Coping with the Stigma of Major Depressive Disorder

Coping with the Stigma of Major Depressive Disorder

As a mental health advocate living with major depression, Sonja Wasden has made it her mission to break the stigma surrounding mental health. Through speaking engagements with a variety of organizations and media outlets, she aims to show others that they are not alone and can still live a fulfilling life despite their challenges.

One of the biggest obstacles in destigmatizing depression is the prevalence of misconceptions about major depressive disorder. Many people still believe that depression is a choice or something that can be easily brushed off. However, the reality is that depression is a real and valid feeling that cannot simply be turned on and off like a light switch. People with depression may also feel pressured to hide their struggles, putting on a happy facade to avoid judgment from others.

Another misconception is the belief that those with depression are seeking attention. In reality, the pain and suffering that accompany major depressive disorder are not worth any amount of attention. The ongoing stigma surrounding mental health can also prevent individuals from seeking help, with many feeling unworthy or lacking value due to their condition.

Despite these challenges, the perception of major depression is slowly changing. More people are opening up about their struggles, leading to more honest conversations and a better understanding of mental health issues. Therapy has become more commonplace, reducing the stigma associated with seeking help. However, there is still a stigma surrounding mental health medications, causing many to avoid treatment that could greatly improve their quality of life.

Accepting a diagnosis of major depressive disorder can be a difficult and overwhelming process. Sonja Wasden shares her own experience of initially rebelling against her diagnosis but eventually finding acceptance and learning to live a fulfilling life despite her depression. Radical acceptance is key to moving forward and managing the daily challenges that come with a chronic illness like major depressive disorder.

To help break the stigma surrounding mental health, it takes a collective effort from everyone – celebrities, public figures, families, friends, and individuals. Engaging in mental health conversations, educating oneself, using language that shows equality between physical and mental illnesses, and showing compassion are all ways to contribute to the fight against stigma. By raising awareness and speaking out about mental health, each person can make a difference and help others feel less alone in their struggles.