fix it.
Depression happens at all
Of course, from time to time every person is confronted with a feeling of depression, disappointment and other sad thoughts. But meanwhile, such feelings are completely unrelated to the development of real clinical depression. In this condition, the patient may not look completely different from others: go to work every day, spend time with friends and not shirk from daily duties. People are able to wear masks, do what is required of them, but be in a state of depression. Only a close person can recognize a bad thing, and even those sometimes tend to turn a blind eye to obvious changes, taking them for unexpected mood swings or temporary depression.
Scientists have concluded that some people initially are in an area of increased risk of depression. Such a tendency is due to the presence in the genome of certain mutations that affect the susceptibility to the disease.
To understand when ordinary sadness becomes a real depression, you need to be attentive to your own health and not be afraid to seek medical help.
It is a shame to go to the doctor
In the minds of the majority of our fellow citizens deeply on the cortex of the brain there is a certainty that the treatment by a psychiatrist is a cross for the rest of his life. A lot of fears are circulating in the society related to the doctors of this profession, they say, addressing them is fraught with:
- Violent treatment in a psychiatric clinic.
- Message to the workplace.
- “Bad” fame at the place of residence.
- Accounting in the mental hospital, etc.
In fact, these myths are completely unfounded. First, depression is a disease, and it is not a shame to get sick. There is no fault of the man himself. Secondly, even with severe depression with a tendency to suicide, patients are usually treated not in psychiatric hospitals, but in specialized crisis centers, more similar to a sanatorium. And timely treatment for medical assistance usually precludes such a development.
Depression among youth is only a fashion for melancholy
Depression can develop in patients of different ages. It is sometimes diagnosed even in younger schoolchildren (rarely in preschoolers), and there is also the likelihood of such a disease in adolescents and young people. But this category of patients very rarely seeks medical help, although they may need it most. WHO experts warn that it is young people with depression who are more likely to show suicidal tendencies. Therefore, parents need to be emotionally close with their own children in order to promptly notice possible violations.
Drugs for the disease are dangerous
This is a very common confidence, which, however, really has some grounds. Indeed, some medications used to treat depression can cause unwanted side effects, such as headaches, dizziness, sweating, excessive heartbeat, etc. Also, the myth about the development of real dependence on drugs is quite popular. But do not be afraid of drug therapy, because:
- Potentially dangerous in terms of side effects of drugs are not always used. Most often, the treatment is carried out with soft drugs that are well tolerated by patients.
- Modern medicines cause side effects extremely rarely and can not provoke the development of dependence.
- If the doctor selects the drugs with an accurate account of the individual characteristics of the patient, this reduces the risk of undesirable consequences for the patient to a minimum.
Of course, an attempt to self-medication of depression can end in very bad health consequences. And this is another confirmation that the methods of therapy should be selected by a qualified doctor.
You can’t die from depression
In fact, clinical depression is a fairly serious diagnosis. Such a condition in the absence of timely and adequate treatment is fraught with serious and even irreversible consequences, and in some cases can really lead to death. There is evidence that depression becomes one of the main predisposing factors for the death of young people – it leads to suicide. But in addition, such a violation of health increases the risk of developing other serious diseases of the psyche, cardiovascular system and other organs and systems.
It has been established that patients with depression have an average life expectancy of 9 years less than those who have not been diagnosed with such a disease.