How is depression viewed by society and the world around us?
Last Updated: 09/07/2021 at 8:41pm
Cynthia Stocker, LCSW
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
My approach is direct, kind, honest & collaborative. My clients appreciate that I help them in a way that cuts through the jargon and gives clear explanations.
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On my experience most of the times depression is not even considered as an illness. Im sure t what being depressed mea, is just ignorance about what being depressed means. They say things like "you are just sad because you want to be it", "you are weak", "do some sports, you have to move it", "do not be medrolamatic"...These comments do not help at all, depressed people feel even worst, like they do not worth...
Depression is a highly stigmatized disorder in society today. Patients suffering with depression are often viewed as being weak, and are thus often made 'social lepers'. This leads sufferers to remain silent about their plight and refuse to get help, for fear of being stigmatised.
Personally, I believe that it is frowned upon quite often. I have depression, and several people I've confided in have told me to just be happy, or to smile. It's not that easy, though, even with therapy and medication. My sister didn't believe I was diagnosed, and my mother tells me it's not an excuse for my behavior. So many people treat it like it's taboo, but when people are physically ill, people go to the hospital, treat them nice. I wish that were the same with mental illnesses like depression.
Society views depression as something that is easy to snap out of, when it is a nightmare to go through everyday. Someone who doesn't suffer from this illness usually will not understand the pain and traumatizing effects it takes on a person living with depression every moment of the day. Lack of energy and loss of ambition are seen as being "lazy", when it is not as controllable as people think it is. There are too many misunderstanding concerning this illness that no one wants to educate themselves on it. Due to this, a majority of sufferers do not open up to family or friends.
I think depression should be a more educated topic in society. I think that there is a lot of confusion around depression, and it is often used as a semi slang term for having a bad day, when in fact it is a very serious life threatening disease. As we are educated in school about many various topics, I think there should be more wellbeing and mental health education, throughout schools, as not just depression but all mental health is something that seems to be passed off as not that big of a deal, when in fact people are coping with so much, and may not know that it could be better, as they don't know what is wrong with them. I think society passes off depression and mental health as not life threatening, and supports physical health more immediately. Seeing an equal between physical and mental health, throughout all aspects of medicine and health would really make a change to our society.
It is viewed as mere sadness and that people who are depressed are just saying it to gain attention and sympathy when in reality these depressed people are in need of so much of love and help. Society needs a tight slap.
I think depression is seen as a stigma and often a taboo term in society and the world. And I believe this is one reason why those with depression don't discuss their issues or confront them. The world we live in is fast pace and productivity seems to be the conformist attitude we've needed to adapt to. However, depression involves symptoms of negative affect causing some to feel tired, unwilling to leave their beds/homes, and overall unmotivated. So unfortunately, society sees this as being lazy and incapacity to prevail in the fast paced world. That's partly my take on this question :)
I genuinely think that depression is underestimated in our society. People think that if you failed a test, lost a close person or got fired from your job, that you'd be depressed. Which is true, for the most part. But I'm talking about the Depression that can't be fixed by time. People, especially the previous generation (parents, teachers, etc.), think that depression is just a phase that we would grow out of. Though I do hope depression can be completely cured one day, so far, I don't really think people understand what depression really is, or how it affects a person's life.
i think a lot of people don't see it as a real disease. a lot of them use the word depression in a wrong way, when they don't want to do something the automatically say that they are depressed or that a certain situation is depressive. but i don't think they really know how it feels or what it really means
In today's society depression is often seen as beautiful and dark, creating a falsified image of what it really is. Depression is a real thing and causes millions of people stress and hurt, meanwhile others are , making it to look desirable and mysterious. In other cases depression isn't seen as a "real" thing. People assume it is over reactions or "regular sadness" when in reality, those struggling with depression have a hard time dealing with something so many people judge.
Being open about depression has been viewed as a weakness or excuse. It is hard for people who haven't experienced it themselves to understand how debilitating it can be.
Depression is viewed as a weak spot. What I've decided to do, is hide it. Fake a smile, and move on.
My father didn't believe that depression or other mental health issues were a thing. To him, people were either sane or insane. My mother just desperately wished that I, who seldom lied to her, was simply acting out and making excuses not to do things out of laziness. Some friends, in their confusion, and momentary amnesia over the fact that I was more of a loner than anything, thought that it might be a cry for attention. But the world is changing, slowly. More and more people are willing to admit they are directly affected nowadays, rather than say, just seeing it as a possibly 'made up' inconvenience. More people are willing to ask and answer questions about depression. With continued patience, willingness to listen and understand, I've seen how it can get better.
According to my personal experience from a developing country where mental health has not been paid enough attention. Depression, therefore, is overlooked. Depression sufferers, like myself 4 years ago, did not get enough help from the society as well as the world around me. The reason being is that the population is not educated about mental health and its effect on sufferers and how to support them when they need it. I actively seeked help from professional help yet the option for counseling and therapy was limited. In short, the society where I was, did not pay much attention on depression in particular and mental health in general. They tend to over look the impact of those illness compare to other physical illness.
Depression is viewed in many ways. Some say there is no such thing and we just want attention, but some who have walked in the shoes of depression understand the struggle and tough times of feeling like you are falling into a never ending pit of darkness. Depression is very hard to get through but gladly there is amazing listeners on 7 cups of tea that will help you through it. :)
Sadly, depression is very stigmatized in society today. While it is getting better about being less judgmental, there will always be people who reject the reality and struggle of depression.
Where I live depression is more and more accepted as an actual illness and not something you make up when you are too tired to go to work or school. It is incredibly hard to live with depression and sometimes being with people who, in their self-thought superiority, have the stomach to insist that you ARE in fact fine. While society is evolving into a complex stucture to fit a plethora of different humans there are people who will deny others' right to be sick.
I have never been openly be able to say im depressed, however Its very common for people to say theyve got a cold or a cough. Theres been times where ive had to suffer in silence, simply because I couldnt reach out to anybody. So I think its viewed as something negative, and it shows weakness.
Depression can be viewed as an over dramatization, an overstatement, a thing only "sad people go through", when reality, it is not a small thing and anyone can go through it.
Society likes to put an evil twist on things. Everything natural and beautiful in life, they call you out and judge you for it. Society makes depression look like a deformity, and people with it have a lesser value then those don't. But guess what? I have depression. By just looking at me, you'd never know. That doesn't make me less of a person in any way. It only means that I am struggling with things that no one else can see. Many people are battling depression, more then you know. But that doesn't mean anyone should fake an illness for attention.
I have found it depends on the person. Some people are very accepting and accept it as an illness just as real as cancer and some downplay it like its nothing. I've also found that sites like tumblr have glamourised mental illness and made it seem cool and trendy which is awful.
From my experience, people who do not have depression themselves see it as a way or "wanting attention" That is sad. I think the general public needs to be better informed about depression.
I think, unfortunately, depression is often viewed as weakness by society - despite that fact that some studies that think that almost half the population will suffer some kind of mental illness during their lifetime and the WHO stating that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. I personally think that heavy social expectations (especially for men) as well as the ingrained fear of failure and vulnerability make depression a frightening idea for many suffers and the community.
Many people are afraid of those who suffer from depression because they don't understand it. Some view it as a disease without a cure. Depression can be prevented by positive thinking, regular counselling and even medication.
The way society views depression is pretty corrupt and generalized. They think its beautifully tragic, its not. Its just something we have to work to overcome.
This depends on the person, some people don't really understand what others are going through, and they think they're overreacting, while there might be a true serious problem.
In my area, Depression is seen as a serious symptom of a disorder but does lack attention. Another reason is that people here tend to confuse Depression, anxiety and sadness. Sadness is a normal human emotion. We’ve all experienced it and we all will again. Sadness is usually triggered by a difficult, hurtful, challenging, or disappointing event, experience, or situation; whilst Depression is an abnormal emotional state, a mental illness that affects our thinking, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors in pervasive and chronic ways. but for the world, I believe it is highly recognized. We celebrate it as World Mental Health Day - 10 October World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide. Sources: http://www.who.int/mental_health/world-mental-health-day/en/ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201510/the-important- difference-between-sadness-and-depression
Overall there is still a huge stigma surrounding it. Down to the individual there are many different opinions.
Like any mental illness it's viewed by many as a weakness rather than an illness like a disease or a infection and sadly this is how sufferers also see it which makes it harder to overcome. This is probably why it's so taboo in society, we like hearing stories of someone fighting against an illness like cancer or heart disease, but depression doesn't have that 'glamour' about it, sufferers are seen as sad people who need to get a grip on life and learn how to cheer themselves up. But people don't realise, or at least haven't been taught, that depression is a real illness, that it's not a choice, it can effect anyone at any time in their life and if it's bad enough it can kill you. People need to be taught what depression really is, but whenever it makes its way into the limelight, like through a celebrity, it somehow still doesn't get the exposure it deserves.
Depression is usually viewed as a sign of weakness by the society. People tend to push you around and manage to land more frustration on you by blaming, mentioning past mistakes and making you feel guilty, which actually only makes an already bad situation worst.
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