What are the most common misconceptions about living with depression?

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Answered by: Melanie, An Expert in the Living with Depression Category
Living with depression is devastating for everyone that goes through it, but how does it effect the people around us? How should we deal with the people that suggest it is "just in our heads?" If you have depression, you know what I mean, those people that ask us "Why don't you just snap out of it?" Well, because we can't.



What are the most common misconceptions about people with depression? That we can just snap out of it, or that it is all in our minds. I guess to an extent they/re right though, it is in our heads, but that doesn't make us anymore capable of snapping out of it. Whether or not a person could snap out of it in the first place, that isn't something a person with depression needs or wants to hear at all. Another misconception though, would be that we choose to feel this way. We don't really wake up in the morning on a perfectly beautiful day and wish we were dead by choice.

The hardest part to deal with is feeling like people are disappointed in you for feeling this way, which stems from the misconception that the reason that we feel this way is because of something that they did. Living with depression is hard, but living with people that don't understand you can be just as hard, if not harder. Being someone that has depression, I have faced these misconceptions on multiple occasions, and it has taken all of me not to consider myself crazy.



There are also misconceptions that people with depression make about themselves. One of the biggest misconceptions that I made about myself when I started experiencing depression, was that I was going to be suicidal forever. That could not have been further from the truth, yes I still struggle with depression and I will for the rest of my life, and yes I will even admit that sometimes suicidal thoughts enter my mind when I feel like I am doomed to be miserable forever, but it's nowhere near as bad as it used to be.

Depression is still scary for me sometimes, but the biggest misconception that people with depression make about themselves, is that the only way to feel better, to feel relief from the pain, that indeed can feel overwhelming, is to kill themselves. There is a misconception about depression, and self-harm that are linked together. Very often people with depression will turn to other outlets, such as cutting themselves because they believe it helps them.

More often than not a person will say that they were so numb at one time that they cut themselves just so that they felt something. That is definitely true to a degree, because when I did it I definitely felt some tension release, but as far as pain, I never felt anything. The misconception here though, is that it helps the situation, which it does not help the situation, you will only become addicted to the feeling, just like I did.

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