Stigmas Related to Depression
Everyone experiences sad moments in life, but when these moments keep people from functioning normally, depression might be involved. Several symptoms collectively suggest depression, including the following examples:
- Fatigue throughout most days
- Daily feelings of guilt, despair and worthlessness
- Problems concentrating and making decisions
- Lack of interest or reward in previously enjoyed activities
- Irritability, restlessness, pessimism and eating/sleeping disorders
- Unexplained pains, headaches, cramps and stomach problems
People may struggle with any of the following types of depression:
- Major depression – This condition (also called clinical depression) involves a seriously depressed mood that disengages people from common pleasures
- Chronic depression – This type of depression (also called dysthymia) is characterized by feeling deflated for at least two years
- Manic depression – This complex mood disorder (also called bipolar disorder) causes alternating extremes between major depression and elation
In 2007 ABC noted that only half the people suffering with depression sought treatment, and it cited social stigma as a major reason why people avoided care.
Common Depression Stigmas
Stigma originates from a Latin word that meant a tattoo marking a person as a slave or criminal, but now it refers to a societal tag that implies a moral failing or character defect. The stigmas of depression imply a sign of weakness, whining and self-defeat. These views could not be further from the truth. Modern science counters this misinformation with the following findings:
- Depression is a disease of the brain
- The primary cause is genetics and biology
- This disease can be addressed through treatment
- Willpower and toughness are not cures for depression
Stigmas significantly impact men, particularly those in successful careers or from over-achieving families. Moreover, it is a self-perpetuating problem wherein people act out stereotypes of a stigma.
Treatment for Depression
Traditional treatment tackles depression with therapy, antidepressants or both. There are several types of applicable therapies, including the following examples:
- Psychotherapy – Talk-driven therapy that teaches coping strategies and common stressors
- Cognitive behavioral therapy – A method of teaching ways to react positively
- Psychodynamic therapy – This examines the root causes of depression
- Interpersonal therapy – Looks at practical issues involving relationships with others
- Family counseling – Addresses family issues and helps loved ones understand depression
- Individual therapy – Aims to identify depression triggers and stressors
- Group counseling – Sharing with and learn from other people’s experiences
Treatment typically involves both therapy and medications, though addiction issues might prevent the use of antidepressants.
Addiction and Depression
Addiction is also a neurobiological disease, and many people struggle with both problems at the same time. People may abuse drugs to self-medicate depression, but other problems may contribute to dual disorders. Integrated rehab can treat both issues with the following methods:
- Medically supervised detox
- Mental health screenings and care
- Several types of therapy (as listed above)
- Strategies to resist substance abuse triggers
Integrated care also addresses various stigmas and helps mitigate their sting.
Mental Health Treatment
Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak with a counselor about treatment for depression and/or addiction. Health insurance companies often cover these conditions, and we can check your policy for benefits. Please call now for instant help.