What does this word mean to you? Sadness? Loss of interest? Lack of self-esteem?
What is depression? And why is it such a prominent affliction in today's society?
Not everyone experiences depression. Everyone experiences sadness, but that is a completely different animal. People who are depressed know they are depressed. There is no doubt in their mind because depression is an indescribable, sinking, black abyss which leaves an unmistakable signature upon one's soul.
Let's list out some factoids about depression:
- Depression, once present, does not like to leave.
- Depression is addictive, yet unbearably painful at the same time.
- Depression is not cured by pharmaceuticals.
- Depression is often mistaken for sadness.
- Depression is not a natural human emotion.
- Depression is a state of being.
Let's think about this. Depression is an unnatural state of being that is addictive and not easily cured.
What could possibly cause such a complex affliction? In the professional world, psychologists, psychiatrists and neural scientists claim that depression is a mental disorder. Also under the catagory of 'mental disorder' are illnesses such as Schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, Autism, Aspergers, Retardation, and Split Personality Disorder.
Those who have experienced depression would likely support the statement that none of the above illnesses are kin to depression and should therefore not be catagorized with depression.
I would happen to agree with them.
Though depression is an unnatural state of being, it is quite a large leap to deduce that a depressed person is mentally ill. To be mentally ill, part of one's brain must be functioning incorrectly before the onset of an illness. One's brain can be functioning perfectly before, during and after the onset of depression. The classification of depression is simply a result of misunderstanding and lack of scientific evidence.
Depression is an emotional disorder, and as such it has absolutely nothing to do with the functioning capabilities of the brain.
To be a bit more clear, depression is caused by two major things: emotion and mindset.
The key ingredient here is mindset. That is, your mentality, your perception of the world, how you handle the thoughts that enter your mind. Negativity is an addictive mindset, and one's mindset is not something that is easily changed. This would explain why depression is so hard to get rid of.
What about emotion? Emotion is a dependent variable, the independent being one's mindset. Emotion is not something that is supposed to be bent and twisted, yet the mindset of a depressed person does just this. Emotion changes on it's own normally, but depression forces emotion down and keeps it in a headlock, if you will.
Depression usually starts as a simple emotion, but before long it is the mindset which controls emotion. Emotion is no longer free under a depressed mindset.
Can medicine treat a mindset or an emotion? I think not. In order to reverse depression, a change needs to occur in one of the two. Obviously, emotion is the easier factor to change in this equation, as one's mindset can require years of molding to change.
Depression can be reversed by a radical, positive change in emotion (i.e. falling in love). However, curing depression through a change in emotion will not change the general mindset of a person. A mindset of negativity requires persistant effort to change, and unless it changes, depression will always remain a possibility for the future.