Depression Myths & Truths

Your Results: 0 of 10 Correct
1   Depression is a normal part of life.

Although it's normal to feel sad or experience "the blues" in response to certain life events, such as the death of a loved one, clinical depression is a medical condition that persists for weeks, months or even years and is not a normal reaction to life events. To find out if you are experiencing the blues or real depression, click here.

1   Eventually, depression will go away by itself.

For some people, depression might go away without intervention, but that's not the case for most people who suffer from depression. There is no way of knowing how long depression might last, and it can greatly increase your risk of other complications if left untreated. There are several types of treatment that can quickly and effectively decrease the severity of depression.

1   It's normal for people to become depressed as they get older.

Depression is not a natural part of aging. While you may think that the risk of developing depression increases with age, that's not always the case. In fact, studies show that the elderly are more likely to be happy and content with their lives than their younger counterparts. Depression can occur at any age (even in children), but it is most common in people between the ages of 24 and 44.

1   Depression is life-threatening.

Left untreated, depression can last for weeks, months or even years and increase the risk of other health problems and even death. Untreated depression can lead to the following:

- A weakened immune system, resulting in more and longer-lasting illnesses
- Insomnia, which leads to fatigue, reduced mental clarity, and trouble concentrating
- A higher risk of death in the event of a heart attack or stroke
- Alcohol and drug use, abuse, and dependence
- Suicidal thoughts and/or attempts

1   Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.

The causes of depression are complex and overlapping. In fact, one true cause is not known. Low serotonin levels are a symptom of depression, but there is no proof that low levels of serotonin actually cause depression. Click here to learn more about the possible causes of depression.

1   Antidepressants are the most effective treatment for depression.

There are many effective treatments for depression, and antidepressant medications are just one of them. Because depression is so different among individuals, the methods used to treat depression also vary in effectiveness from person to person. For example, some studies show that exercise is just as effective as antidepressants in treating depression in some cases. For other people, talk therapy alone is enough to put depression at bay. Your doctor will work with you to find the best treatment plan for you, based on your symptoms.

1   When a depressed person talks about committing suicide, he probably won't act on it.

Suicide is a serious risk that many people with depression think about and attempt. Research shows that a person will usually vocalize or communicate his suicidal intentions before attempting it, so it should always be taken seriously. Another related myth is that talking about suicide or depression with someone will make them want to do it. This is also false. If someone mentions (or harbors) suicidal ideas, talk with him sympathetically and tactfully. Give the person an opportunity to express his ideas and feelings clearly and to receive appropriate care. In most cases, this prevents suicide. The National Suicide Prevention hotline (1-800-273-8255) also offers help.

1   Depression can occur when other areas of your life are going well.

People can experience depression even when life is going well. While depression can be triggered by unfortunate life events, that is not always the case.

1   A person without health insurance can't afford to get treatment for depression.

Even if you don't have insurance or a primary care doctor, there are plenty of professionals who can help you find low-cost or free resources. Try visiting a: Community mental health center University-affiliated health center Employee assistance program Faith-based clinic or clergy Family & social service agency or social worker Free health clinic

1   People with depression lack will power and can snap out of it.

Remember that depression is a real medical condition and says nothing about your character or value as a person. It is not the result of weakness or a defective personality. Many people are reluctant to talk about their difficulties or seek treatment out of embarrassment or shame, but there is nothing to be ashamed about. Medical professionals should not be judgmental about the problems you are experiencing. Learn how to get help for depression.

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Member Comments

XNANNY 7/6/2017 6:47:24 PM
10/10 I did not think I knew so much!
BRANWENDREW 4/3/2017 8:05:07 AM
It became evident last year after my father died that I was suffering from depression. I got medical treatment and have been on it since last fall. I am doing much better and get along with the world much better. Starting on exercsing more and doing a weight loss clinic along with my wife has helped as well.
BECKMIT 3/24/2017 12:17:25 PM
It's a daily battle for me but I'm not ready to give up.
DGFOWLER 12/22/2016 5:59:32 AM
Your Final Score: 10/10 Correct. I work in the mental health field. I was just interviewed by our local newspaper about suicide hotline services that our agency provides locally in Ohio. You can read a blog about it on my page if you are interested in learning more.
THETROUT 10/4/2016 12:45:34 PM
KAHANGI 12/15/2015 12:43:50 PM
PAULAROSE01 9/22/2015 3:30:47 PM
9/10 I think the chemical imbalance question is what threw most of us who didn't get them all right. I have a degree is psychology and have been depressed practically my entire life and I should have known better. I do believe there is such a thing as "situational depression" that is just as severe as chemical depression. Whatever the cause, most people really need to be made more aware of how serious this dis-ease is and that it really IS a disease!!
CURVACEOUSSIREN 4/23/2015 3:48:01 AM
The question about not having insurance is false. I don't have insurance and can't afford the so called low cost health places.
MADEINBRITAIN 1/31/2015 2:50:11 AM
10/10 - completely echo the comments made by GJERSEYGIRL
MARGIEB221 1/12/2015 9:03:02 AM
GJERSEYGIRL 12/14/2014 12:18:27 AM

I'm an expert on depression (not that I want to be or ever tried to be), having lived with it (on and off) most of my life. I've noticed I'm not alone. Many of us scored well on this quiz...due to personal experience.
LASHLEY436 10/21/2014 4:54:19 PM
I got 9/10. I have lived with depression most of my life. For many years it went untreated then finally counseling began and along with medications it helped. I suffer from a chemical imbalance and servere anxiety depression disorder. It does not have to be life cripalling though. You can live through it especially if you take it one day at a time and don't set unrealistic goals for yourself. Keep it simple is what has worked for me.
RACHELSUSANNAH 7/30/2014 5:09:20 PM
9/10. The chemical imbalance question threw me, but it IS one of the causal factors, as are imbalances in other neurotransmitters. I'll be honest when I say I find some of the questions to be oversimplified, such as the one about health insurance. Our social services system is so overburdened, that there are many who have depression and no resources to treat it. Nevertheless, I am glad there is a quiz that addresses this issue- and that suicide was mentioned.
PEAR-170 7/6/2014 1:40:16 AM
Got 10/10 correct
VALERYBROOKE 7/1/2014 9:39:19 AM
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