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Debunking depression myths

Myth:Depression is a sign of emotional weakness.

Fact: Depression is a clinical illness often caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Depressed people do not do anything to bring on their illness, nor do they have the power to “snap out of it.” Depression is not a personal failing that can be corrected by adopting a positive attitude or toughening up.

Myth:It’s normal for menopausal women to be depressed.

Fact: Women are at no greater risk for clinical depression during menopause than at other times in their lives. If you recognize depression in a loved one, express your concern and urge her to seek treatment.

Myth:Depression will go away on its own.

Fact: Although a single episode of depression may go away on its own within six to nine months, the chance of a second episode is 60 percent. Unfortunately, the more episodes a person experiences, the higher his or her chance of a recurrence. For this reason, it is best to see your healthcare provider at the first signs of depression.

This is also important to rule out an underlying disorder that requires treatment. Like any other medical illness, clinical depression requires treatment.