Depression is not a Weakness

By Kayli Nichols PSY 311

Breaking Down the Myths and Stigmas

Depression is one of the most misunderstood mental health disorders. We often hear, "Depression is a sign of weakness," or "Depression is temporary and will eventually go away by itself," and even "Depression cannot be treated without medication."



The simple fact is, depression can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of sex, age, religion, or race. It is a disorder that affects over 121 million people worldwide.


There is no shame in depression. It is an issue that is extremely common throughout the world. You are not alone.

Alternative Solutions

In the movies, on tv, and in the books and media, we see depression as simply being sad and not much more is said. We see people drowning themselves with medication. However, there are a variety of alternative solutions that do not involve medication. Through successful therapy sessions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, to helpful relaxation techniques and yoga, the brain is essentially put through exercise sessions. Within these training sessions, we train the brain to replace irrational thoughts and feelings, with positive thoughts, feelings, and actions.


Positive solutions to Depression include:


  • Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Counseling Sessions


Know The Symptoms

Depression is more than just feeling sad. Symptoms of depression include:



  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increase in appetite
  • Loss of interest in most things
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Feelings of helplessness and worthlessness


If you have a family member or friend who is suicidal, it is highly important not to leave him or her alone. You should try to get the person help immediately from either an emergency room, a doctor, or a mental health professional. Comments regarding suicide should be taken seriously. Many misconceptions about suicidal talk, is that the person is just looking for attention. However, it is important to remember that suicidal talk indicates that the individual is highly distressed and needs professional help.

Suicide Prevention Hotline

No matter what troubles you may be going through, the suicide prevention hotline is available 24/7 providing you with skilled and trained professionals who are there to help and listen. No problem is too big or too small.

Resources

Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2014). Abnormal psychology (Sixth ed.). New York: NY. McGraw-Hill Education.


Understanding Depression. (2015, January 1). Health Promotion Board. Retrieved from http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/dandc-article/10210?orginalId=HPB053021



With Help Comes Hope. (n.d.). Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Retrieved from http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/