A Condition Often Misunderstood

December 26, 2013

A Condition Often Misunderstood

by Sean M.

When we think about depression the initial thing that comes to mind is ‘sadness’, but there is a lot more to being depressed than the simple feeling of despair. Sadness is certainly a part of the condition, but there are several more elements that make it much more complex and, therefore, more difficult to understand and treat. The only way to grasp an understanding toward depression is by evaluating the impact it can have on various angles of life, and from those angles developing a point of view with proper explanation. Yet, any definition of depression is always going to fall under the category of opinion, on account of there being so many different ways to describe it.


Person’s Goals and Mental Perception


When someone is depressed the ability to think clearly becomes heavily compromised. The ability to set  clear goals in life becomes incredibly complex to someone who is depressed and, typically, these goals are very ‘generalized’. An example of an effective goal would be something like “I want to feel better about myself, and I’m going to do so by losing 15 pounds, and learning a new language”, whereas an example of someone dealing with depression would set a goal such as “I want to be happier”. The idea being that there is an ideal there that the depressed individual wants to achieve, however there is no effective plan to achieve it, therefore it is a ‘generalized’ goal.

Another idea that can be taken from that example is the overall ability known as ‘perception’. The way that a depressed individual views life can be explained as having a general acceptance for things, as opposed to trying to be proactive and find solutions for problems and challenges on their own. The whole entire mental condition of someone dealing with depression becomes very submissive,  which tends to prevent the individual from achieving goals as well as any other positive self-development over time. When someone is depressed the feeling to achieve and try to better oneself is almost non-existent, and the feelings of negative emotions are so powerful that desire for self-improvement is very uncommon.

Depression acts as a powerful hindrance toward mental capabilities such as:

  • A difficultly to remember positive times in life, which leads to a more permanent stasis on the condition of feeling lost and depressed.
  • A habit of over-generalizing which impacts the ability to remember memories all together, and the memories that are remembered are often blur and unclear.
  • Loss of time in general. When someone is severely depressed the attention towards the day of the week, the time of the year, and so forth are inaccurate. Depression defeats the desire to pay attention to what is going on around you.


Depression and a Sense of Reality


While many studies have claimed that people who are suffering from depression have a more realistic grasp on life and perception, the question is what researchers call “realistic”. If you take an individual that has experienced a number of difficult times through their life, than from ‘life experience’ it can be claimed they have developed a “realistic” mind-frame based on what they have been through. When you have a depressed individual, their mind frame is going to be based on a flow of negative factors, and the expectation for a minimized potential for a positive outcome. This kind of feeling would be on account of having a generalized negative bias towards everything, and a lack of belief that good things are to come. This is a point of view in regard to what depression can be defined as. When a similarity is made between realism and depression it is a very fine example in regard to how depression is often misunderstood, realism and depression are two totally different mind frames.

Realism is something that is developed from life experience that leads to an ability of generating an opinion toward ‘situational’ outcome based on probability. Depression is essentially a chemical imbalance that occurs for a number of different reasons. It prevents the mind from having hopeful expectations in a number of ways, and between depression and realism they are two mental frames that couldn’t be more different. Depression is something that is learned about further each and every day, but it is ineffective to try to claim depression and ‘realistic’ thinking go hand in hand, they simply don’t.

Depression is a condition that has existed for a very long time, and on account of having such a spread of different definitions it can be easy to misunderstand. It’s misunderstood because of how many elements compose its condition, and with that being put into consideration, depression needs to be evaluated with an open-mind because there are so many different factors that can define it. The more open-minded one can be toward the feeling of depression, the closer the opportunity is to fully understand it.

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/metabolico/536081022/