It’s been a month since posting on here BUT I have been getting better on my Instagram so I’ll take that as a victory! I have been working on this post for weeks (no word of a lie, ask my boyfriend). I have all sorts of blog post ideas written down, but I couldn’t muster up the motivation to actually do them. I started writing this post and then became overwhelmed and full of self-doubt and put it on hold. But never the less my head is now clear and ready to rock! Below are five depression myths that I wanted to debunk by providing some personal experience. I have been dealing with depression for years but I am no expert, I am still learning about it everyday. Depression is a hot topic in todays society, it seems like everyone and their long lost uncle suddenly has depression. But did they suddenly get it, or was it always there? Hmmmm…. If you can think of a myth or want to share your journey leave a comment below!
Myth #1: Men don’t get depressed
Sorry to say but all you “manly men” can most likely become depressed at some point in your lives. Men are more likely not to tell others about their depression because of social stigma (as if being depressed isn’t hard enough). I personally know a few males that have depression and I feel so lucky they have confided in me about it. Its absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Michael Landsberg is a male public figure in the sports community and he is very open and public about his struggle with depression. You can read all about his story and his work towards ending the stigma of depression at Sick Not Weak.
Myth #2: People who are depressed are not high achievers
I have depression. I am in the final stretch of getting an advanced diploma in Behavioural Science Technology. I am pursuing my own website. I am in committed relationship. Anything is possible, it just takes time. Some days I can’t leave bed, and some days I can accomplish everything on my to do list. Each day is different, but just because someone you know has depression does not mean they can’t do something they set their minds to.
Myth #3: Depression is just a kind of sadness
If one more person tells me to “just snap out of it” or “just be happy” I will loose my shit. If you have never experienced the deep crippling sadness that makes it hard to get out of bed, to go to school, to go to work, to even hold a conversation, you have no right to tell me its as easy as snapping my fingers. Depression is a chemical imbalance in your brain that can make you feel so withdrawn from the world you don’t know what is up anymore.
Myth#4: Antidepressants are all you need to feel better
I am on medication and let me tell you, it was a wild ride getting to where I am now. When I was first diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression it was with my family doctor, he was old school but he knew I was desperate. He put me on a very low dose of one brand of medication. I was on it for about 3 months and didn’t feel any better, so I decided I could do it on my own that I didn’t need medication to help me. A year of spiralling even further down the rabbit hole I pushed my pride aside and went to go see a new doctor in Toronto who actually knew his shit about mental health. I did a trial and error of 6 different meds and a higher dose than the first one, and finally found the right one for me. This doctor made it very clear that this medication was not to be relied on as a cure. Antidepressants may be the cause for 80% of your stable mental state but you don’t want to just stay at 80, you want to be at 100%. Getting to be 100% is a combination of meds (if you choose) but also with eating right, drinking plenty of water, and exercising. This has stuck with me to this day, I can’t tell you how much combining those factors helped.
Myth #5: Depression is something rare and unusual
1 / 5 people are likely to have experience with mental illness in their lifetime (thanks google). It is very likely you know someone who is suffering or you are yourself. Depression is also genetic, so take a closer look at your family tree because you may not be the first to experience it. Depression is not something that is used as a publicity stunt. I don’t know who the fuck would want too pretend to have a mental illness, and if you do, you need to cut that shit out. My life would have been so much easier if I didn’t have to deal with my own mental shit everyday. But I do. Its a real thing and its everywhere.