What is most misunderstood about depression?

Answered by: David Kahn

Depressed people are often told just to get their act together, or snap out of it. This is no more possible than telling someone with arthritis to just stop feeling pain in his or her joints.

Depression is real and persists longer if not treated. It is serious and can result in poor physical health or even death, including suicide.

Moreover, people with depression may have the symptom of hopelessness about ever getting better and may be reluctant to begin treatment, so it is important for families to be involved.

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David Kahn, M.D.

David A. Kahn, M.D.

Dr. Kahn is the Diane Goldman Kemper Family Clinical Professor of Pyschiatry Emeritus, Columbia University Medical Center; and attending psychiatrist, New York Presbyterian Hospital.

He received his B.A. from Haverford College in 1975, completed medical school and internship in medicine at Columbia, and was resident and chief resident in psychiatry at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He then received an NIMH extramural research fellowship at the Psychiatric Institute, where he worked in the area of mood disord...
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