Is depression real?

Watch
RioFantastic
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 50 years ago
#1
Hey all,

Just some food for thought here, I'm not giving opinions one way or another but would like to stimulate some real discussions! The topic is - is depressions a real illness? Now, on the one hand you have the people who claim to suffer from the illness, doctors and psychiatrists and drug companies who claim its real and want to sell you medications to fix your depressions, and therapists who want to take money to talk you out of your depressions. The evidence on there side are some studies from the 90s, the big industry surrounding depression, and many anecodotal experiences. On the other side you have a growing number of impartial scientists, people who have beaten depression, many religions, and a number of groups unaffiliated with profit but are coming out with a new way of looking at this. Now, one side says that depressions is a real medical illness in the same way glandular fever or influenza is an illness - that its a real disease rooted in the brains where the brain has a dysfunctional and so it becomes wacky and forces the sufferer to be very sad. The other side says that sadness is a normal human emotion, and that depression is caused because the person in question doesn't have the strength or moral fiber to pull themselves out of the depression, and so adopts a mindset called learn helplessnes where their bad habits become ingrained and so they perpetuate their own suffering, and the evidence for this theory is starting to mount, and many people have beaten depression without the medications pushed by big pharma, so basically theres a lot to be said here on both sides of this debate. Where do you fall on this? Feel free for anyone to chime in with their 2 cents, people who've suffered from alledged depressions, if you've known people with depressions, if you've studied it or researched it or just if you have an opinion! Let's open a real dialogue here.
0
reply
AspiringMedic8
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
(Original post by RioFantastic)
Hey all,

Just some food for thought here, I'm not giving opinions one way or another but would like to stimulate some real discussions! The topic is - is depressions a real illness? Now, on the one hand you have the people who claim to suffer from the illness, doctors and psychiatrists and drug companies who claim its real and want to sell you medications to fix your depressions, and therapists who want to take money to talk you out of your depressions. The evidence on there side are some studies from the 90s, the big industry surrounding depression, and many anecodotal experiences. On the other side you have a growing number of impartial scientists, people who have beaten depression, many religions, and a number of groups unaffiliated with profit but are coming out with a new way of looking at this. Now, one side says that depressions is a real medical illness in the same way glandular fever or influenza is an illness - that its a real disease rooted in the brains where the brain has a dysfunctional and so it becomes wacky and forces the sufferer to be very sad. The other side says that sadness is a normal human emotion, and that depression is caused because the person in question doesn't have the strength or moral fiber to pull themselves out of the depression, and so adopts a mindset called learn helplessnes where their bad habits become ingrained and so they perpetuate their own suffering, and the evidence for this theory is starting to mount, and many people have beaten depression without the medications pushed by big pharma, so basically theres a lot to be said here on both sides of this debate. Where do you fall on this? Feel free for anyone to chime in with their 2 cents, people who've suffered from alledged depressions, if you've known people with depressions, if you've studied it or researched it or just if you have an opinion! Let's open a real dialogue here.
Your question is stupid...even if it does not arise from a biological origin, it is still real and still a mental health problem.


Posted from TSR Mobile
8
reply
Anonymous #1
#3
Report 5 years ago
#3
It doesn't really matter what matters is the fact that people can end up killing themselves as a result that's the main reason it's recognised.
0
reply
username1553267
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 years ago
#4
There are some physical effects of depression and some brain chemistry stuff so i guess id say its real. The thing is i think it might be misdiagnosed sometimes. You cant really do a brain scan on every patient so you have to trust what they say about what they feel.

I think it becomes a problem when the patient fails to function, then its severe depression - they cannot go to work or school anymore, cant take care of themselves, cant eat, sleep etc. But i feel like some people have mild depression but they are still able to function to a decent extent. So idk its just hard to tell when it turns from regular or temporary sadness to an actual illness. I mean.. if theyre willing to go and get help then theyre prob struggling.


Posted from TSR Mobile
1
reply
mogwai98
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#5
Report 5 years ago
#5
People who doubt depression is a 'real' illness have quite clearly never experienced it. The problem is that there seems to be some confusion between normal, everyday feelings of being a bit down and depression, which is very much a real condition that kills many people every single year.

So you missed the bus this morning and you got wet in the rain, now you're at work and you've realised you haven't got your lunch with you. You're cold, wet, tired, hungry and feel a bit teary. Your boss is yelling at you for no particular reason. You've got another 6 hours before you can go home. You feel down, which is understandable.
This is one thing.

You feel as though every step you take, every little movement requires so much energy that you just can't do it. So you're sat on the sofa and really in need of a drink, but you don't go and get one because you haven't the energy to lift yourself up and walk to the kitchen. So you lie there, staring at the wall, trying to think of reasons why you should remain alive. Maybe you're crying, maybe not. Maybe you wish you could feel something, anything instead of this permanent numbness. Of course, we all have things to do - school, work, whatever. And you have to do it. So you force yourself to get up each morning, even though you really just want to stay there and hope you disappear. Force yourself to function, depsite the darkness that seems to hover around you, despite feeling that there's nothing to look forward to, nothing to enjoy or smile about, nothing in the future that might lift the weight you're carrying off you a little. Everyone hates you, including yourself, and you just want to be forgotten so you can crawl up in a corner and die.
This is quite another thing.

Everyone experiences depression differently, by the way, so I don't want to make out that the above represents the reality for all sufferers.
For those people that say that depression isn't real, that the sufferers are just wallowing in the misery that everyone feels from time to time and that they should just pull themselves together... wait until it happens to you. Then you may feel differently about it. And if it's attention seeking, why is it that people with depression rarely tell anyone? Odd way to go about drawing attention to yourself, isn't it?
23
reply
chazwomaq
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#6
Report 5 years ago
#6
The reason this question will always come up is because mental health disorders are diagnosed by their symptoms, whereas most non mental health illnesses are diagnosed by a physical marker or their causes.

For someone suffering from severe depression, as mogwai98 describes, it is really insulting to suggest that they just "snap out of it".

But not all of "depression" is necessarily like that. There is a continuum between very mild and very strong symptoms, and between very understandable and natural triggers of low mood (losing a job or someone you love), and totally out of the blue depression.

Imagine if we had no physical way to distinguish between indigestion, appendicitis, and stomach cancer. All would be lumped together as "stomach pain", and yet they are very different and would respond very differently to different treatments. Indigestion would go away without treatment, but appendicitis won't. Neither would stomach cancer, but then again it might remain sub clinical.

There is mounting evidence that antidepressants (the most widely prescribed drugs in the world) are ineffective for mild depression, and may even cause more harm than good, quite possibly because mood fluctuates for good reasons, and there is substantial regression to the mean.

But that doesn't mean other instances of depression aren't very real. We still have no biomarker of depression or most other mental illnesses, and until we do this issue will always come up.
4
reply
lucaf
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#7
Report 5 years ago
#7
Yes, depression isn't just being really sad.
2
reply
The Socktor
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#8
Report 5 years ago
#8
Yes. Next question.
4
reply
lizzyc501
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#9
Report 5 years ago
#9
(Original post by RioFantastic)
Hey all,

Just some food for thought here, I'm not giving opinions one way or another but would like to stimulate some real discussions! The topic is - is depressions a real illness? Now, on the one hand you have the people who claim to suffer from the illness, doctors and psychiatrists and drug companies who claim its real and want to sell you medications to fix your depressions, and therapists who want to take money to talk you out of your depressions. The evidence on there side are some studies from the 90s, the big industry surrounding depression, and many anecodotal experiences. On the other side you have a growing number of impartial scientists, people who have beaten depression, many religions, and a number of groups unaffiliated with profit but are coming out with a new way of looking at this. Now, one side says that depressions is a real medical illness in the same way glandular fever or influenza is an illness - that its a real disease rooted in the brains where the brain has a dysfunctional and so it becomes wacky and forces the sufferer to be very sad. The other side says that sadness is a normal human emotion, and that depression is caused because the person in question doesn't have the strength or moral fiber to pull themselves out of the depression, and so adopts a mindset called learn helplessnes where their bad habits become ingrained and so they perpetuate their own suffering, and the evidence for this theory is starting to mount, and many people have beaten depression without the medications pushed by big pharma, so basically theres a lot to be said here on both sides of this debate. Where do you fall on this? Feel free for anyone to chime in with their 2 cents, people who've suffered from alledged depressions, if you've known people with depressions, if you've studied it or researched it or just if you have an opinion! Let's open a real dialogue here.
You know depression when you see it. It's real. And I hate it when people say being depressed is equal to being sad, because it isn't and saying that sadness is an important symptom for diagnosing depression is an understatement. I'm not clinically depressed per se, but in my view antidepressants and just seeing a physician is not enough; it's a journey that I personally think, people who have it have to figure it out by themselves with other people's support. People generally tend to have a subconscious stigma about mental illness, and it shouldn't be that way and people with mental illness shouldn't feel restricted because of what they 'have'. I know most people with mental illness fear talking it out which makes the problem worse because of the stigma surrounding mental illness and it's just sad.
1
reply
Tiger Rag
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#10
Report 5 years ago
#10
Someone clearly has no idea what depression is, do they?
0
reply
Killer Bean
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#11
Report 5 years ago
#11


/thread
0
reply
FilmNerd1989
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#12
Report 5 years ago
#12
Not according to Szasz, apparently.

Everyone else knows now it is though.
0
reply
Revenged
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#13
Report 5 years ago
#13
You need to consider the severities of depression.

Mild depression, dysthymia, is considered normal sadness. Anti-depressant should not be prescribed, they have no efficacy in this group.

Depression or moderate or severe depression, especially psychotic depression and suicidal behaviour, suicide rate and co-morbidity is quite high.

The first group is not what most would be clinically depressed, the later definitely, where you draw the line is up to you. I think it naive to think everyone sad is depressed, or indeed the opposite that everyone depressed is just sad.
0
reply
RioFantastic
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#14
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#14
(Original post by Revenged)
You need to consider the severities of depression.

Mild depression, dysthymia, is considered normal sadness. Anti-depressant should not be prescribed, they have no efficacy in this group.

Depression or moderate or severe depression, especially psychotic depression and suicidal behaviour, suicide rate and co-morbidity is quite high.

The first group is not what most would be clinically depressed, the later definitely, where you draw the line is up to you. I think it naive to think everyone sad is depressed, or indeed the opposite that everyone depressed is just sad.
If depression can be compared to a great deluge of emotion, floodgates opening, and a wave of negative emotions overtaking the sufferer - be they melancholy bursts of crying because they feel so sad, or getting angry and agitated and not being able to be still burst of anxiety and stress and rage along with the sadness, or merely an enormous void overtaking the sufferer and making them feel empty and hopeless, a numb sensation of nothing feeling much like anything, depression is certainly like a burst of overriding emotions overtaking the sufferer. Dysthymia is more like chinese water torture - it is insidious, it doesn't cause a marked impairment in functioning like depression, but instead it permeates every aspect of thes sufferer's life, colouring everything grey and making everything feel hopeless. The intensity of the emotion is one difference, but another huge difference is the course of the illness. Over 50% of episodes of depression will have ended within a month, 75% within three months, and over 90% within six months! For the most part depression can be summarised as something that hits hard, and certainly feels like it can go on forever, but usually is gone as quickly as it came.

Dysthymia on the other hand is a CHRONIC condition. This means that you don't have "episodes" of dysthymia, you just ARE dysthymic. Rather than being intensely sad for six months, you're just pretty sad all the time. Rather than feeling abject misery hit you out of the blue, you don't really know what it's like to be truly happy and excited. Life fatigues you and wears you down, you feel no joy in anything, everything is miserable. Dysthymia sounds like a torturous condition, and if I had to choose I'd definitely pick six months in the deepest pit of hell than my entire life in the outer rim of hell.

And there you come along and proclaim that, against ALL psychiatric knowledge, against every personal experience of those that have had dysthymia, that it's not a chronic life-long miserble condition, but it's JUST NORMAL SADNESS!? That this isnt' a terrible mental illness that afflicts thousands upon thousands of people, but that these people are just FEELING A NORMAL EMOTION!?!? So because they don't have "real" depression they not only aren't experiencing a mental illness, but also don't deserve treatment? Dysthymic people should just suck it up and keep on living a joyless, miserable life because you refuse to differentiate it from normal sadness for no apparent reason AND think they should be refused medication that give them a chance at happiness because it's not as severe as an episode of clinical depression? I can't believe how uncaring and ignorant you are, discounting the work of every single healthcare professional who has looked at dysthymia to say that they don't deserve treatment and that what they live with is "normal". How dare you?
2
reply
Cat123456
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#15
Report 5 years ago
#15
surely what you're on about is clinical versus medical depression? They're both real things they just have different causes, mainly the chemical imbalance in the brain is a side effect
0
reply
King Boo
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#16
Report 5 years ago
#16
Yeah its real, just far too many wanna emo kids self diagnose it to look all brooding and deep, and that makes it appear that it isn't a real illness.

Too many times I end up ranting at people, and this is an overall summary;

- Depression is not cute
- Anxiety is not special
-Self harm scars are not beautiful
- Suicide is not poetic
-Eating disorders aren't glamorous
- Schizophrenia is terrifying

You dont want them. Mental illnesses are serious disorders, they are not romantic and beautiful and dont make you brooding and deep, stop treating them that way.
3
reply
moment of truth
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#17
Report 5 years ago
#17
Yes, it is.
1
reply
RioFantastic
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#18
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#18
(Original post by Cat123456)
surely what you're on about is clinical versus medical depression? They're both real things they just have different causes, mainly the chemical imbalance in the brain is a side effect
The distinction between "clinical" and "medical" depression is something you've just made up. Nobody in the mental health system sees "clinical" and "medical" depression as being distinct terms for different illnesses, no authors use those terms to divide depression into two distinct conditions, and it isn't in the popular vernacular to talk about "medical" and "clinical" depression as being different things. Which leaves two possibilities, either:

1,. You just made that up.
2. You're getting confused and mixed up somewhere.
1
reply
username457532
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#19
Report 5 years ago
#19
Depression =/= extreme sadness. I'm severely depressed but that doesn't mean I'm always sad. Or even sad for most of the time.
2
reply
AspiringMedic8
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#20
Report 5 years ago
#20
(Original post by Cat123456)
surely what you're on about is clinical versus medical depression? They're both real things they just have different causes, mainly the chemical imbalance in the brain is a side effect
Depression is real, but the chemical imbalance in the brain idea is merely a theory and completely unproven.


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Regarding Ofqual's most recent update, do you think you will be given a fair grade this summer?

Yes (249)
33.97%
No (484)
66.03%

Watched Threads

View All