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People's ideas about
depression have changed over the years. New technology
and new research show that depression is a disease, just like
Here are some myths and
facts about depression.
"Depression isn't real."
"It's something in your head."
"It's being lazy."
Depression is a disease of the brain. Experts
believe that certain brain chemicals go out of balance to cause the disease. No
one thing causes this. Many things, including your
genes, stressful events, illness, and medicines, can
cause the imbalance.
"Depression always will get better by itself."
"Treatment doesn't really work."
"You usually can wait it out."
A few people get over depression on their own,
but most people need treatment. Most people with depression can be treated, and
they return to their work and home routines. Without treatment, depression can
last for months or even years.
"Children cannot get depression."
Depression can develop in any age group, ethnic group,
economic group, and gender.
"Depression only happens if something bad happens to you. For example, you only get it after a bad divorce or losing your job."
Depression may start after something bad happens, but other
things also may trigger it. Medicines, hormone problems, childbirth, and using
alcohol and drugs all can trigger depression. Sometimes it happens for no clear
"If you can't get over depression, you're weak."
Depression is a disease. It is a problem with
your brain chemistry, not your character. You can't force yourself to get over
it any more than you can make asthma or a heart attack go away.
"Only people who are very depressed or think about suicide need medicine."
Many people with depression are helped by medicine.
Medicine can improve or get rid of the symptoms of depression.
Current as of:
January 11, 2013
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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