:: Health Conditions - Beat
It has been said that we live in the "Age
of Anxiety." We also live in a time of depression.
According to World Health Organization, it is a common
mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of
interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth,
disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.
In American society so many people experience depression that
it has been called the "common cold of emotional illness."
About 5% of the population or 15 million people are depressed
at any one time. About one in six people experience a significant
depressive episode at some point in life. Depression is a
definite problem with the elderly, but the age of onset is
dropping and depression is showing up more and more in adolescents.
:: Normal Emotions
Life is filled a variety of experiences and depending upon
life circumstances it is quite appropriate to be feeling any
of a number of positive and negative emotions. Such emotional
states include excitement, frustration, fear, happiness, anger,
sadness, and joy with many more possibilities. All of these
emotional states are normal reactions to specific life events.
Even when they are experienced as unpleasant, they are normal
These same emotions, however, can intensify into abnormal
states if they become an overreaction to the circumstances.
For example, if a store clerk is rude, you may respond with
normal irritation and complain to the manager. If your irritation
quickly escalates to anger and rage then you may create such
a scene that you are now the rude and obnoxious person.
:: Sadder than Sad?
a similar manner experiencing a loss may make you sad, but
if the sadness becomes out of proportion to the event then
you fall into depression. Sadness is normal, but depression
is not. Depression is when you become sadder than sad.
Depression differs from sadness in its intensity, frequency,
- Intensity. While the event would make most people sad,
you respond with a much deeper level of sadness. It is too
intense. Your sadness moves outside the normal range of
- Frequency. Your sadness may not be out of proportion,
but it is recurrent. You seem to get over it, and then it
comes back. This repetitive cycle becomes a pattern in your
- Duration. Your sadness comes and it stays and stays. The
sadness lasts much longer than it does for most other people
in similar circumstances.
Any combination of these factors can result in depression.
If it does then you have become "sadder than sad."
:: Watch your langauge!
Be careful how you describe your feelings. You may talk yourself
into more trouble than you need. We often use the words sad
and depressed as if they were the interchangeable. They are
Suppose that your favorite sports team loses. You might tell
a friend that you are feeling "really depressed."
Would this be an accurate statement? No. You might be irritated,
frustrated, or sad but not depressed.
A potential problem with such use of language is that you
might talk yourself into being depressed. You might intensify
your mood by your language. Say you are depressed often enough
and it might become your reality.
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