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From a Therapist: 5 Things You Don't Understand About Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health difficulties in America. But despite how common it is, there are still many misunderstanding and misconceptions. Here are 5 that you need to know.
Aaron Anderson, FamilyShare Modified: August 22, 2014 at 5:07 am •  Published: August 25, 2014

The recent death of Robin Williams has brought a lot of attention to depression. It's tragic that a beautiful life of laughter such as Robin Williams' could be cut short without it being the result of an accident or chronic illness like cancer.

But the truth is, Robin Williams' death WAS the result of a chronic illness. But instead of it being a more noticeable chronic illness (like cancer) it was the result of less obvious chronic illness called depression.

Many people misunderstand depression. In fact, many people don't even know that depression can be a chronic illness. Despite that depression has been around for ages, there are still many misunderstandings and misperception about depression and those who suffer from it.

So in an effort to help you understand and help those around you who suffer from depression, here are 5 things you probably don't understand about depression:

1) Depression is debilitating

A lot of people think that depression is just really bad sadness. And people think that because it's "just really bad sadness" you should be able to continue with life as you always have until you get over it. But depression isn't the same "everyday sadness" that comes and goes.

Depression is different from regular sadness because it is debilitating. In other words, it keeps people from being able to live the life they want to live. In fact, The World Health Organization has identified depression as the fourth leading cause of disability around the world and projects it to be the second leading cause by 2020.

2) Depression is common

In a recent study, it was discovered that approximately 10 percent of the U.S. suffers from depression. And that number is growing by 20 percent each year. That means that one out of every ten people you know has some sort of depression. And you'll likely know more and more people who have depression over time.

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