One of the toughest battles you can face when recovering from addiction is the threat of depression. Depression is a disease that affects countless people each year, but even in this day and age, we are still attempting to fully understand it. Like with addiction, there is an unfortunate stigma that surrounds depression, and there are also several myths about the disease as well. Here are just a few of the most common depression myths and the truth behind them.
Myth: Depression and sadness are the same.
Truth: The biggest difference between sadness and depression is that the former is fleeting and temporary, whereas the latter is a chronic condition that lasts for long periods of time. A depressed person can feel sadness, but they also experience a wide range of associated symptoms as well, such as anxiety, apathy, and emptiness. While sadness can usually pass in a relatively short time, depression lasts so long that it severely impacts a person’s daily life.
Myth: Depression is not a real disease.
Truth: Depression may be difficult to diagnose, but it is still recognized as a serious medical condition, especially when it is the result of an addiction. People who experience depression demonstrate significantly different brain activity, including neurotransmitter and hormone imbalances that ultimate amplify the condition. Believing that depression is not a “real” illness only makes the condition worse and enhances the stigma.
Myth: Depression is “all in your head.”
Truth: Just like with an addiction, depression may feel like it’s simply in your brain, but it can actually take a toll on your entire body. Some common symptoms of depression can include fatigue, insomnia, and muscle aches. It is wise to seek specialized treatment for your depression along with your addiction. Symptoms between the two may overlap, so it is wise to seek professional assistance for a more accurate diagnosis.
Don’t shrug off negative feelings and assume depression will go away on its own. Seek assistance immediately, and don’t let the negative stigma or myths about depression prevent you from getting the help you need.
Do you know of any other myths surrounding depression that should be debunked? Let us know below!