Thursday, May 25, 2006

What is depression really?

This is a reply to the comments on my previous post, one that got way too big and still too messy near the end, so I decided to post it as a separate article :P

I have been thinking the posibility of being depressive several times in the past. Though, there was never a strong case inside me, one that would scream to me: "Hey, there is probably something wrong with you Michael!". So, I am preety much sure I don't suffer from the very special case called medical depression.

I had visited a psychologist for a short period few years ago. I decided to go when a friend prompted me to do so, though I've chosen a cheap public one cause I had to pay on my own (For special reasons, I wanted to try this out without my parents knowing). I am not sure if the shrink really helped me, maybe I'll have to try visiting a better one in the future. Anyways,. I think I've talked to her about depression and after she asked me some questions, she told me that I most probably don't have that. Though, you never know, so I am still having in mind to discuss the matter again when I find the chance..

Now, the problem that Thom mentions is important imho and especially interesting to me. Depression is one of those terms/conditions bearing a lot of confusion and myths around itself. I still can't get a proper answer to what really is depression, to which depression people refer and which is the truth behind the fact that depression is a plague in modern societies. I'll get to my point soon..

There are people who really suffer from the very severe kind of depression and some of them blame those who misuse the word "depression" so easilly in every day life. And then there are friends of mine who told me that they were once depressive in their lives, though I can't really sort out which of them are the "real" depressive. It's interesting to say that several of them had a similar family past as me (Parents who made your life too miserable), a sad childhood, weird personalities in general (Who "think too much",. well yes it's a state of mind for me that I (un)fortunatelly can't or don't want to escape from ;P) and most of them also like to listen to really depressive music or express themselves through art, poetry or writting texts even more darker than mine :P

A blend of our miserable past with our personalities, a sorrow expressed through art. A state of mind perhaps? So, if you(Thom) or the medical depressives say that this is not depression, I maybe have to agree in that. Still, the term "depression" got really much into our lives, we use it the way me, Eugenia or my friends use it, to mean maybe a condition of sadness in our lifes. But because of our psychological problems, maybe our struggle inside modern societies and so on. Our "depression" is a state of mind, not the physical condition you(Thom) very well try to differentiate.

As you may not know, I am usually bothered with those myths and misuses behind certain words. What do you have to say about manic depression for example? Nobody has given me an appropriate answer to that. For some, it's the very severe depression (And maybe with this term they diferrentiate the real one from the depression of every day life ;P), for others it's the extreme mood swings (One day preety sad, the other day extremelly happy). What do you know about it?

A long time ago, I tried to learn more about the whole matter by searching on the net (from wikipedia to medical websites), though I am not really sure I got a clue about what really is depression and what people claim as that. The medical site for example tried to diferrentiate a bit the severe depression case from the fake "Oh, my girlfriend dumped me, I am really sad now!" case. Though, if I recall well, it talked about depression being the curse of western world and mentioned that in Germany for example a big part of the population (10 percent? I can't remember. Even 1 would be too much though!) suffers from it. Which one then? Are all of those people clinical depressive?

Do we talk about the special case or the myth of modern societies? Do we talk about that state of mind of being dark and expressing through art? Who is really depressive at the end? Does the term really matter when even the so called "fake" depressive people had a terrible past/childhood and have developed a pesimistic/dark/worried personality ?

At least I can point out few facts:

There is an obvious medical case of depression. People of this kind are pissed off of the misuse of the term "depression" from most of us. I can understand and respect them!

There is also a "depressive" state of mind in our modern societies overall. In people, in art, even in lifestyle. It's inside our minds! Not that it is a pure illusion or our way to get attention, though I think it's mostly a blend of our sad past, struggle in life and personality. Perhaps someone would call it psychological problems and not depression. I really can't make out a sattisfying answer and still I am not sure if I am right in what I am writting here..

This is the diferentiation I could at least make. What do you think about the misuse? And also, do you believe that the "depressive" state of mind is just an idea in our minds (and also a lifestyle, art, way of thinking) or does it really mirror the sadness of life in our modern societies?

And because it's too late and I don't seem to have a good inspiration for that, nor do I like my messed up writting at the end, I prefer to stop here and let us discuss this..

8 comments:

Optimus said...

And as a sidenote, I'll mention a random incident here that could lighten up my condition, one that I wanted to write at the end of my reply that became a new post at the end ;)

It really happened yesterday/today and had to do with mood swings. A coincidence?

Yesterday, I was very sad at night. Almost for a reason that has no matter. I was just feeling fine with my demoscene hobby but happened to encounter some people and remember some things. Anyways,. it doesn't matter. After that, I suddenly turned preety much sad for a dark reason..

And surprisingly, today I wake up in the morning and had that great feeling! One of the rare good ones that seem to be far less than my frequent negatives. Without any reason I was in a really great and rare mood. As if I knew that I would get such nice replies early in the morning, from Eugenia, Antonis and my good old friend Antitec who is now in Canada and I was wondering what is he doing (Those two in my other blog). I had more reasons to smile! I made good thoughts and worked well on my university course work. But I had that feeling before getting those replies and start working. Just by waking up.

Late in the evening I am sad again. I don't think it's much of a clinical depression with mood swings, I still don't believe that. I think it's my anxiety in life, every second my mood can change, some people say it's common.

Anyways. But the really nice and rare feeling without a reason? I have very few of these ones. I wish I could get more of them..

I am still open for asking a doctor though. I somehow want to know more..

Stormrider said...

Look, DONT search the internet for depression generally. Like you mentioned, you find topics on depression such as "my girlfriend didnt have sex with me yesterday and I am sad", which is totally crap.
Depression is a very complicated matter, usually misunderstood by people, who believe its sorrow from a loss or a failure. Like you said, its a "state of mind". Very personalized, very different from person to person, and it unsafe to make conclusions from general articles.
If you still find that there is something wrong, you should get another opinion, from a better doctor this time.

PS. I find the fact that you talk so openly for the matter very courageous, and a very good sign of reaching a solution. All things will go OK! :)

Optimus said...

Thanks for the comment. It sort of cleans up some things for me I believe. Also, I'd mention here Rania's reply to the subject. Cleans even more things for me. I am still overthinking it though :)

guile said...

do jedi feel depression?..

Aasemoon said...

Hi Optimus!
Thx for dropping by my place. :)
Yup the oneliner [aka shout-box] is prolly a good idea since the lack of it can cause the comments to go way off topic. [Such as this one!]
As for your last post, got me a bit worried. I mean if the active/talented people are speaking of depression... wonder what's the rest of the earth population to say!

Optimus said...

Hallo garfield, thanks for replying here. Well, the oneliner function is a must for me (that reminds me Pouet ;) and I always wished to have one in my site or my blog now. Another reason is that even if people are not commenting on your regular posts, at least they can drop some weird message here and there so that you feel someone funny enough is passing through your webhome :)

As for depression, the interesting thing is that it usually seems to hit the really creative/artistic people (But that could also not be true, rather than a stereotype I happen to hear from people around me). And to not misunderstand me, I spoke about depression and requested to hear some facts/opinions about it but never claimed I suffer from it.

Pixie said...

Πότε θα γράψεις;Μας έλειψες!Συγκινήθηλα πολύ με το σχολιό σου.Γιατί πιέζεσαι;Ειναι δικός σου χώρος γράψε οτι θες.Φιλάκια

Optimus said...

Σε ευχαριστώ για το ενδιαφέρον! Μου έφτιαξες τη μέρα :)
Είμουνα λίγο off από τα blogs αυτές τις μέρες αλλά θα επανέλθω δριμύτερος. Μάκια

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