“I am feeling very depressed.” “Rains make the day so dull and depressing.” ‘“My friend is depressed about getting scolded by her parents.” How often do we or hear others say this? Ever wondered what the terms “depressed” or “depressive” really mean?
Depression, as a mental health condition, is greatly misunderstood. As a mental health condition, not a term tossed around on TV, depression is experienced as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, instability, and/or dysfunction. It may also manifest as angry outbursts. depression ranges from mild, temporary episodes to a severe, persistent complex pattern, commonly known as clinical depression.
Although depression is a strong and unpleasant emotion, people often use the term flippantly. This may contribute to becoming less serious about addressing mental health concerns. The idea of feeling depressed about trivial things can result in a decrease in the tolerance level, increasing the chances of catastrophizing and not being able to help ourselves.
Ironically, depression is a commonly used term, yet, it’s not understood and/or openly discussed or reported in India. According to research published in 2020, only 7.3% of the nation’s 365 million youth report problems related to mental health. The stigma around depression is still alive. People are not as forthcoming in dealing with these issues as compared to dealing with physical issues. A person with depression (clinical disorder or unpleasant, unhealthy emotions) could possibly have more difficulty in explaining their situation, the severity of their conditions, and dysfunctionality.
Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) identifies depression as an emotion. Depression as an emotion is more often experienced as a feeling of hopelessness, helplessness, loss of energy, increased fatigue or resignation. Loss of a person/thing, lack, failure, or unfairness may trigger this unpleasant emotion.
Research suggests that a combination of biological, psychological, and social conditions, including an altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain, may result in a change in brain function. Doctors advise that clinical depression is treated with medication and psychotherapy.
Talking about depression in a meaningful way is necessary in order to have open and honest conversations about its impact on individuals and society in general. We, as a society, should try not to judge ourselves and others suffering from depression or any mental disorder. If we overcome the stigma of it and reach out for help if and when needed, it is possible to proactively work on managing depression and lead a healthy and functional life.
About Author –
Tanvi Haria –
Counseling Psychologist | Psychotherapist
Tanvi Haria has completed her P.G. Diploma in Guidance and Counseling from S.I.E.S. I.C.E and Master’s in Counseling Psychology. She also holds a Master’s in Philosophy. Tanvi has been trained in Advanced level in REBT from the Albert Ellis Institute, New York. She is experienced in working with and teaching street children and orphans at NGOs. She strongly believe Philosophy and Psychology to be inseparable parallels to lead a healthy (especially mental) life. Tanvi is also a baker and painting is her go to therapy to maintain her emotional balance and sanity.