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 Do you or anyone you know suffer from depression? It’s a line almost everyone alive has heard in their life at one time or another. A line I’ve heard many times in my life but have now seen it two different ways. At first, I’d hear the line then move past it as if it was just talking about the weather. This line now means so much more since I myself suffer from depression. Once it affects you it means something entirely else than before. Knowing this line doesn’t even help explain the condition or give knowledge that can help one understand the consequences of having it. Depression can be a big and scary word depending on your upbringing and the generation you come from. Depression is still a relatively new condition that is being accepted as an actual medical condition. However, the concept of depression has been around for a while, and that means people can already have thoughts and conclusions about depression in their heads. There are many misconceptions about people who have depression and depression itself. These misconceptions include depression only being in the person’s head, medication being the only way to manage this condition, depression being the same in everyone, and depression not being a big deal and admitting to it as a weakness.

A major misconception about depression is that the condition is only present in your mind. Many people believe that it is just extreme sadness or something that “emo” kids claim to have. However, depression isn’t even close to that. While it is a highly complicated medical condition and doesn’t have just one cause, a major factor of depression is an imbalance of hormones controlling the brain. According to an article published by the Harvard Medical School, there are at least six different hormones that are thought to be contributing factors to the disorder. The biggest hormone of the six is serotonin, a chemical that regulates sleep, appetite, and the mood of which you feel. Other factors linked to the condition are genetic vulnerability, medications currently being taken, and even some medical conditions (Harvard Health par. 21). All these factors can contribute to someone having depression and even the extremeness of the condition. If someone doesn’t know this, they might not seek much-needed help. They could also hide future symptoms that show more dangerous progression if others try to get them to seek help Without help some of the more extreme cases might end up harming themselves, family members, friends, or even strangers. In the most extreme situations, they just might end up killing themselves.

In addition, some people by religion or personal beliefs are against taking medications. Whichever it may be, they will refuse to even admit to depression because in their mind depression equals needing medications. While a somewhat common treatment for depression is medications to help deal with the hormonal imbalance in the body, this is not the only treatment to help manage the condition. In fact, medication along with seeing a counselor or therapist is sometimes the best course of treatment. However, therapy is also a viable treatment to help manage your symptoms. Most doctors will also ask or require people to go through some form of therapy before they will prescribe medications. My own doctor required me to go through two months of therapy. After I had been going for a while, we readdressed my needs and concluded that therapy wasn’t helpful to me. I then went through a couple of different medications to figure out which was the best fit. Once on medication and at a more stable point, I was able to drop my therapy on an as-needed basis. However, not everyone can drop therapy at all and some don’t need to add medications. My cousin Alyssa is required to see a therapist for her depression at least every other week in addition to her medications. On the other hand, another of my cousins, Abby, has been being treated only with therapy for the last 2 years and is at a very stable point in her life. Treatment options to help manage symptoms depend on the person and their condition.

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Furthermore, in addition to the complexity of the condition, depression will not show itself the same way in everyone. Some people are under the misconception that depression is completely the same for every single person with it. Take for example just my own family. My mom has had depression for over 20 years and has had nearly all the symptoms. However, those symptoms ended up presenting themselves differently in me and she didn’t realize that I was suffering from depression for over a year. I also hid my symptoms because we didn’t really talk about what depression was. I had no idea that I had depression, all I knew was that I was feeling things that scared me, and the thoughts that could erupt from my surroundings and events that I used to see as just fine now terrified me. My mom didn’t have the thoughts that came with my depression, she just had the moods that it caused. I had the thoughts and worked my best to cover them and hide from what was going on. The condition didn’t present itself the same way even though what we had was the same condition. Depression is a highly complex condition with many symptoms, one that can even differ based on age and gender.

Some people can view depression as a weakness or that it’s not a big deal to worry about. This is mainly because they don’t truly understand what depression entails. However, it is not a weakness. To be able to live through depression especially those who go without needed resources for years, shows a major inner strength. This is especially true for those who have suicidal thoughts and actions. People who suffer from depression are, to some, equivalent to those who have fought cancer or have PTSD. They are survivors who can fight their own minds and bodies. Depression is a big deal as it is one of the biggest medical conditions being diagnosed in the current day and age. According to the CDC, depression is reported to be discussed at 9% out of all physician visits. It is also indicated on medical records to be involved in over 10% of all ER visits. Additionally, deaths by suicide, as reported by final death reports in 2017, equate to 14.5 deaths out of every 100,000 people in the United States (CDC par. 2-4). Death by suicide in 2017 is higher than the average number of deaths caused by car accidents every year. This makes depression a medical condition that has a pretty significant mortality rate.

Misconceptions about depression can be everywhere whether it’s just treatment options to the severity of the condition. With depression being caused by the actual body chemistry along with other outlying factors the idea of it being just present in someone’s mind is downright false and ridiculous. The condition which has a variety of treatments is not just focused on medications to help manage the condition even if hormones tend to cause most of the problems within the condition itself. With depression being as complex as it is it also is almost never the same from person to person. This also makes it a major condition when it comes to dealing with currently has a currently significant mortality rate. However, most importantly especially for those who have depression, depression is not a weakness it is just an obstacle that can help show one’s true inner strength.

#heathcare #medical #medicalcare #pharmaceuticals #healthcareprofessional #nurses #healthprofessionals

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