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myths about depression debunked

Depression Myths Debunked

Depression is the most common mental disorder in the United States with 18.8 million individuals affected at any given time. Despite its widespread presence, depression is widely misunderstood because it’s hard to understand it if you don’t experience it.

For example, many may look at depressed people as being simply lazy or uncaring when such an assessment couldn’t be further from the truth.

Depressed people often just don’t have the energy to live life like others do.

Some basic things can be a major struggle. Caring or working with someone with depression can be an enigma much of the time.

Nevertheless, this article will debunk many of the myths typically associated with depression.

Only “Weak” People Suffer from Depression

It’s commonly thought only highly sensitive or fragile people suffer from depression, which is false.

Many influential individuals, including prominent leaders, have suffered from depression. For example, look no further than Abraham Lincoln, one of America’s most revered presidents. He was plagued with depression throughout his life.

Depression is Just Extreme, Explainable Sadness

It is common for individuals to suffer from melancholy or deep sadness for understandable reasons; for example, due to the death of a relative.

Depression, unfortunately, is often a biological and psychologically-caused illness, without a clear cause.

Unlike most other forms of sadness, it’s not necessarily circumstantial, and it can go on without any end in sight.

Only Women Are Affected by Depression

While it’s true women are more likely to be affected by depression than men — a 2:1 ratio is cited — it’s not something experienced exclusively by either gender.

Abraham Lincoln was already mentioned as a famously depressed politician; actor Robin Williams and writer David Foster Wallace let depression lead them to suicide. Even Brad Pitt has suffered from depression.

Depression is Completely Genetic

If your family has a history of depression, this does not necessarily mean you will inherit it, contrary to popular thought.

Research has shown having a relative with depression only increases your risk of getting depression marginally — by 10 to 15 percent.

However, having parents or relatives who are depressed and raise us, could impart certain behaviors and attitudes leading to depression.

So, while depression may not always be passed on genetically — nature, as psychologists like to call it — it can be passed on via nurture, so to speak.

Depression Goes Away Quickly and Easily

As aforementioned, depression usually doesn’t go away quickly. Nor does it usually go away quickly. Most antidepressants take six weeks to take full effect, and furthermore, two-thirds of patients don’t have success with their first antidepressant prescribed.

The best way to effectively treat depression is by using multiple therapeutic and medical solutions.

Depression and Suicide Are Inextricably Linked

While it is true than two-thirds of individuals who commit suicide have depression, a full one-third suffer from alcoholism instead.


Depression is a psychiatric condition that should not be taken lightly. If you or a loved one are suffering symptoms of depression, seek medical care immediately. Depression is common.

Much of the time depression can lead to one growing as a person, so it’s not all negative.

About The Author

Marcie has been working with couples and individuals for over eight years. Helping them start off right and working with them through their time of need. If you want to try phone counseling, check Marcie out today!

Depression affects children as well. Learn about five possible causes of depression in children.


  1. Jon Lisle-Summers

    I am a member of this club. I am reasonably intelligent but struggle to identify life trends which may have provoked my state of mind. I was not identified until my 40s. Since then, I have come to understand depression first struck at the age of eleven but was attributed to a virus….which caused me to sleep 17 hours at a time. I had physical symptoms also which are better identified as anxiety/panic attacks.

    Between 11 and 42 my life decisions were influenced by something I didn’t know I had. I just assumed this was how people felt. There is some research into family connections: Alfred Lord Tennyson was a sufferer so they investigated that there was a greater incidence of depression in his extended family than in the general population (quoted in Daniel Goleman: Emotional Intelligence).

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