The Misconceptions About Depression Sara Brown

I woke up with my eyes almost swollen shut. I cried myself to sleep and had only gotten a hour or two of rest. I was exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. I was exhausted in every way a person could be.

The night before, I had planned to commit suicide. I had been struggling with depression (something I’ve talked about here) and couldn’t handle it anymore. However, thankfully, I didn’t go through with it. I emailed my college’s counseling center asking for help and cried the night away. Once I woke up, I immediately checked my email. Sure enough, there was an email from the counseling center. There in that tiny little dorm room, I decided to address my mental health issues that I had ignored for months in fear that it meant I was “crazy.”

I also decided that day that once I got healthy again, I would tell my story in hope to help others and end the stigma surrounding mental health issues. This week is Suicide Prevention Week. The leading cause of suicide is untreated depression. Talking to people about this topic, I realized there are a lot of misconceptions about depression.

No, I can’t just get over it.

No matter how many times you tell someone to “just get over,” they can’t. It’s not that simple. Someone who is suffering from clinical depression can’t decide one day to just forget about it. It’s going to take time, professional help and sometimes even meds. Furthermore, you telling someone to get over it isn’t helpful. It makes me them feel like a burden and who really wants to feel like a burden?

Taking anti-depressants doesn’t mean you are weak.

Taking meds doesn’t mean you are weak or crazy. It is something I struggled with myself. I thought if I took anti-depressants that it meant my disease had won. Not the case. I view it now as me taking my mental illness into my owns hands and making my mental health my number priority. I am no longer on the meds but I thank them for helping me get out of the dark hole I was in. It also takes time to find the right medication. If something doesn’t feel right, be your own advocate and tell your doctor.

Anti-depressants are only one part of getting help.

Now, first let me state that I am not a psychiatrist or a mental health professional in any way so take my opinion as you will. I don’t think depression can only be treated with meds. I think it needs to be a combo of meds and therapy. Meds deal with the biology of the brain but therapy helps you deal with emotional issues. In my experience, it’s a combination of the two when dealing with depression. For me, therapy has help give me the skills to deal with my depression on a daily basis.

It’s going to take time.

You have admitted to yourself that you are depressed and want to seek help. That is a great and amazing first step. You should be proud. However, the real work is just beginning. Finding a therapist you are comfortable with and a medication that works properly can take some time. Also, feeling “normal” again will take time too. Don’t give up. Everything you are doing will be so worth it.

There isn’t miracle cure for depression. It is something I have dealt with for most of my life and probably will for the rest of it. At the end of the day, we all need to talk about. We need to talk to about our feelings, our day to day struggles and everything else. We need to talk about depression even when we are at our worst. We especially need to talk about it with people who don’t suffer from mental health issues. The more talking there is, the more understanding there will be. With more understanding, the more people will be less afraid to come forward and get the help they need.

For more information please go to AFSP.com and dbsalliance.org

Image via getonlinehealthtips.com

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  1. of all my causes i support this one means most to me ive been there i was depressed regular self harmer lost count how many stitches i still have the scars i even attempted suicide on loads of occasions even had stint in the mental hospital main problem bullying when i was at school people picked on were either fat or wore glasses tame stuff but now with mobiles internet social network sites hardcore no pweson should feel way i did not nice

  2. Great article on a subject that does need more attention. I have been there as well.

    I think the one big thing to realize is that we have to rid us of the notion that there is one solution for everything when it comes to matters of depression (what ever version). There are so many different approaches. Personally it took a while for me to find my way through all that, but it was the medication that helped me even find the enery to even try. I don’t think my meds solved anything, but it made me calm down enough to get the energy to deal with what I had too.

    I know it doesn’t feel that way when you’re in it, but it can get better.

    PS I too hope that it’s OK for a guy to hang around… ;)

  3. Thanks so much for sharing! It’s wonderful to know others have the same struggles. Especially with so much stigma surrounding mental illness it makes it difficult to put yourself out there…

  4. What a great post!! More light needs to be brought out regarding depression.

  5. Keep in mind that depression effects/affects (I’m so terrible at proper English) everybody differently.
    So when an SSRI might work for many of us here, others might benefit from change of environment or people, etc.
    And at any rate, everybody who deals with depression is strong and has a possibility to come out of it a better person, or a different person or the even the same person.

  6. [...] Misconceptions of Depression — Hello Giggles [...]

  7. I have recently come out of the dark of depression and suicidal thoughts. You tell yourself over and over again to get over it, but obviously, if you could with the tools you currently have, you would! Just a month ago I never would have believed I could feel better. I would look at suicide prevention info and think it was bullshit. Finding one tiny thing that wasn’t negative, that was just neutral or could possibly be cheerful, like a tree or the fact that I took a shower anchored me until I started in with meds and therapy. It is so hard, but it can get better.

  8. This is amazing. It reassures all my decisions I’ve made within the past few months. It gives not only instight to the situation but hope to many people that are going though depression. Makes me feel like I have to confidence to get through the terrible fight but hopefully it will make me stronger in the end (when ever that is).

  9. My family always tells me to “move on” and even though I have, when the chemical imbalance gets out of wack, I digress and can’t move on. I myself have suffered bad anxiety from years of emotional abuse, followed up with the death of my grandma which put me into a severe depression. When both of those came together, I could never get the chemicals to balance out without meds. I’ve been on meds for 2 years and I’ve never felt better. I am going to start therapy once I move and start my new job in October, because life changes always bring up the negative thoughts. I am a very positive person for the majority of the time, but I know to get through a move I’m going to need to talk it out with an unbiased opinion, and maybe different meds. I’m just afraid of being diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

    • Don’t be afraid of a diagnosis. It just helps the doctor to manage the symptoms. You are not your diagnosis. I am not “bipolar.” I HAVE bipolar disorder. Two different things.

  10. Thank you for sharing, Sara. My job involves working with college students, and sometimes it is so hard to convince them that taking or needing medicine doesn’t make you weak — it can help your brain work the way it’s supposed to work!

    I lost a friend to suicide and none of us had any idea he was depressed — thank you for that reminder as well.

  11. Well done.

    However; One sideffect of meds is a long term damage to your brain. It will help you sleep and relax initially. Not eating right is a big problem, this is a bigger issue than the need of meds.
    The real changes happens slowly and over time. You must not place great demands on yourself. There is no quick fix. And you must learn to function and think in a different way.

    Don´t give up.

  12. Before you diagnose yourself with anything, make sure you aren’t surrounded by assholes.

  13. Thank you for posting this :) there still isn’t enough information about depression, or perhaps people who have never had it just won’t ever understand it. I’ve had depression for the most of my life, but these past three years have been the best, i finally recovered, i don’t even need meds anymore.
    For the people that have depression now: it is possible to get better from it! I worked hard for it for years tho, it needs a lot of work to get over, but i know you can do it!
    I still struggle with borderline personality disorder, but at least now i’m able to go to school and live a normal life. As long as there is life, there is hope.

  14. To Sarah, and everyone in the comments, saying they are struggling with depression: I don’t know you, and unfortunately I have no practical advice to give you, I’m not a specialist. But it sucks to be unhappy. I’m sending you all my positive energy and wish with all my heart that you’ll all get over it!

  15. As someone with bipolar disorder (mostly depressive), I would like to thank you for this article. A dear friend of mine also had bipolar disorder. She committed suicide more than five years ago. She wasn’t taking her meds properly and she didn’t have the funds to see a therapist. I hate when people off-handedly remark that they’re going to kill themselves or they’re feeling bipolar that day. Not cool.

  16. I’ve dealt with depression the majority of my life and every now and then, I go through the frustrations of needing medication and still attempting to build the life I want to live. Thank you. I really needed to read this tonight.

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  18. For the past several years I’ve been under various medications for my depression and will soon start a new one… Have I considered taking my own life? At one point, it was a thought, but I never could go through with any attempts and I never will. Yes, I’m still fighting my demons and trying to find peace… It is a matter of finding that shaft of light amidst the heaviness and the greyness that is around… and… I want to see the Chicago Cubs win the World Series in my lifetime.

  19. Hi, Sara! I believe that you will help many of people with this post. I’m depresed. I go to the meds and therapy, I take anti-depressants too. I’m brom Brazil. I’m depressed since 2009, but I have only discovered in 2011. This way, I only began with taking anti-depressants in 2011. I feel better now, but not 100% yet. Are you 100%? When your depression has begin? If you could and if you have time, we can talk about that and other things. We will be safe. I believe.
    Kisses from Gabriela Pontes.
    That’s my email: gabrielafpontes@live.com

  20. Thank you. I don’t know what else to say.

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