It’s a sad state of affairs where an article asking is depression real needs to be written. But in 2019, a year where substantial progress has been made in eradicating mental health stigma, there still are people with some doubts. Take for example popular internet-personality Andrew Tate’s 2017 tweet:
Before we continue, let’s make one thing abundantly clear:
Depression is real. It’s a concrete psychological condition that affects millions of Americans.
There’s absolutely no debate there. However, how did we end up at a point where people are okay with making outlandish claims like this? Let’s take a step back and analyze a couple of facts.
Mental Health Issues Aren’t Easy to Diagnose
You don’t need to be a licensed counselor or psychologist to understand this; symptoms will never be the same from person to person. Patient A might have Symptoms X, Y, Z, while Patient B might have W, X, Z.
Similar to somebody who was diagnosed with lung cancer. Patient A might have led a life filled with smoking, while Patient B (like Walter White from the popular series Breaking Bad) might have never smoked in the entire life. But at the end of the day, they both are dealing with the same disease.
Mental illnesses don’t follow a straight path, and neither do their diagnosis. Depression also lies on a spectrum, so one individual might have a more severe form of it than another.
You Shouldn’t Self-Diagnose Mental Health Issues
People will say they’re depressed because they’re feeling sad, worthless, alone, ect. Does this mean they have clinical depression? Not necessarily. They could, but we’d never know unless they’ve seen a specialist. It’s good to be able to know your body and understand when things are off. But unless we’ve gone through the training and education necessary to have a greater understanding of these mental health issues, we should leave it to professionals to lay down the final ruling.
So for the final verdict:
Is Depression Real: ABSOLUTELY
Having to even ask is depression real, might be a slap to the face to some people entrenched in the mental health advocacy camp. But we need to be honest. Science skepticism has seen a sharp increase and it’s clear that mental health will see its own critics as well. Being up-front and addressing these issues is an important part of overcoming this misinformation.