The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. – John F. Kennedy
Our beliefs shapes our reality. Hence, it also has the capacity to influence our response towards others. Some people may be able to handle distorted beliefs and ignore them, but some may be deeply affected. Therefore, it is important that you set your beliefs straight.
Depression. Sometimes it is shown loud and clear, but most of the time it is kept in silence. The environment plays a crucial role in managing depression. There is a lot you can do to help. However before you help, we need to debunk some myths that most probably influences your beliefs. Here are 4 myths about depression you should stop believing.
“Depression is not a real illness”
Depression is a mental illness. It has the capacity to affect the afflicted as much as a physical illness would. People suffer and some have perished due to this serious illness. For that reason, we should start treating it like a real illness. If you observe that someone may need help with depression, guide them towards getting the depression treated with the right kind counselor, doctor or a psychologists.
“Depression is for the weak”
Well, how do you define weak? Mental strength? Physical capabilities? How much your heart can tolerate? Exactly. Depression is not for the weak, nor is it for the strong. It can happen to anyone at any time. This is very demeaning stereotype that has the capacity to further destroy a person with depression. You are only reinforcing all that they already think. Please do not contribute to the worsening of their illness with such stereotypes.
“One size fits all”
Depression can manifest in many different ways. While there may be similar patterns, it may not show the same way for everyone. The one shoe fits all concept does not apply in the case of depression. Therefore when dealing with depressed individuals, it is worth remembering this. Deal with them the way they find most comfortable.
“Depression is a choice”
If depression was a choice, why would you choose to be depressed? Depression is not a choice. People need to understand this and stop acting like it is. Please understand that depressed individuals did not choose to live their life being depressed, nor are they “acting”. Observe things in term through the lens of their reality and not your own reality. They need all the support and help they can get. They may not blatantly ask for it but you are smart enough to realize. Offer what needs to be offered and do not judge.
Kiirtaara is a proud 24 year old Malaysian from the small town of Ipoh. She is a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) graduate and is currently a part-time freelance writer with a full time job. She is also a huge mental-health enthusiast and avid animal lover.