Is depression real?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Aleksion, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. Aleksion

    Aleksion They killed me

    Depression is perhaps the most widespread form of mental illness and I know a lot of people suffer from it in this fandom. It's an interesting topic to me, actually all forms of mental issues interests me, don't be shy if you have something different to add.

    So is depression real? We all can feel sadness. Even I myself feel bummed sometimes. But it always goes away. Of course chronic sadness is not the only way depression manifests. There are many other symptoms, fatigue, lack of motivation, I'm not qualified to name them all. But I think they are just extensions of intense sadness anyway. I've heard there are two main reasons why people get depressed:

    1) Something really bad happens. But why not to just let go? Life goes on, things change, wounds heal up. But why people keep poking their wounds? They poke it for months, now it's all infected, puss is everywhere. You catch my drift, don't you? Thinking about it doesn't do anything good. It blows my mind when people say, I want to talk about my depression. Oh god, seriously!?

    2) Your life is shit. Well, what did you expect? Being stressed 24/7 is bad. It seems a lot people forget a body isn't the only thing which needs to be taken care of. What can you do? Ask people in Africa why they don't have mass depression epidemic, despite not even having clean drinking water. Different attitude!

    Wait, but did I just say depression is real myself? TL;DR Depression is the same as being fat, so yes it is real, but it is caused by bad habits and poor life choices alone, just as obesity. It's purely a psychological condition. Everything is alright with your head, you're not sick, you just need to live a mentally healthier lifestyle and all be good.
  2. [​IMG]
    An except from an article in Psychology Today;

    "The Difference Between Sadness and Depression

    Sadness is a normal human emotion. We’ve all experienced it and we all will again. Sadness is usually triggered by a difficult, hurtful, challenging, or disappointing event, experience, or situation. In other words, we tend to feel sad about something. This also means that when that something changes, when our emotional hurt fades, when we’ve adjusted or gotten over the loss or disappointment, our sadness remits.

    Depression is an abnormal emotional state, a mental illness that affects our thinking, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors in pervasive and chronic ways. When we’re depressed we feel sad about everything. Depression does not necessarily require a difficult event or situation, a loss, or a change of circumstance as a trigger. In fact, it often occurs in the absence of any such triggers. People’s lives on paper might be totally fine—they would even admit this is true—and yet they still feel horrible.

    Depression colors all aspects of our lives, making everything less enjoyable, less interesting, less important, less lovable, and less worthwhile. Depression saps our energy, motivation, and ability to experience joy, pleasure, excitement, anticipation, satisfaction, connection, and meaning. All your thresholds tend to be lower. You’re more impatient, quicker to anger and get frustrated, quicker to break down, and it takes you longer to bounce back from everything.

    In my TED talk, I discussed one of the more unfortunate consequences of this confusion: How people struggling with depression are often expected to "snap out of it," and are told "it’s all in your head," or "choose to be happy!" Such sentiments reflect a deep misunderstanding of depression. It only makes the person with depression feel worse."

    "When you’re sad, it may feel all-encompassing at times. But you should also have moments when you are able to laugh or be comforted. Depression differs from sadness. The feelings you have will affect all aspects of your life. It may be hard or even impossible to find enjoyment in anything, including activities and people you used to enjoy. Depression is a mental illness, not an emotion."

    Columbia University Medical Center;
    "Sadness follows losses or disappointments, and is a normal part of any fully lived life. Healthy people eventually rebound, and apart from periods of grief or mourning rarely cease functioning in daily activities.

    Moreover, healthy people do not tend to blame themselves for the normal losses of life, whereas depressed people often feel undue guilt or self-criticism.

    Finally, individuals with depression often experience marked sadness in the absence of any cause, whereas healthy individuals have moods that relate more to life experiences, and moods that are in proportion to the intensity of those experiences."


    "Increasingly sophisticated forms of brain imaging — such as positron emission tomography (PET), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) — permit a much closer look at the working brain than was possible in the past. An fMRI scan, for example, can track changes that take place when a region of the brain responds during various tasks. A PET or SPECT scan can map the brain by measuring the distribution and density of neurotransmitter receptors in certain areas.

    Use of this technology has led to a better understanding of which brain regions regulate mood and how other functions, such as memory, may be affected by depression. Areas that play a significant role in depression are the amygdala, the thalamus, and the hippocampus (see Figure 1).

    Research shows that the hippocampus is smaller in some depressed people. For example, in one fMRI study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, investigators studied 24 women who had a history of depression. On average, the hippocampus was 9% to 13% smaller in depressed women compared with those who were not depressed. The more bouts of depression a woman had, the smaller the hippocampus. Stress, which plays a role in depression, may be a key factor here, since experts believe stress can suppress the production of new neurons (nerve cells) in the hippocampus.

    Researchers are exploring possible links between sluggish production of new neurons in the hippocampus and low moods. An interesting fact about antidepressants supports this theory. These medications immediately boost the concentration of chemical messengers in the brain (neurotransmitters). Yet people typically don't begin to feel better for several weeks or longer. Experts have long wondered why, if depression were primarily the result of low levels of neurotransmitters, people don't feel better as soon as levels of neurotransmitters increase.

    The answer may be that mood only improves as nerves grow and form new connections, a process that takes weeks. In fact, animal studies have shown that antidepressants do spur the growth and enhanced branching of nerve cells in the hippocampus. So, the theory holds, the real value of these medications may be in generating new neurons (a process called neurogenesis), strengthening nerve cell connections, and improving the exchange of information between nerve circuits. If that's the case, medications could be developed that specifically promote neurogenesis, with the hope that patients would see quicker results than with current treatments."

    ---TLDR; Depression is different from sadness on a chemical and biological level, which we are only just now beginning to understand. it is impossible for depressed people to 'get over it' because their brain chemistry literally doesn't allow them to.
  3. Storok

    Storok 670 blp

    I think depression is a joke... Ppl Are sad then no one listened to them so they invent something that sounds sooo bad to make ppl listen to them. That's th point where I start laughing and give em even less attention.
    Cerberus326 likes this.
  4. Aleksion

    Aleksion They killed me

    Drug addicts somehow manage to drop the habit cold turkey style despite having real physiological withdrawal symptoms not to mention psychological ones. It's bad, but they do it, they become stronger, while weaklings fail and let themselves to to consumed by it.

    This brain chemistry theory has one very serious problem, that is correlation does not imply causation. Of course when the person is distressed for weeks, changes in the body happen as well. Body and mind is one thing after all.
  5. Xaroin

    Xaroin Sprsh

    Welp I mean I am a pessimistic person, and no matter how hard I try I talk myself down
  6. Leoni Zheitk

    Leoni Zheitk Guest

    Being so sad that you don't feel the need to live anymore and actually starting to have suicidal thoughts is not a joke my friend.
    I used to be depressed in middle school, but now I've just accepted the fact that nobody really gives a shit about what I say for the most part.
    I don't think you and I are talking about the same "depression"
    AustinB, Reyna Malone and Cerberus326 like this.
  7. Storok

    Storok 670 blp

    See "depression" doesn't work when you don't get attention and suicidal thoughts are normal I think when I hear someone on teamspeak asking if the f-86 is a sabre too but without the F2... I think "why am I still alive" and start playing with the thought if I should grab the bleach
  8. AlleycatIrony

    AlleycatIrony dubstep macarena

    depression is definitely real and myself and a good deal of ppl around me have it, all at varying levels (can't think of a better word rn i just woke up)
    it's not just simply 'being sad', if it were only that boy howdy it would be pretty damn easy to ignore it, wouldn't it? no, depression is... (i'm not v good at describing feelings, bear w/ me) a deep, heavy sensation in ur chest that doesn't go away and a cloud that seems to fill ur head making it hard to think

    said weighing down often makes it difficult to do anything other than sleep, usually (i have trouble even finding the motivation to pick up my tablet pen and draw amongst other things but unlike a lot of ppl i can get over it bc i have more control over myself? if that makes sense... i refuse to let my problems get in the way of letting me be a functioning person despite how hard it is)

    depression is usually a passed down disorder (from what i've noticed, myself and ppl close to me also have parents who are sufferers, but then again - it is p common so i could be wrong here) in the sense that if ur parents have/have had it, there's a high chance u would too, and a lot of teenagers end up w/ depression due to the stresses and responsibility school weighs down on them - seeing as schools tend to care more abt ur grades then ur mental health, so it declines
    but ofc sometimes it just... happens and there's not rly anything one can do abt it occurring

    obviously most decide to go on medication in order to combat it but i personally would rather not bc of how against drugs i am (i won't even drink coffee bc of caffeine), but that's just a personal choice of mine bc i know i can live my life w/ depression - not easily, mind u, but i can do it
    sometimes medication is the only thing that helps ppl 'fix' the way their brain behaves in order to neutralise some of their symptoms temporarily

    a lot of ppl who are depressed are also suicidal and as someone who's dealt w/ suicidal thoughts (they get p bad like damn i'll be having a bad day, drop a pencil and it's like ok time to die, but once again i refuse to let that get the better of me) and friends/family that have attempted suicide it's rly not a light matter to be joking abt, i nearly lost my dad a couple of weeks ago and i would've if i hadn't called him

    yes, i understand how ppl believe suicide is a 'coward's way out' or is 'selfish' but sometimes ppl feel like they have no other choice, and often it's all because of depression

    i didn't word this well but then again i'm not good w/ words if i'm writing something like this spontaneously

    your brain is an organ, and like all organs it can get sick
    depression is one such illness, it's an illness of the brain
  9. Mandragoras

    Mandragoras Inept Abecedarian

    Speaking as someone with a major depressive disorder, I can tell you flat out that being depressed is very different from simply being very upset. It feels very, very different, and it cannot be rationalised away. Think of it like a faucet, measured amounts of a particular emotion coming out as is appropriate to the situation. Depression is a broken faucet: Dripping constantly, spilling out far too much when only a little is needed, and stuck surging like a geyser without warning, without rhyme or reason. You miss a bus and you want to jump in front of the next one. It is, as Alleycat said, an illness of the central nervous system—a condition, not simply an emotion.

    For me, SSRIs help a great deal. I can actually focus on things besides how hopeless reality seems and how hard every little thing is. I can see that there are things which I can do even if there are many which I cannot, which I could not do in the depths of my untreated episodes. I am healthier now. I am recovering.
  10. Storok

    Storok 670 blp

    I just wonder what causes it ...
  11. Royn

    Royn Otterest Sergal evah!

    see this is exactly why dont like going to the Doctor. ALWAYS makes tongue sad by depressing it with that wooden thingee whilst telling to say "aaaah".
    Storok likes this.
  12. Selly

    Selly Strange Creature

    I used to think it was something people used to draw attention to themselves about 12 years ago.

    But now, I've seen what it does to people, I even have it myself, after being sectioned as to why I tried to kill myself on several occasions.

    It isn't something that just happens for a day, it's not something that just happens overnight either. It could be one experience, it could be a combination of things that have happened over one's lifetime.

    A lifetime of being singled out, bullied, abuse at home, abuse at school by fellow pupils and even teachers. Discrimination due to disability/ies. Being publicly humiliated and embarrassed... Those are a few things that have affected me over the past 25 years I've been alive. A lot of it was born from self-doubt after a lot of what happened happened (I won't list all of it, because a lot of the bigger factors that have happened would require a lot of explanation on subjects I'm not willing to openly talk about on the internet). Honestly, it's like living in a world in black and white, where you feel like you're just a burden, you doubt any friendships you have, and you feel like you have nowhere to turn. That's when death seems like the only way out, after you honestly feel like everyone hates you and you bring no joy to anyone.

    That's not all of it either, there's things I can't explain in any way that makes sense, but depression is very real, and it is freaking horrible and I don't wish it on anyone.

    It may seem silly to some people, but some are more prone to it than others... You never truly know what's going on in another person's life, or what they're going/have been through.
  13. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru Logically chaotic and twice as charming

    Depression is a problem for a lot of people. Seek a professional and get help.

    If you instead want attention you will get none from me.
  14. Sergei Sóhomo

    Sergei Sóhomo Well-Known Member

    About as real as my credit score

    Which is pretty fucking real
    Reyna Malone likes this.
  15. quoting_mungo

    quoting_mungo Well-Known Member

    I opened this thread expecting to see a philosophical debate along the lines of "if I'm feeling this way because of my depression, are my feelings still real?"

    I did not open this thread expecting to see some frankly offensive dismissals of a very real mental illness. The only reason I'm not closing this thread right now is because we've had some heartfelt posts from people talking about their own experiences and realizations, and out of respect for those people I want to give the thread a chance to go in a more positive direction.

    I do not want to see any more statements like these, however:
    Any more of that and I'll be handing out infractions.
  16. Aleksion

    Aleksion They killed me

    Guys, you don't need to tell me how depression is, I know it suck.

    I want to compare depression with love, because I think they are very similar and I understand the latter better and it should help me to illustrate my point. So when a person is in love, he/she does not think straight anymore, they are all over the place, constantly thinking about their partner. Many people commit suicides over failed loves. If we do brain scans I'm sure we will see some differences compared to normal brain. Why isn't love classified as a mental illness? Strange, it fits all the criteria perfectly. If you tell them to stop loving and forget the person, it won't work. The same as with depression you can't just get over it. But does falling in love require some conscious effort or does it happen automatically, without even thinking about it? Of course you need to put in some work! And you know what's the best part? No matter how overwhelming it was at the beginning, feelings fade over time and sanity comes back, then people get divorced, unless you put in a lot of effort to maintain those feelings, why should it be any different with depression? Just don't get so attached to the feeling of being depressed
    Simo likes this.
  17. Liar

    Liar New Member

    Depression is indeed a thing. It is real, and like anything else involving the human body and mind, it comes in many forms, and so do the ways that we deal with it. It's even experienced and described differently in different cultures which suggests it is not only universal, but relative.

    The key, as mechanicalrain points out, is that it changes the way you think. Not just about what sucks, but about everything. It changes you with the same profundity that psychoactive drugs do. The same way that love does. That's what makes it so difficult for some to deal with, because it takes a high level of self awareness to even realize the difference between the depressed you and the real you.

    That's where therapy comes in. I am strongly opposed to throwing pills at problems. I believe that depression can be resolved virtually 100% of the time with cognitive behavioral therapy, but sometimes it just makes more sense to get a little pharmaceutical help. Still, your mind created the problem, and it can fix it. Eventually.

    Edit: Aleksion, love can absolutely be described as a mental illness! It affects brain chemistry and perception just the same! The difference is that it isn't considered detrimental.
    Reyna Malone likes this.
  18. Bluey Grifter

    Bluey Grifter Member

    It's a tough one. You get older. Real life hits you. You may or may not get tougher and less sensitive. Things that might have really got you down (like a put-down can do...) might become like water off a ducks back. Dealing with adulthood and the real world can get very hard. I've cared for parents with long term sicknesses... Then you watch them die. It's things like this put it all into perspective and it's one thing that makes the furry life so awesome because it can take you out of all that to a point. I think with me that's what it is anyway. Escapism, but also the feeling of being reborn almost! Leave the shit behind kind of thing. Me and depression though - I rarely feel 'down', and if something happens, like my father wets the bed again... it is 'depressing' I suppose. But it all made me stronger and I bounce right back.
    Simo likes this.
  19. Aleksion

    Aleksion They killed me

    Life can be rough, but that's good it forces you to learn. If it gets too bad you can always press the exit button, so you don't need to be afraid of anything. No matter how bad it gets, there's always a solution.
  20. Bluey Grifter

    Bluey Grifter Member

    It sure does. You can have a dreadful day and then tomorrow can be amazing :)
  21. quoting_mungo

    quoting_mungo Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you're conflating love and infatuation to some degree. The two are not the same, and expecting them to be the same accounts for a large share of break-ups. Your experience of/with love also has very little in common with mine. It's something that crept up to me over time (and I suppose in that it has something in common with depression - few people wake up one day suddenly debilitatingly depressed), and it's not something I've ever felt a need to work to fuel. You have to work on relationships, yes, but that's not the same as working at love itself.

    Infatuation, by its nature, does fade over time. Love? Not nearly so clear-cut. Sure, you can fall out of love, and I'm not saying you can't. But it's not an inevitable reality that you need to work hard to stave off. My terrible awful no-good housemate (whom we're working on evicting) has fraudulently transferred ownership of his car to his father, who is wheelchair-bound (and this is liable to eventually result in some significant costs for his father). He's been sweet-talking his mother out of money for years. Their other children have all but cut off contact with them for keeping in touch with their black sheep son. But his mother still loves him. It makes absolutely no logical or rational sense for her to continue to support him, but she still loves her son.

    Assuming that all emotions and mental states work the same is also a fallacy, as is assuming that an individual in the grip of depression has the tools to shift their thinking to something that can begin to heal them - that's why we have therapists, because people have to be taught and guided in re-training their brains. It's less like learning to, say, ride a bike, than it is like training a stream to run along a new path. Even then, you'll have some individuals whose brain chemistry is just fundamentally wonky, and who do need chemical aid in order to function somewhat normally.
  22. Mandragoras

    Mandragoras Inept Abecedarian

    Generally speaking, it's an issue with the movement of serotonin within the synapses of the brain, in which said chemical should be moving from Point A to Point B but it keeps getting sucked back to Point A instead. Now, the obvious question here is, what is serotonin and what does it do? In a nutshell: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which helps regulate things like mood, sleep, appetite, digestion, pleasure and pain—a whole lot of things, really, the most relevant one here being that its release stimulates what we might call active emotions, like excitement and happiness. Simply put, your happiness valves are broken.

    Bipolar disorder tends to involve issues with dopamine, another brain chemical which is stimulated by serotonin and has to do with reward responses in the brain, but I'd be out of my depth if I tried to explain that. To whit, serotonin transmission is far from the only reason that depression happens, although it is the chief "mechanical error" involved.

    ^ All of this, too. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is important, but often medication is also a necessary part of the equation.
    Reyna Malone and Crimson_Steel17 like this.
  23. Cerberus326

    Cerberus326 Member

    Well things do go up and down alot some times worse before better or it doesn't..But there are ways of changing it...Like being with people now I'm not saying o look at me it's so bad...All the time...But talking to a few does help but you must also help your self when you can. Been there done that still doing that ups N downs...But also please think of it this way if you do have these issues....It's not just you!...Every single person has them or still going threw it...Also remember there are others who are worse so help if you see it.but watch for those o look at mes out there. Plus watch for those who don't say anything...Those are the ones who need at lest a talk with.there are a few who will do what they say but sometimes you never know between a good talk to at lest let them know someone cares and the ones who say it's done just for attention.....But if any one cares enuff or even talks to ya then it's not that ..How can I say this ...That bad. I've done a few things N been through a whole lot of crap too...But I'm still kicking because if I don't ..."another hint"....Who else will! Plus it helps to be a good ball once in a while or even think of the song from Bob Marley..You know it "don't worries everything's gana be alright"...Things like that...Step up N keep swinging that bat! Even if you never hit anything..OK now I'm shutting up lol
  24. Andromedahl

    Andromedahl Unlicensed UFO Pilot

    As someone with bipolar disorder, I can say 100% depression is real. Almost didn't make it to be 17 cause of it :^P
    Just came by to chip in for people that don't use meds/aren't too familiar with things like antidepressants that while meds are a sometimes a necessary thing to get by (I literally wouldn't be a functional person without 'em) they don't make y'happy as much as they get you to baseline functioning so you can be able to -feel- good again; Meds make you stand up again, but its up to you to walk to put it in metaphor.
  25. Simo

    Simo Skunk

    I really with it wasn't real. Ug.

    It's a hard thing to deal with, without any really easy 'fixes': what 'works' in one case might totally make things worse in another.

    The worst things I tried were taking SSRI/SNRI based drugs (Effexor, Prozac, that whole family): made me a total zombie, killed my creativity, things felt muted, sexual sensation felt like it was dissociated and not at all satisfying, which was really horrible, and I'd get these zappy feelings like little electric shocks, and it made me really, really tense. Pretty much the same happened with Wellbutrin, which works on Dopamine. So I am very scared of drugs in those classes; things that mess with my serotonin, nope, will never touch them again with a ten foot poll!Even very lose dose regimins of these meds proved a total disaster, and the weirdest part had to be that feeling of denationalization, and how it made sex/touch feel 'muffled', like you couldn't really feel it. This is hard to describe, but as a sensual person, I found it horrifying, especially because they have k\no idea what even causes this all too common side effect.

    What's funny, is what a relief is was when I stopped taking them/trying different and trying to 'get used to them': it was like I was my 'self' again, up, down, but at least alive.For a while, I was very much 'up', just to have my senses back to normal.


    For me, what's helped most is getting the 'agitated' aspect under control, so I can focus, and get involved and keep busy, with writing, doing things, talking to friends...I'm very much an extrovert, but also tend to be on the moody/intellectual/brooding side, an odd combination.

    I also see a talk-therapist weekly, and that has very much helped keep me afloat; I don't make much money, but have good insurance, so it's a $15 copay. And we tend to laugh a lot, for some reason, in our sessions...I not sure why, but I guess I am good at telling funny stories, and he finds the whole furry thing fascinating. Huh, maybe I will try and convert my therapist into a furry ;)

    Edit: What has helped with the 'agitated'/racing negative thoughts part of my depression has oddly been Valium, after trying many, many meds. I guess it has a bad image, but I've taken a regular low dose for some time, and have not had to increase it. It seems to quiet the static in my brain, and then, I'm a lot more productive, and able to better get on with things. Plus, the Rolling Stones have a cool song about it. ("What a drag it is getting old...")
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017

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