There are many persistent misconceptions about depression. For instance, people assume depression is synonymous with sadness. (It’s not.)
They also assume that individuals with depression can simply snap out of it. (They can’t. Mild depression may abate with exercise, meditation and other self-help strategies. But most people’s clinical depression usually requires treatment.)
Such misconceptions can lead us to misinterpret what people need. It can lead us to make insensitive comments — “are you sure you want to get better?” — and to be dismissive of a disease that is actually devastating and really hard.
We asked people who have or had depression to share what they wish others knew and understood about the illness.