Mental Health Myths
by: Julia McDonald
Myth: Depression is just a feeling; you can snap out of it if you try hard enough.
In reality: to be diagnosed with depression a person must have at least five symptoms, which must be present for at least two weeks, and be a change from their normal functioning. This criteria ensures that to be diagnosed with depression, it must be a serious issue, not just a mood.
Myth: Depression only occurs when bad things happen.
In reality: depression can be caused by:
- life events
- chemical imbalance- particularly serotonin levels
- synapse and neurotransmitter issues
Myth: Postpartum depression is an excuse women use for being bad mothers.
- intense worrying about baby
- thoughts of suicide
- fears of harming the baby
Myth: There's nothing you can do to treat depression.
Myth: Antidepressents and lithium can help anybody with a mood disorder.
Myth: There are no outward signs of depression.
- loss of interest in activities
- change in sleeping and eating habits
- inability to focus
- neglect of personal appearance
- overall appearance of sadness/excessive crying
Myth: Having Mania is Fun.
- extreme moods swings and agitations
- trouble concentrating-racing thoughts
- risk taking
- compulsive shopping/spending
Myth: Noone Hallucinates while suffering from a mood disorder.
Myth: Everyone who has bipolar disorder experiences the disorder in the same way.
- Bipolar I: long periods of mania with short periods of depression
- Bipolar II: long periods of depression with short periods of depression in between
- Rapid Cycling: manic/depressive episodes alternate at least 4 times a year
- Ultra Rapid Cycling: manic/depressive episodes alternate several times a day