5 Misconceptions about depression

Unclear or almost invisible, the depression concerns more than 3 million French according to a study by the DREES. The absence of physical signs of this disease leaves room for innumerable misconceptions. Not always wrong, they are too simple answers to complex questions. Marie-Claude Gavard is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and psychoanalyst, and makes the fight against ideas heralded.

By Charlotte Herzog

A depressive has no will

Marie-Claude Gavard : The depression has nothing to do with the will. To say to a depressed person: "Shake yourself!" Is like undertaking the repair of a TV with a big kick in it. We're ruining the TV, that's all. The depressed person has the rest and, moreover, feels guilty about it. It's double punishment. In the midst of depression, the person does not come to anything: it is not that she does not want to get up or act. She just can not do it. To imply that a depressive lets himself go or listens a little too much is a mistake. He is ill. When someone has a flu or diabetes, is it because he listens too much?

Without external pressure and as little effort as possible, the depressive will heal faster. To the one with the plastered leg, one does not say "hurry to heal!" The diabetic does not say "stop being diabetic". For depression, it's the same.

A depressive goes bad while he has no pain anywhere

Marie-Claude Gavard : Depression is a bug in brain chemistry. It is a dysfunction of neuromediators - for example dopamine or serotonin - these chemicals that affect our tone, our mood or our appetite for living. It is a physical illness, triggered most often by a psychological disorder. Our way of acting, thinking, loving are impacted by our neuromediators who participate in the proper functioning of neurons. If she felt it, the depressed person might say, "I have pain in my neuromediators, can you prescribe me a treatment?" Because physiologically it is. If the depression provoked a little fever and a few pimples, people would get treatment right away and the disease would be treated more objectively.

Undiagnosed depressives who think - often wrongly - that "it's like that, maybe one day, it will pass", would avoid suffering. But symptoms like trouble sleeping or difficulty acting are often swept away from a "it's just because nothing goes with my spouse" or "my boss wants my skin". This absence of physical signs does not help to differentiate between a blues, passenger, and a beginning of depression, to treat.

A depressive person must have been shocked

Marie-Claude Gavard: No, otherwise the number of people affected by depression would be lower. Depression is multifactorial and the psychological problems called "triggering factors" of the physical disturbance, are various. They can take their source elsewhere than in a dramatic situation. Depression is the result of accidents, childhood experiences that have not been overcome, a lack of self-confidence, a genetic vulnerability ... In seasonal depression - apart from bipolar illness - for example, the decrease in the number of hours of sunlight brings about a disruption of brain chemistry. Depression can also be dissociated from a psychological problem. Diseases, such as multiple sclerosis or some hormonal treatments, can trigger it.

Depression is a problem of the rich

Marie-Claude Gavard: Anyone can make one or more depressions in their life, regardless of their socio-professional category. To say to a person in depression: "You are only a spoiled child who has time to go wrong", would mean to say to someone who has a broken leg: "You are only a spoiled child who has time to make a fracture. After, it is true that the inhabitants of countries at war are so in a perspective of survival, they are less depressed. They are in action until exhaustion. But once the fight, the big conflict or the past fear, "the nerves let go" and there may be a depression. There are also almost ordinary dailies that demand a lot of ammunition. An undiagnosed depressed, for example a single mother who is forced to be on all fronts at once, may have symptoms of depression, but only later.

A depressive does not seek solutions to his problems

Marie-Claude Gavard : Everyone has problems. This idea would insinuate that the depressive is not able to try to solve his own, which is not the case. He may occasionally, because of depression, be unable to act, focus and build a strategy to get out of it. What does it mean to "find a solution to your problem" for parents who are, for example, in mourning following the loss of their child? In this case, the depression can be long, the brain is slow to function properly again and the treatment needs to be prolonged. When one is depressed because of a perverse narcissistic leader, for example, the real problem is him: it is the triggering factor. Depressives often wonder how they will cope because being depressed is really painful. They often ruminate over the black haunting thoughts that come with it. A kind of repetition, like the feeling of being in a hamster wheel.

Feeling understood relieves them. Obviously they have trouble getting there, their brain chemistry is not working well. For them, acting is difficult. The solution to cure depression is a medical treatment adapted, which can associate drugs, psychotherapy, hypnosis, relaxation, meditation, rest ... and the understanding of the entourage.

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