Beyond the Stigma

This is a part of a series of blog posts from members of the LifeSpring Brand Ambassadors program. Staff members in this program write about a topic they are passionate about relating to LifeSpring and/or mental health.

 

Depression is a real and serious condition that requires treatment and longtime support. It is often accompanied by a fear of stigma from those who experience it. This article is designed to dispel the myth that a person who experiences depression is “faulty” and “abnormal.”

There are multiple causes, both situational and organic, for depression. In addition, the severity of symptoms differ greatly from person to person.

 

Recognition of the issue is not a cause for shame or embarrassment.

The first step is to recognize and understand the signs and symptoms of depression. Here are just the tip of the iceberg:

            *feelings of hopelessness

            *trouble concentrating

            *thoughts of death or suicide

            *inability to make even simple decisions

            *sleep disturbance (too much or too little)

            *weight fluctuations (gains or losses)

            *fatigue

This, in no way, is a representation of all the noticeable signs of depression. In and of themselves, each one can be manageable. However, in combination, these symptoms may denote a serious condition that does not just need to be “dealt with” but treated.

Seeking treatment from a qualified mental health professional can help someone distinguish between the type and severity of the depression they are experiencing. Treatment options can include individual therapy and/or medication management. Treatment, combined with a system of support, can help someone with depression live a productive and happy life.

 

Susan Bugh, LCSW

Staff Therapist (Washington County Office)