Depression is an equal opportunity disorder – it can affect people from any cultural or racial background, age group, gender, level of education, or occupation.
Approximately 1,000,000 adults and 100,000 young people in Australia live with the illness each year. Despite its common occurrence, Depression continues to be stigmatised leading people (especially teenagers) to avoid seeking professional help.
Barriers to help seeking may partly be due to some common myths about Depression. Below are some of the misconceptions and the facts that really underlie them.
- It’s normal, and that everyone feels sad at different times about different things – Depression lasts longer than a bout of sadness and causes a range of symptoms including significant weight loss or weight gain, sleeping problems, loss of energy, an inability to concentrate or make decisions. Additionally, they will have a depressed mood and/or lose interest or pleasure in things they once found enjoyable nearly every day for at least two weeks.
- It is a weakness of character – Depression is a complex disorder which has psychological, environmental and biological components. Immediate family members are at higher risk of suffering from Depression, suggesting a genetic or physiological component to developing the illness.
- You can ‘snap out of it’ – Depression is a a serious health condition arising from a range of factors including chemical imbalances in the brain. Just like asthma or diabetes, you cannot simply ‘snap out of it’ or make it disappear at will.
- It only affects women – Men generally have different attitudes when it comes to mental health issues and help seeking behaviours, which makes it easier to be overlooked or left untreated. However, research shows that roughly one in four women and one in six men experience it at some point in their lives.
Our therapists at Vision Psychology have provided a range of articles to help you and your loved ones understand more about Depression.
Articles on Depression
- What is Depression?
- Can Dads Suffer Postnatal Depression
- Dealing with Depression
- Chronic Depression
- Male Depression
- Perinatal Depression