Thank you visiting the website. On this page I plan to tackle a few of the myths surrounding depression and anxiety and shed a little clarity on the topic. Whether you know a lot about depression and anxiety or whether you know nothing about it, please have a read through. You may find a few that you didn’t know.
- Snap out of it – unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Some people believe that it happens when you allow yourself to wallow in sadness or in grief. Depression is a recognised illness in which your brain functionality, chemistry and structure are negatively affected.
- Sad situations cause it – not necessarily. Depression can arise from times when your life seems to be going well. Mine did. It isn’t always caused by grief or upset.
- Anti-depressants will cure you – again, not necessarily. Anti-depressants can help but it might be that you need therapy or other sessions to help cure you. For others, it’s not something that can be cured, it’s there constantly and the anti-depressants simply alleviate the symptoms to allow you to function.
- You have to be on anti-depressants forever – for some people, this is the case. For others, the antidepressants and the therapy can bring you out of the depressive period and you can come off the medication.
- Depression only affects women – believe it or not, I’ve heard this one. Speaking as a male with depression, I can safely tell you it’s not true. If anything, the studies show that men with depression are more likely to commit suicide than women.
- Talking about it makes it worse – it’s a common misconception that talking about depression simply reinforces the feelings inside of us. If anything, it has been proven to help alleviate some parts of depression. Sometimes being alone with your thoughts can be the worst possible thing. It’s certainly the case for me!
- Depression and sadness are the same thing – despite sadness being a symptom of depression, depression is not always sadness. I go into this more in my post concerning my depression so feel free to check that one out.
- It’s all in your head – actually, while emotional symptoms are often the bulk of it, there are physical ones as well. Fatigue or insomnia, changes in appetite or aches and pains are all characteristics of it too.
- It’s a normal part of life – not true. While everyone experiences anxiety to some extent, usually on a daily basis, it’s the long-lasting and more severe kinds of worry and fear that are classed as “anxiety”. If it has a negative impact on your life to the point of hindrance, that’s when it’s not normal.
- Avoiding anxiety-provoking situations helps – I suppose to a certain extent it depends on the person but completely avoiding situations can still produce anxiety attacks. If anything, avoiding them only strengthens the anxiety.
- Brown paper bags – I’m sure you’ve heard that if you’re hyperventilating, breathe into a brown paper bag? Unfortunately that’s Hollywood giving us nonsense. Carrying around a bag would only serve to reinforce the anxiety and encourage it.
- Just relax – if anything, this one is like telling someone with a broken leg to walk it off. It doesn’t work. Speaking from experience, being told to breathe or to relax simply doesn’t cut it. While relaxation might be part of the treatment, it needs to be coupled with other strategies to be effective.
Thanks for reading this mythbuster page. Hopefully that’s given you an insight into some of the common misconceptions people have about depression and anxiety. Check out some of the other posts and pages on this site and have a look at how both conditions can affect people. Perhaps start with a look into my journey and take it from there. If you want more information about depression, anxiety or insomnia then check out the pages on each condition for more info.
Why not subscribe?
Join the PBTS Community and receive our monthly newsletter as well as updates straight to your inbox! Enter your email address below: