These days, we often hear about
a state of continuous bad mood
that we all know as depression.
Depression became an overused word lately
and it shouldn’t be mixed up with the feelings
of sadness nostalgia or melancholy
It’s ok to be sad if your pet died,
在外留学 思念家人 也是情理之中
to feel nostalgic about your family if you study abroad
and it’s ok to cry for the relationship
you broke up with 2 months ago.
Sometimes it’s can be very tricky to recognize
the difference between difficult life situations
and the symptoms of depression.
There are few aspects that
directly influence our mood and well-being.
For example: having friends and family,
productively using your free time,
having something to look forward to and so on.
These are the dimensions that
we continuously work on and try to optimize
We need these aspects settled
in order to not lead a miserable and wretched life.
But what happens if you’re ecstatic in your social life
productive at work
and you have lots of free time,
but you still lie awake at night
while you stare at the ceiling
thinking that your life is going nowhere
Well in that case,
you actually might be depressed.
a dysfunction of the emotional regulation.
It’s the situation when
your mood is not aligned to the actual reality.
Nothing really tragic has occurred,
but something inside is telling you that
everything is actually tragic.
Suddenly your whole mood is down
and it starts to affect your capability to relax
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and have fun, work, socialize with other people
or to define your self-confidence.
And to paint the whole picture
we also need to identify what depression isn’t.
We can use our buddy John for an example.
John works in a software company as a janitor.
John is single in the last 8 years
because he has a drinking problem
He developed his addiction
when his mother was diagnosed with cancer,
So he had to work as a janitor
to pay for his mother’s therapy
even though he had an engineering degree.
Now he feels like he is stuck.
The future looks foggy and miserable.
Because of the drinking problem
he lost a lot of weight
and his self-confidence went down the hill,
so he started to avoid his friends
instead of doing something about.
his appetite or alcohol addiction
Now he is friendless,
without a partner and broke.
This is not depression,
this is just a horrible, horrible life.
He is a man with a lot of problems.
His problems are his low salary, sick mother,
and unsatisfactory job and alcohol addiction.
And some of these problems
are not even his own fault.
But they are real life problems
on which he has to work hard
and eventually solve.
We can also explain what depression is and isn’t
on a scientific biochemical level
using two hormones – Dopamine and Serotonin.
Dopamine is the hormone of happiness.
It’s associated with positive emotions
and makes us more enthusiastic.
It is our best friend
when it comes to moving forward in life.
Low levels of serotonin on the other hand
are connected with negative emotions
and general dissatisfaction.
It’s the number one hormone associated with,
you guessed it, depression.
And because, according to Professor Jordan Peterson,
the symptoms of depression and low status
are pretty much the same,
many are diagnosed with depression,
when in fact they just have a horrible life
and a lot of problems
which is no fun at all.
The diagnosis is the same,
but the cure is different.
If you’re doing reasonably well on several of the dimension
that contribute to healthy life
and you feel sad all the time
this is where antidepressants come in handy,
because they can work like charm
if the problem lies within your emotional regulation.
On the other hand, if you’re incompetent,
without friends or a partner,
if you don’t have anything productive to do
if you don’t have a job or some kind routine
then antidepressants won’t help you much
They can help you stand on your feet and
tackle the problems one at a time
but the real cure lies in taking responsibility
and putting your life together
Since right now you’re not everything you could be.
And there’s a really positive message in that.
Once you start to confront the issues in your life
and disarm them
then the world might not seem as dark and miserable after all
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