Beating common depression stigmas

January 24, 2019 | by Susan Ahmari, M.D.
Categories: Healthy Driven Minds

This blog originally appeared on the Healthy Driven Chicago website.

Nearly 20 percent of men and women in the United States will experience depression at some point during their lives. Although depression is common, there are still many misconceptions and stigmas surrounding the condition.

Stigma: Depression is not a real illness

Many people still believe that depression is not a real illness and that people who suffer from the condition can choose to snap out of it. This can lead to people denying their illness and delaying treatment. It can also worsen their feelings of isolation, believing they are all alone and that no one else is suffering.

Stigma: Depression isn’t treatable

Another misconception is that depression isn’t treatable and that it limits a person’s ability to have a normal life. For most people, this is absolutely not true. There are many treatment options, including therapy and medications. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the earlier depression is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment. The key to success is to seek help as soon as possible.

Next steps to feeling better

  1. If you suffer from depression, reach out to someone you trust. It could be a friend, loved one, teacher or mentor.
  2. Also, educate yourself on the condition, but make sure your source is reputable. For example, the National Institute of Mental Health, NAMI, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration are all respected organizations that provide accurate information.
  3. A good first step is to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician, psychologist or therapist. If your loved one suffers from depression, help him or her make the appointment. Your support will make a difference.

Edward-Elmhurst Health has a history of providing strong behavioral health services to the Chicago community. Throughout the years, we have expanded our services, and today we are one of the only health systems to have a Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval in all seven specialties — addiction services, anxiety, bipolar disorders, depression, eating disorders, geriatrics and self-injury.

Your total well-being is our priority. To learn more about mental health issues or to access a free one-on-one DepressionAware assessment, call 630-305-5027 or make an appointment online.

Find support at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health.

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