Myths about depression

Depression is a common illness throughout the world, affecting approximately 3.8% of the population.

In the worst case, depression can lead to suicide; the fourth leading cause of death in people ages 15 to 29. Still, myths about depression contribute to the stigma surrounding the condition, discouraging patients from seeking help when they really need it.

Myth 1. Depression is always the result of a traumatic event: While trauma can be a risk factor or potential trigger for depression, there is no single cause of depression and it often occurs due to a combination of different factors.

Myth 2. Depression only affects women: Anyone can experience depression, and the condition can involve different symptoms in men and women.

Myth 3. Depression is part of aging: many people experience their first depressive episode in their 20s and 30s; for this reason, some believe that depression only affects adults. However, depression can develop at any age, even in young children.

Myth 4. Health care providers cannot treat depression: There are effective treatments for depression. Depending on the severity and pattern of depressive episodes, health care providers may offer psychological treatments such as behavior activation, cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and/or antidepressant medication.

If you experience a loss of interest or pleasure in activities, changes in appetite, changes in your body weight, low energy levels, and difficulty concentrating or making decisions, talk to your doctor. Remember that you are not alone.

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