In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week, (#MIAW) I decided to write a post about depression and why, when someone is depressed, they don’t just “get over it.” After all, why can’t people who suffer from depression just “think positive,” “be grateful” or exercise more and – just like that – feel better?
Because depression is an illness.
And just like we would NEVER say to someone with diabetes, “Just don’t think about sugar!”
or to someone with high blood pressure, “Just visualize that number down!”
or someone with a Multiple Sclerosis, “It’s all in your head!”
…we must not trivialize depression as something that can be wished or willed away. Instead, effective treatment for depression is often multi-pronged, involving psychotherapy, healthy lifestyle management and possibly medication. Luckily, we have lots of great options for the treatment of depression, and many of them are covered by health insurance – making gaining access to care a real possibility for most people.