Why is depression so common now? Watch

Bill_Gates
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Why is depression so common now?

even with the abundance of goods and services we have and increased life spans. Really we have quite a bit to be happy about.

Has society made us selfish and too inward oriented?

Or were we always like this?
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cynicphysicist
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I think it's always been this way, but what with the attempted destigmatisation of mental health people are a lot more open about depression and so it's seen as more common. I may be completely wrong, of course, but it's just a theory.
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VladThe1mpaler
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is it really more common, or is it just that there are far more reported cases?

we have a better understanding of depression now and a lot more people are aware of it and its symptoms than they were 30+ years ago. Back then people who had depression would probably basically just be told to "cheer up" because people had a limited understanding of it, plus there is less of a stigma attached to mental health these days.
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AnotherPoet
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Its always been around, people are just more accepting of it now.

I hate being stigmatised because of my mental illnesses.
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Bill_Gates
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(Original post by cynicphysicist)
I think it's always been this way, but what with the attempted destigmatisation of mental health people are a lot more open about depression and so it's seen as more common. I may be completely wrong, of course, but it's just a theory.
(Original post by VladThe1mpaler)
is it really more common, or is it just that there are far more reported cases?

we have a better understanding of depression now and a lot more people are aware of it and its symptoms than they were 30+ years ago. Back then people who had depression would probably basically just be told to "cheer up" because people had a limited understanding of it, plus there is less of a stigma attached to mental health these days.
Interesting but it depends how far back we actually go. I spent some time in India, China mostly around rural areas and everyone appeared more happier than say a busy city like London where you can hardly find a smile monday morning?
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Killer Bean
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(Original post by Bill_Gates)
Really we have quite a bit to be happy about.
Don't conflate depression and unhappiness.
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Bill_Gates
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(Original post by Killer Bean)
Don't conflate depression and unhappiness.
thought someone would highlight this. But i was just making a general point!
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Maid Marian
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Probably a mix of it being more socially acceptable and some odd folk wanting something 'special' about themselves.

My current depression is for something out of my control and nothing I do seems to make a difference
My depression during my teen years was because of my looks... so
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Bill_Gates
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(Original post by littlenorthernlass)
Probably a mix of it being more socially acceptable and some odd folk wanting something 'special' about themselves.

My current depression is for something out of my control and nothing I do seems to make a difference
My depression during my teen years was because of my looks... so
so if you're unhappy about your looks = depression? think a LARGE proportion would like to change something about themselves lol. But beauty standards are set by the media, sure you look great!
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517340
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Sometimes even the happiest people can suffer from depression.

It's not even to do with selfishness or anything like that. The pressure put on us is probably part of the blame. Pressure to do well in school, pressure to look a certain way, pressure to follow what people call 'normal' and be like 'everyone else' and outcasting them as rejects from society otherwise, pressure to buy a home and raise a family despite the current market climate that the baby boomers messed up for us.

Sure there's plenty of things to be happy about, but I'd say I'm pretty happy with a lot of things, I'm extremely lucky to have what I have and if anything that makes me feel even MORE stupid for having depression.
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Little Popcorns
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(Original post by Bill_Gates)
Why is depression so common now?

even with the abundance of goods and services we have and increased life spans. Really we have quite a bit to be happy about.

Has society made us selfish and too inward oriented?

Or were we always like this?
Are you or have you ever been depressed?
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Bill_Gates
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(Original post by Little Popcorns)
Are you or have you ever been depressed?
Yes. For months as well.
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mermaidy
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I think it's an increase of awareness and the availability of help, mostly, but I do seem to recall hearing somewhere that people living nearer the coast or in the country have lower rates of depression. If that is true, I suppose you could then theorise that even if you believe people will either suffer from it or not suffer from it wherever they are (or have some tendency toward it regardless), living in a more rural/natural environment is at least perhaps better at easing the symptoms of depression to the point where those who might suffer more intensely from it do not experience it as intensely, or enough to notice or have it impact their lives. If we entertain this idea, then by extension, the development of these city environments as we know them could perhaps 'bring out' more cases of depression than would otherwise have been triggered/noticed.

Just an idea, as someone who suffers from depression and feels markedly better within a few days outside the city.

Definitely agree with Ruthless Dutchman, too. These things really don't create a very healthy social environment for people.
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Killer Bean
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(Original post by Bill_Gates)
thought someone would highlight this. But i was just making a general point!
Fair enough, but it's crucial to understand that although there may be connections between the two, they're two very distinct things. It irks me quite a bit because I understand this all too well: I've been perfectly happy with my life in the past, yet this pervasive 'feeling' of emptiness and a pretty strong desire to die set itself upon me anyway.

I don't think anyone can answer the question you're posing (though I think, as has been said, awareness/reduction of stigma is probably the most significant factor) because depression is so poorly understood. Nobody even really understands exactly what depression is: it's characterised by a set of symptoms a lot of people are familiar with, but can manifest itself in loads of disparate ways.

It's an open question what effects nurture has on one's mental health, but do note that it's impossible to isolate what effects nature and nurture have had on a person. Think of a cake: sugar, eggs and flour are the crucial ingredients required to make one, and there all separate and easily distinguishable when you set out to bake the cake. But once the cake is made, you couldn't point to the respective parts and say "there are the eggs, there's the sugar, and there's the flour", as you could before having made the cake. It's an inseparable mix. It's the same with any influencing factor in one's state of mind, particularly cultural influences/upbringing.
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trustmeimlying1
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(Original post by Ruthless Dutchman)
Sometimes even the happiest people can suffer from depression.

It's not even to do with selfishness or anything like that. The pressure put on us is probably part of the blame. Pressure to do well in school, pressure to look a certain way, pressure to follow what people call 'normal' and be like 'everyone else' and outcasting them as rejects from society otherwise, pressure to buy a home and raise a family despite the current market climate that the baby boomers messed up for us.

Sure there's plenty of things to be happy about, but I'd say I'm pretty happy with a lot of things, I'm extremely lucky to have what I have and if anything that makes me feel even MORE stupid for having depression.
great points as always.
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Little Popcorns
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(Original post by Bill_Gates)
Yes. For months as well.
What makes you equate being selfish and inward looking with depression?
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yabbayabba
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(Original post by Bill_Gates)
Why is depression so common now?

even with the abundance of goods and services we have and increased life spans. Really we have quite a bit to be happy about.

Has society made us selfish and too inward oriented?

Or were we always like this?
Happiness doesn't just come from material things, but from strong relationships with family and friends. With divorce being so common, families breaking apart being a part of modern day life in a way that it never used to, no wonder people feel disconnected leading to depression in the long term. Our society prioritises the individual over the family, people have to move for work these days when they never used to.. There are so many possible factors that stem from modern day life that contribute to depression. These were less prevalent before.

Also it's more accepted and understood

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Bill_Gates
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(Original post by Little Popcorns)
What makes you equate being selfish and inward looking with depression?
As the person above said it's more to do with pressure - i agree but could be a whole host of things i.e losing a family member.

I'd say society is less caring now people care too much about themselves to even bother with how others feel or even care. This leaves the whole of society more lonely, less caring and people lose empathy eventually.
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Maid Marian
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(Original post by Bill_Gates)
so if you're unhappy about your looks = depression? think a LARGE proportion would like to change something about themselves lol. But beauty standards are set by the media, sure you look great!
No. Don't understate it like that. I had a very severe depression over it, it was awful. I don't expect you to understand.
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Sarahs.cheddars
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(Original post by Ruthless Dutchman)
Sometimes even the happiest people can suffer from depression.

It's not even to do with selfishness or anything like that. The pressure put on us is probably part of the blame. Pressure to do well in school, pressure to look a certain way, pressure to follow what people call 'normal' and be like 'everyone else' and outcasting them as rejects from society otherwise, pressure to buy a home and raise a family despite the current market climate that the baby boomers messed up for us.

Sure there's plenty of things to be happy about, but I'd say I'm pretty happy with a lot of things, I'm extremely lucky to have what I have and if anything that makes me feel even MORE stupid for having depression.
This is spot on really. I think the increased pressure on young people, exams, job competition etc has only got worse an worse.
In short Id say depression has become more common because of modern life. People really aren't designed to cope with all this pressure.
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