Depression and Bipolar Myths Solved

By: Alyssa Rolli

Myth: Depression is just a feeling; you can snap out of it if you try hard enough.

Truth: Depression is a mental health disorder that is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, genetics, or a traumatic life event. If symptoms of this disorder persist for more than two weeks medical help should be seeked.

Myth: Depression only occurs when bad things happen.

Truth: Depression can occur from life traumas but also genetics and chemical imbalances in the brain.

Myth: Postpartum depression is an excuse women use for being bad mothers.

Truth: Postpartum depression is a real disorder that occurs in women within a year after giving birth. It affects 10% of women and symptoms include intense worry about the baby, thoughts of suicide, and fears about harming the baby.

Myth: There's nothing you can do to treat depression.

Truth: Depression can be treated with antidepressants such as SSRIs and psychotherapy.

Myth: Antidepressants and Lithium can help anybody with a mood disorder.

Truth: Antidepressants and Lithium do not help everyone with a mood disorder and symptoms may worsen.

Myth: There are no outward signs of depression.

Truth: SIgns of depression can be seen such as excessive sleeping/tiredness, change in appetite, loss of interest/motivation, neglect of personal appearance, and lack of energy.

Myth: Having mania is fun.

Truth: Mania can cause agitation, irritability, trouble concentrating/racing thoughts, and hallucinations.

Myth: No one hallucinates while suffering from a mood disorder.

Truth: Hallucinations are one of the ma y symptoms of mania.

Myth: Everyone who has bipolar disorder experiences the disorder in the same way.

Truth: There are two types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar I includes long periods of mania with short periods of depression in between. Bipolar II includes long periods of depression with short periods of mania in between. People with bipolar also sometimes experience cycling and ultra rapid cycling.

Myth: Only people suffering from depression are suicidal.

Truth: 15% of people with bipolar try to commit suicide.