I've always thought that a lot of teenagers these days seem to think that the slightest bit of upset or distress in their lives can be classified as depression. I always kind of think to myself depression is when for six months you can't live with yourself not for two days you feel bad because of some stupid event. I also think that the pharmaceutical industry has been quick to jump on this trying to sell you every pill under the sun, as well as the psychiatric industry who are very quick to tell you that you're in dire need of therapy.
I guess my question is, at what point do you consider deep sadness to be depression. Does it have to be a strict chemical imbalance or can it be caused by a major upset. Does it have to be for an extended period of time and does it have to be a certain intensity of sadness. I'm very interested to see how many people would agree with my viewpoint on this one, it seems the vast majority of people wouldn't.
Also, have you ever (or do you still) consider yourself to have suffered from depression and if so, did you take any steps to get help or did you suffer in silence.
When diagnosing any sort of mental illness, doctors use a very decisive, and very simple method. Is your sadness effecting your ability to function in the world? Can you hold down a job, can you eat and sleep, can you maintain relationships?
But, then again depression is really just a term. You don't have to be near catatonic to get prescribed medication. So, as with all psychology, the answer is very subjective, it varies from person to person. I always ask myself, is it too much for me to deal with myself? And the answer hasn't been no yet, thankfully.
The entire issue is a matter of perspective; it's all about the way you, personally, perceive it. Bad things are bound to happen to everyone, but it's the way that you deal with those things that make you who you are.
Personally I'm Bipolar so I guess it's mainly due to chemical in balances, nothing like jumping from one high to another to make the day interesting. Again personally I refuse most, if any, pills they'd prescribe me on the pure fact that the more you need to sustain yourself the less you become yourself. Obviously not the best choice of action but it helps me keep a sense of independence.
I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, one of the symptoms of which is depression, so yeah, I've definitely dealt with depression. I think we do over use the word 'depression' in our day-to-day lives a lot: I think there's a difference between having a stressful week and feeling kind of down and not being able to get washed or dressed or leave the house because even lying down feels too difficult.
I agree with Cody, that when diagnosing depression or anything other mental health disorder, it's usually based directly on how much it effects your day-to-day life. If you're still able to function and go to school/work/maintain relationships/get pleasure out of life then you don't really have depression even if you're having some bad days. On the other hand, I think a lot of people don't really learn the names for emotions very well, so it can be difficult to figure out what you're actually feeling. When I was in therapy, we went through the names of different kinds of emotions so I could figure out what I was really feeling: for example, I would say "I feel scared" all the time, when I would really mean "I feel nervous" or "I feel panicked" or "I feel overwhelmed", but I didn't know all those words so I just said "I'm scared" all the time. I think it can be a little like that when we're talking about depression: we may be feeling sad or lost or frightened or overwhelmed or all sorts different things, but it can be hard to figure it out or name those things, so we just say we're depressed because that word seems to cover all the bad feelings. I don't think that's necessarilly a bad thing, but I think that definition of depressed is different from the medical definition of depressed.
To answer the question "when do you consider deep sadness to be depression" I would say that those are different things. For example, I've had some pretty bad things happen which caused me to have PTSD, and I'm still really sad about those things. But I'm very functional at the moment: I'm studying for exams and going out and taking regular exercise and eating a regular diet, all of which are big steps for me. I wouldn't say I'm really depressed any more, because when I was I didn't leave the house, or eat food normally, or sleep or even try and do anything with my life. So I think you can still be sad without being depressed. I would say depression eats away at your life until you can't do anything, whereas sadness is something that's part of life, even if it's a bad part.
downtrip is pretty much just when things just sucks,
well nothing gone right in my life, but i guess i could function, i meen its in the human nature to try to survive, i have just come to a point where i am questioning if its worth to life a bad life just to die later.
Well, I'm 14. For me, depression and happiness aren't moods. They're states of being. When one is asked to define the opposite of happy, they often say "sad." I think this is untrue. Sadness isn't necessarily the absence of happiness, though it comes very close... but depression is. When someone is happy, it doesn't mean they've had a good day or anything like that. It means they're satisfied with how their life is, constantly, even if something little goes wrong. Someone can be sad and still be happy with their life in general.
I've had to think about this before. I was never clinically diagnosed, but I do believe that I once suffered from depression - the absence of happiness. Completely. I had a few good moments, but otherwise, my life was just a big ball of suck, despite the fact I had everything going for me. A couple months ago, actually. From the seventh grade (2008) until last... November? It started out really small, but it became this unstoppable, invincible force in my life around late 2009. I was always sad. Nothing had any meaning. My life was devoid of... life. I still sometimes feel sort of empty, but it's a different kind of empty (feeling too small in comparison to the rest of the history of the world, as opposed to nothing at all). Having felt that quality of suck personally, I've changed my outlook on life. Not consciously, but it's changed, nevertheless. I can't go back to the time when euphoria was an everyday thing, but that doesn't mean I can't be happy anymore. Is this the world through the eyes of an adult? Or a scholar? I've always been a rapid thinker, but lately it's come to my attention that being as smart as I am isn't normal. The ability to analyze everything for the truth, to find every single flaw, is my ultimate downfall. I couldn't see God. Can't. I couldn't see anything... relevant. Nothing to live for, because I mean, everything we as humans assign meaning--wealth, love, fame--in actuality, doesn't mean a fucking thing in the bigger picture. I can't really explain it further than that, and no one with a healthy hormone balance is ever going to understand, though this might make sense to someone who's felt the same way before, or even now. I thought about suicide, but I never actually thought about committing suicide; they're two very different things. I'm not brave enough to kill myself, but back then, suicide didn't seem... unappealing. While I wasn't keen on completely ending my life just because it fucking sucked, I was curious about what comes after. That still scared me, though. So I told my parents.
Yeah, they freaked out. I kind of regret telling them, but I kind of don't. They told every authority figure under the sun about it because they thought it would do something, but it didn't. Ha ha. My mom called my pediatrician. He asked for the names of the medications I was on, so she told him I was on Loestrin Fe 24, a type of 28-day birth control. Not because I'm a whore and actually need the birth control aspect of the birth control, but I had a lot of acne and an extremely irregular period, so it evened that out. I was told to stop taking it. I don't know if it actually did anything or if it was one of those flour-pill-disguised-as-Advil-type scenarios, but I've been happier. A lot happier, actually. I'll always be somewhat sad because of my intelligence quotient, but I'm okay with that. Now I just have to come to terms with my relative insignificance. I'm still waiting for the acne to come back. Yadda yadda.
To actually answer your question, depression sneaks up on you. It can't be defined, because usually the definitions come from people that have never been depressed. To me, it's an all-consuming state of being that will stick with you for the rest of your life. You feel it once, it'll stay with you, to different degrees of severity. But it can be different for other people. If someone feels like they've been depressed before, you can't easily sway them from the idea that they have no idea what depression is. Kind of like how people are allowed to check whichever box they want under the "ethnicity" category--if you say you're black, you can be black, and no one save you is ever going to know whether or not you're telling the truth, but they have to believe you because they'll never actually know. Same goes for depression. I feel strongly that I've been depressed before, but maybe I haven't. Maybe it's just something that all teenagers go through and I'm being extremely dramatic about it, but I doubt it. Medicine to treat depression is a whole other essay from me, so I'm going to cut this schpiel off now.
Nothing to live for, because I mean, everything we as humans assign meaning--wealth, love, fame--in actuality, doesn't mean a fucking thing in the bigger picture.
No truer words have been spoken. Perhaps happiness is just the act of deluding yourself, of ignoring the sad, even depressing things in life, or even the fundamental and resulting sadness finiteness of life.
I don't know, I don't want to make claims I can't support, or pretend I understand what you're going through, or have felt what you did, because I don't and haven't. But I just think you seem like a really cool person, and really deep thinker. :)
there isa difference between being depressed and suffering from depression.
if you suffer from depression, you have a mental illness, but if myou are depressed, you are just upset for an extended period of time.