Depression affects nearly 15 million American adults, or roughly 7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older, every year. However, it still stands as one of the most misunderstood mental conditions.
We explore some of the myths surrounding suicide and its symptoms:
1. Depression is a sign of weakness
Truth: Weakness is often associated with depression, but it shouldn’t be. People don’t choose to become depressed. Instead, they often develop the condition because of biological, sociological and psychological conditions and reasons.
2. Depression is just being sad
Truth: Depression isn’t just sadness. It’s a serious medical condition that can cause a person to feel extreme irritability, anxiety, restlessness, anger and have thoughts of death or suicide. They may also feel more lethargic and their body may hurt for a long period of time.
When someone is sad, he or she usually feels down for a relatively short period of time. Victims don’t have extreme behavioral swings and usually don’t have thoughts of suicide and no physical changes.
3. Suicide rates don’t peak during the holidays
Truth: Despite contrary belief, suicide rates actually peak during the spring and not the holidays. This myth has been around for awhile, but the truth has been around possibly even longer. In the 1820s doctors first noticed that suicide rates spiked when the temperatures warmed up. Still, doctors aren’t sure why this happens, but believe it could be something to do with socio-demographic factors people see less and do less in the winter, which gives them less reason to commit suicide.
Founded 25 years ago by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef, Fairwinds Treatment Center uses a Dual Diagnosis method to treat patients with depression and other health issues. Dual Diagnosis combines clinical treatment and therapeutic counseling to identify the underlying reasons for depression and resolve these psychological triggers.