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The 5 Myths of Depression You Should Stop Believing

The 5 Myths of Depression You Should Stop Believing

Depression is sometimes called the “invisible” disease because you cannot see it through a microscope or medical body scan. How do you fight against an invisible problem? I would think it would be hard. Plus, it is scary to imagine some disease lurking in your brain without being able to operate on it! Although being diagnosed with depression can be scary and daunting, there are some specific myths about depression that all of us must cast aside in order to stand against depression and win.

1. Depression can’t be treated

This myth is one that you absolutely cannot believe. Depression is a challenge, not a death sentence. In fact, as soon as you embrace the possibility that you may be experiencing depression, the better your chances are of learning to manage your depression. As a psychotherapist, and as someone that has dealt with depression personally, it is a battle that can be won. I have personally witnessed many clients of mine overcome the grip of depression and reclaim their life. Put it to the test: talk to any therapist, psychologist and/or even your doctor, and you will hear the same thing: depression is treatable and you CAN overcome it. Do not delay another day. Face it and fight it head on.

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2. The only way to treat depression is through medication

Medication can be great for depression. It can definitely relieve many of the symptoms you may be experiencing, but it is definitely not the only way to treat depression. Actually, my experience has shown that only using medication is good for a while, but it does not remedy depression outright. For example, think of a brand new car. This brand new car is wonderful in all aspects. It smells wonderful, it shines beautifully, and it runs crappy. Why? Because it has a bad tire. One, and only one bad tire, can ruin a brand new car. It is the same with depression. You are the new car, but this depression is causing you to run bad. Medication will help fix that tire for a temporary time, but it will not fix the tire for good. There are many therapies used in psychotherapy that can help, in addition with medication, to relieve depression. Believe it or not, therapists are specifically trained to help reconfigure the way you see yourself, the world, your experiences and even your memories so that any depressive ghosts no longer attach themselves to your life.

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3. If I’m depressed, there’s something flawed inside me

It is a quirky statement to say that because you’re depressed, you are internally flawed. If you use that same logic and apply it to people who are physically ill, would you say they are flawed too? Sure, they are physically sick, but it does not mean that there is something embarrassing, shameful or dishonorable about them, does it? Yes, some people contribute to sicknesses because of diet, or bad habits, like smoking, but it does not mean that anyone that is sick is an alien invader of the human race and must be ostracized from society. Some people get sick for unknown reasons and sometimes we just don’t know why certain illnesses pop up in our lives. It does not mean you are broken, despicable or unworthy! Having the challenge of depression simply means you have a fight in front of you and that it’s time to lace up the gloves. When you get a cold or a stomach flu, you do things to make it better, right? It is exactly the same with depression. Do something to make it better. Thinking that you are flawed has nothing to do with being depressed and getting out from under its grip.

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4. My family can’t help me through depression

This is probably one of the biggest myths about depression. Actually, the opposite of this myth is true. Without your family’s help and support, depression can get worse. Studies on the relationship between depression and family have shown that the support and communication with family can increase self-esteem, a sense of belonging and reciprocal positive interactions. This benefit can only be achieved by having your family learn about your depression and ways in which they can be your greatest entourage and support team. There is nothing in the world as valuable and as powerful as the support and love from family. There are several reasons why family is a great weapon against depression. First, family can demonstrate that there is variety, spice and purpose to life. Second, family can send positive messages to you about life and about you. Positive interactions with family members will help you feel supported, loved and will increase your ability to take care of yourself. Third, family can help you feel like you are connected and that you belong to a group of beings bigger than yourself. More is better in fighting something like depression!

5. My spouse cannot help me through depression

If you happen to be married, or in a committed relationship, then depression could try to stick its ugly hands into the relationship and really cause some havoc. However, you and your partner could unite and fight depression together, instead of allowing it to become a wedge. Actually, studies show that a person can improve simply by being in a relationship where both are working towards actively fighting against depression. On the other hand, improvement is not as good if the depressed individual is going to counseling alone or is fighting depression alone. Again, two are better than one when it comes to depression. Get open about your challenge and get specific recommendations from a licensed therapist on how to turn the tide of your relationship before depression has a firm grip on it.

Featured photo credit: suffering via freeimages.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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