The title of this article may introduce the reader to some misconception that depression is a disease that only people of our age suffer from. Of course, this is not true, because depression has been terrorizing humankind ever since people appeared on Earth!
Why, then, about this disease is often said that it is one of the symbols of our age?
First, today, more than ever before, people understand that depression is a disease that can be cured, but life-threatening enough, because it can be fatal, because one of the symptoms that accompany depression can be to suicide.
The causes of this disease include various biological, social and psychological factors. Manifestations of depression – depressive episodes – are usually treated in our time, because there are effective methods to combat it. At the same time, no one is immune from the fact that the disease does not manifest itself again and would not become chronic …
Secondly, these symptoms are much more common in modern people than ever before, and the tendency is to increase. It is expected that by 2020 the depression will be in second place in terms of breadth of spread, after coronary heart disease, and even in the first place in some countries.
After all the above, it is already clear that depression is becoming one of the most common diseases on the planet, leading to disability and having the most negative consequences in the lives of not only individuals, but also of humanity as a whole. Society must make every effort to prevent and control this disease, and religion is one of the most important assistants in this matter.
Today we will talk about how to distinguish sadness from depression, and also give some historical data about this disease.
Sadness or depression?
Sadness and depression are similar, at first glance, states, but these are different phenomena. Chagrin or sadness refers to healthy, albeit negative, emotions. The etymology of these words  shows that the person experiencing these emotions feels as if the space in which he is located is compressed, or as if something is pressing on him (externally or internally).
These emotions are healthy from a psychological and physiological point of view, since they are necessary for a person to survive. They kind of make notes in his life experience and remind you of what situations it is better for a person not to fall into, in order to avoid the troubles that caused his grief in the past.
Another term that is often used when talking about depression is mood. Indeed, depression refers to a number of mental illnesses that are associated with disorders in the emotional sphere and are characterized as mood disorders, or affective disorders.
Mood is a certain general vitality experienced by a person. It significantly and deeply influences the way in which a person perceives himself, other people, the world around him, and also in general forms his ideas about the world.
The term depression does not describe an emotional state, an emotional tone or a manner of behavior. Depression is a complex affliction, relating, as we have said, to a number of affective disorders. And, like all diseases, it has a number of symptoms, one of which is the so-called depressive mood, that is, a state of sadness, melancholy.
A person who is in such a state of mind often says that he is reluctant to do anything, he constantly complains that he has a black streak in life, and all this takes place over a sufficiently long period of time.
Also symptoms of depression include:
- anhedonia, or loss of interest or pleasure from a previously enjoyable activity,
- on the one hand, the patient is overwhelmed by the feeling that he has no motivation for any activity and social life, but at the same time he does not endure any delay in his life or failure: a person gives the impression of having lost patience.
Depression also manifests itself on a bodily, or somatic, level. Basically, these are neurovegetative symptoms, that is, related to physiological functions that are not controlled by our consciousness (heartbeat, breathing, sweating, etc.).
People who suffer from depression may also have symptoms such as:
- anorexia or bulimia, weight reduction or its addition,
- sleep disorders, which include hypersomnia (excessive sleep duration) and insomnia. Many people with insomnia can easily fall asleep, but soon wake up, while other people have a problem opposite to this, that is, it’s generally difficult to sleep,
- reduced sexual self-esteem or reduced sexual desire,
- collapse and fatigue,
- women also have menstrual irregularities.
The behavior of a person suffering from depression, sometimes differs by increased slowness, and sometimes he becomes overly irritable and agitated. Often such a person gives the impression of being devastated, as if he has no desire to live.
He can look at the floor or on the walls and avoids direct eye contact with the other person. Also, the patient can often cry.
Finally, he doesn’t care what he looks like. He speaks little and inexpressively, often limited to some yes and no, he has a quiet, as if whispering voice, and his speech is monotonous.
All his actions reflect low self-esteem.
In the thoughts of a person suffering from depression, there is a feeling of guilt, as if its uselessness, he is tormented by anxiety and fear. He becomes unable to concentrate and make any decision.
Often he is visited by thoughts of death and suicide. He constantly remembers and as if mentally chewing on the troubles that happened to him.
Thus, it can be concluded that depression is a very complex phenomenon affecting the physical and mental sphere of a person, his body, feelings and thoughts, as well as having a strong influence on a person’s life and behavior.