Depression or Just the Blues?

Mar 30, 2011
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Depression and feeling blue are sometimes mistakenly used interchangeable. The truth is depression is much more serious than the occasional blue feeling. Feeling “blue” is very common. Everyone feels sad or down at some point and these feelings will typically pass within a few days. Depression, on the other hand is a serious mental health disorder; and approximately 17 million adults are diagnosed every year. When a person has major depressive disorder, they experience a severely depressed mood, which can persist two weeks or more. Their symptoms interfere with their daily functioning, and cause distress for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him or her.

Seventeen million diagnosed adults were reported by the National Institute of Mental in 2008. But, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate 21 million Americans are diagnosed with depression each year. With the numbers of depression growing, it is also becoming more of a common condition; and is now being more accepted in today’s society. However, there are still misconceptions, negative connotations and myths about depression, as well as for other mental disorders.

There are many myths about depression. Read on for eight common misconceptions and what’s really true about this disabling condition.

Myth: Depression affects only women.
Fact: Depression can affect anyone.

Depression is nearly twice as common in women as in men, but men still get depressed — especially as they get older — and may feel a loss from career changes or the death of a spouse, says Dr. David Sommers, a scientific review officer at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Myth: Depression is an adult problem.
Fact: Children can get depressed, too.

“Depression can happen across the lifespan,” Duckworth says …

Myth: Depression isn’t a medical problem; you could get over it if you wanted to.
Fact: Depression is a medical problem that can require help to overcome.

“This is a treatable condition and not a right-wrong fault issue. But that is a common misconception,” Duckworth says …

Myth: Depression is a normal part of being a teenager.
Fact: Adolescent moodiness is NOT the same thing as teen depression.

Myth: Depression is all in your genes.
Fact: Depression runs in families, but genes are not determining factors.

Family history does influence the likelihood of developing depression …

Myth: Antidepressants will change my personality.
Fact: Antidepressants won’t change one’s personality.

Myth: Antidepressants help everyone.
Fact: At best, 60 percent of people get better with antidepressants.

Psychiatric meds might improve certain symptoms of depression, but they’re not going to affect life circumstances or counterproductive thinking …

Myth: Women with postpartum depression are bad mothers who kill their children.
Fact: Postpartum depression isn’t a character flaw, and psychosis is rare.

An estimated 9 to 16 percent of American women suffer from postpartum depression, or depression following childbirth, according to NAMI …

To Read Each Explanation In Detail, Go To:|main5|dl4|sec1_lnk1|51857

Author: Jenny Carlton