Depression and Media
Stigmas and Myths
There are also stigmas and myths associated with mental illness and depression in particular. One myth is that mental illnesses only affect a few people. Mental illnesses are actually very common affects people of all ages, education, and income levels. Many believe mental illnesses are caused by a personal weakness. Having a mental illness is not a character flaw and those who seek and accept help are actually showing a sign of strength. Despite popular belief, people with mental illnesses do get better with the right treatment and go on to live fulfilling lives. Those who have a mental illness, like depression, can’t just pull themselves out of it because it is not caused by a personal weakness, and cannot be cured by a personal strength. Another stigma of mental illnesses is that those who have one are violent. Those who have a mental illness are no more violent than the rest of the population. Instead of being violent towards others, someone with a mental illness is more likely to harm themselves. Those are considered some stigmas and myths associated with depression and other mental health disorders (Mental Health Commission, 2010).
What are some reasons that an individual with a mood disorder may not receive the necessary treatment?
There are also reasons why an individual with a mental illness may not receive necessary treatment. There is a lot of help for mental illnesses such as hotlines, mental health resource locators, therapists, and doctors. Those with a mental illness don’t realize that by delaying getting some help, their disorder can actually get worse. One reason they don’t seek treatment is because people are afraid of mental illnesses. No one wants to admit that they have a mental health disorder, so most people just act like it isn’t there. Another reason people don’t receive necessary treatment is because they have a lack of insight on their particular disorder. Just like people are afraid of mental illnesses, they are also afraid of getting help for their mental illness. People get afraid because they have images, depicted through media, of over-medicated zombies and the thought of being forced into a hospital or mental health asylum. There are unique cases like that, but the majority of people seeking help get successful treatment. Those are considered some reasons why an individual may not want to get proper treatment for their mental illness (BipolarBurble, 2014).
Gender and Cultural Differences
If someone suspects that they or someone they know has symptoms of depression, what should they do?
If someone suspects that they or someone they know has symptoms of depression they should first get support from their loved ones. Getting support can help lift depression and keep it away. After getting support that person should work on challenging negative thinking. By replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, a person with depression can have a more optimistic mindset. It is also important for that depressed person to take care of themselves. This can include having a healthy diet, getting good sleep, and scheduling fun activities to keep your mind occupied. Exercise is also very important when it comes to depression. Having a regular exercise program can be just as effective as using an antidepressant medication. If the depression starts getting worse the individual can look to seek more help. This doesn’t make the person weak, but there are cases where depression makes a person feel lost but it can get better (Helpguide, 2014)!