Misconceptions About Depression Essay

1162 words - 5 pages

When asked to imagine a depressed individual, many would probably imagine a person with a sad expression, contemplating suicide. Depression is far more complicated than it appears to be. Just like many other mental disorders, there are a conglomeration of symptoms, and not every person shares the same symptoms as their counterpart does. This causes difficulty in categorizing someone as depressive. Merriam-Webster characterizes depression as “a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a normal way.” There are a multitude of misconceptions about depression such as that it’s about feeling sad, it’s temporary, and that it cannot be treated.

As I’ve previously stated, not every person shares identical symptoms when it comes to depression. Although it’s true that prolonged sadness is a symptom of depression, there are many components that make up this complicated mental disorder. Depression also involves physical symptoms such as changes in appetite and quality of sleep, emotional symptoms such as feelings of worthlessness and changes in behavior such as the loss of interest in our usual activities (Health Promotion Board par. 3). Depressive episodes can be categorized as either mild, moderate, or severe. There is a vast amount of the types of depression that a person might have. The two most common types are unipolar depression (major depression) and bipolar disorder. Unipolar depression is when a person experiences depressed mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, and reduced energy leading to diminished activity for at least two weeks. (World Health Organization par. 6). This causes disruption in how a person functions a normal life by not allowing them to sleep properly, concentrate, or feel any self-worth. Meanwhile, bipolar disorder is the fluctuation of moods. A person might experience a manic episode one minute, and then completely shift to a depressive episode the next. Manic episodes involve elevated or irritable mood, over-activity, pressure of speech, inflated self-esteem and a decreased need for sleep. (World Health Organization par. 8). Not everything is written in black and white, especially not something as complex and diverse as depression. It’s ignorant to assume that all depressive people fit into one category because they all share different experiences and symptoms that pertain to their illness.

Secondly, many individuals tend to believe that depression is permanent, and that there is no solution to this dreaded disorder, but that’s far from the truth. According to Health Promotion Board, The World Health Organization ran a study, indicating that around 60-80% of depressed individuals respond positively to a combination of medication and psychotherapy. An effective solution to depression is Cognitive-Behavioral therapy. Cognitive-Behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that addresses a patient’s dysfunctional thoughts in order for a...

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