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.

How to Deal With Having a Mental Illness

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.

Having a mental illness is a very serious thing. Many individuals have one, or a mixture of some, and they don’t even know. Others are aware that they have it, but either they aren’t sure how to deal with it, or they actually don’t want to. There isn’t a straight and narrow way to deal with mental illnesses. There isn’t a perfect, dictionary way to go about it. Some things work for some people, while others just don’t.

Even though it may be hard to deal with it, you still have to cope with it. Here are some tips to follow, whether you’re the one with a mental illness, or you know someone who does:

Don’t allow others to belittle/look down on you.

When dealing with a mental illness, you already tend to belittle/look down on yourself, so then it’s even easier for others to do so. However, you having a mental illness doesn’t give anyone the permission to treat you worse than how you’re already feeling. Many times you’re flattered by the attention you receive from the individual, and they may tell you the exact things you want to hear, but if you do realize that they are treating you badly, let them go.

Find someone who accepts you.
Having someone who fully understands (or tries to understand) is a huge thing for someone with a mental illness. It’s the worst when you find someone, only for them to shatter your heart because they aren’t willing to be there for you. Be careful with who you let in, so they cannot damage you.
Get support.
Whether through a support group, or simply speaking with a therapist/someone you feel comfortable with, do so. Many times you’ll feel like you don’t want to talk about how you’re feeling. But you’d be surprised as to just how much you’ll talk about it when you’re completely comfortable.

Living with a mental illness is a struggle, especially when you’re doing it on your own. There are many other ways to cope and somewhat deal with your illness, these three (3) are just a start. I hope this helped in some way for you.

Until next time.

How Depression Affects Your View of the World

Written by Salina Jivani

You can’t get out of bed.
You’ve lost interest in hobbies.
Happiness seems to escape you.

If any of these sound familiar, you’re likely suffering from depression—and that can affect you. Badly.

Here are just a few of the ways the dreaded “D” word can transform your outlook on life, leaving you a shell of your former self.

You let go of routine appointments
The dentist, your manicurist, and even your hairdresser are a thing of the past for the depressed. But even simple things like making your hair, or caring for your appearance and hygiene don’t happen because they seem like huge chores you no longer have sufficient energy for, or can accomplish with ease.

 

To-do lists are pointless
You used to be a beast with to-do lists, zapping items off at record-breaking speed. But all of a sudden, you don’t know where your to-do list is, let alone what’s on it. You simply lack the motivation to do anything, because nothing seems worthwhile. If this disregard carries into your work responsibilities, it’s likely your declining performance will catch the eye of your colleagues or manager.

 

You push everyone away
One of the most painful things about depression is that it transforms relationships…for the worse. You might find yourself swinging between extremes of irritability or anger with the drop of a hat. Maintaining relationships with even your most favorite people may become increasingly difficult and require a lot more energy than you feel you have. Soon, you might find yourself distancing yourself…from everyone, because it’s easier than facing them.

Depression is a serious illness that can have long-term, devastating repercussions if it remains untreated. Seek counseling, try exercising or consider self-help practices. If your depression worsens, see a doctor. When it comes to depression, ignorance is definitely not bliss.