4 Common Misconceptions about Depression

Written by Dominique Bancey-Dominique Bancey is the writer of our new column The Thought Banc, where she writes on all things mental health and black culture.

There are many things people say about depression that just simply isn’t true. I will be naming a few and giving a few short explanations about why they are indeed misconceptions

Depression is a weakness

Depression isn’t picky. It doesn’t look for the person who has just been kicked out, or just got fired, it’s a condition and it doesn’t care who you are, or how strong/weak you are. Having depression doesn’t lessen your strength. 

Depression = Sadness

This is one of the most common misconceptions honestly. Especially in today’s society, many individuals go through terrible periods in their life that is filled with immense sadness yet they say, “Oh I’m so depressed.” Feeling down and being depressed are two different things. Depression can be brought on by feelings of sadness, but feeling down doesn’t last as long as an episode of depression.

Everyone who has depression experiences it the same

After all, depression is a mental illness, there is no way everyone with it is going to experience it the same. When you and your friend have a cold, you may have similar symptoms, but the both of you aren’t going to experience it the exact same way, and that’s the same with depression and any other mental illness. It causes different people to react or to feel different ways. 

Depression is all in your head

This is definitely a very popular one. Someone with depression can’t just shut it off or ‘suck it up’. Persons from the outside only see the emotional side of depression where you may be acting different or doing things differently, but they don’t see how it physically affects you. So they automatically assume that it’s a feeling you can easily control. They don’t realize that it’s not a light switch you can turn on or off, that’s not how it works

Unfortunately, there are plenty of other misconceptions about depression, but hopefully these will be understood by you and you will share it with others. 

Until next time.

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