Although depression is one of the most common mental health conditions, it is also one of the most misunderstood ones. These misconceptions are extremely harmful, because not only do they perpetuate an inaccurate view of depression, but also prevent people from seeking professional help when they need it.
Especially these days, when most of us are spending more time at home, seeing less of our friends and family, trying to grasp the challenges of the new post-pandemic lifestyle, depression can slowly creep up on us and affect our daily lives. Now more than ever, it’s important to bust the myths associated with depression and seek professional advice as soon as possible. Online therapy for depression is more accessible than ever, and simply talking about your feelings from your living room sofa can improve your mood and outlook on life.
If you’re not sure that online therapy is right for you, or you’re not sure how depression manifests, here are the top 5 most common misconceptions that scientists have proven wrong:
Depression is not just “feeling sad”.
Although sadness is a common symptom of depression, it’s not the only symptom. Depression is a complex mental health condition that can manifest in different ways – many of them subtle. For example, symptoms can also include changes in appetite, losing interest in the things you used to love, feeling unworthy and unmotivated. Many patients describe depression as a feeling of hollowness. If you have been experiencing these symptoms for more than two weeks, talking to a professional may help.
Depression has nothing to do with how emotionally strong you are. It is, after all, a medical condition. In the same way that you’re not weak for catching the flu, you’re not weak for having depression. It’s something that can happen to anyone, and there should be no stigma around it.
Talking about depression will not make it worse.
It’s actually the opposite. Ignoring depression, downplaying symptoms and sweeping them under the rug can make things worse. Talking about depression and what you are struggling with, with a professional therapist helps you better understand your emotions, and cope with them in a healthy way. A therapist will always respect your confidentiality, and discuss depression in a constructive way that facilitates healing.
Depression can be managed and treated in many ways. Medication is one of them and, for some, it works very well. However, it’s not the only way depression can be kept under control. Your therapist may recommend online therapy, suggest lifestyle changes, or a combination of medication and therapy session. It depends on the patient, and your treatment will be adjusted based on your response.
According to scientific research, not only is online therapy as effective as online therapy, but it can actually be more effective in some cases. For example, patients with severe social anxiety, people trying therapy for the first time, or people living in remote areas with no access to professional mental health services may benefit more from online therapy.