Each fortnight, Mel and Jeziel are joined by one of the lovely psychology experts from Masters Psychology. This week, Janice Dommisse came into the studio to chat about depression.
In the wake of R U OK Day, Janice not only touched on how depression differs from a standard bad day, and the reality of just how many people struggle every day, she also shared the four myths of depression:
1. Depression is not a real illness.
For years, people have incorrectly assumed that depression is simply a case of being sad, and that it can be cured by just being happier, or with a simple mindset change. The truth is in fact much more serious. Depression isn’t just a mental disorder, it has a very real physical side as well. The brain is composed of trillions of neurons connected by synapses. When these synapses don’t fire properly, it can be likened to “rowing a boat through mud.”
2. Depression is a result of a lack of willpower
A lot of people assume that depression can be overcome by sheer willpower. While that may sometimes be true, if can also be detrimental to real progress. The process of increasing willpower can also increase stress and worry. By encouraging someone to will themselves better, you can also set unreasonable and unreachable targets for them, which can lead to further disappointment and depression.
3. Depression is always triggered by something
While depression can be caused by triggers like grief, experiencing a trigger doesn’t guarantee depression, and vice versa. Depression doesn’t require a life event to trigger it, and the thought that it does can lead to a clinical spiral where people try to identify an aspect of their life that has caused their depression.
4. Anti-depressants alter your personality
This is the myth that many people are concerned about, but Janice explained that only about 10-20% of people experience a negative reaction to anti-depressants. When talking about diagnosed depression, most patients experience a positive reaction to medications, often within 2 to 4 weeks.
To hear all that Janice had to share on depression, including alternate treatments and prevention of depression, check out the podcast below: