What Is Depression (And What It Is Not)?

What Is Depression (And What It Is Not)?

“People who don’t know, who say it’s self-indulgence, sound callous, but it’s not callousness born of indifference; I think it’s callousness born of ignorance. That kind of ignorance we’ve got to get rid of, and little by little I suppose, we will. You say to them, ‘It’s a pity you don’t know. I’m sure that if you knew, I’m sure that if you knew, not only wouldn’t you say that, you’d try to help in one way or another.‘” – Mike Wallace, On the Edge of Darkness

What Depression Is:

  • Depression is an illness, in the same way that diabetes or heart disease are illnesses.
  • Depression is an illness that affects the entire body, not just the mind.
  • Depression is an illness that one in five people will suffer during their lifetime.
  • Depression is the leading cause of alcoholism, drug abuse and other addictions.
  • Depression is an illness that can be successfully treated in more than eighty percent of the people who have it.
  • Depression is an equal-opportunity illness – it affects all ages, all races, all economic groups and both genders. Women, however, suffer from depression almost twice as much as men do.
  • At least half of the people suffering from depression do not get proper treatment.
  • Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide.
  • Depression is second only to heart disease in causing lost work days in America.
  • Unipolar major depression is the leading cause of disability.

What Depression Is Not:

  • Depression is not something to be ashamed of.
  • Depression is not the same thing as feeling “blue” or “down.”
  • Depression is not a character flaw or the sign of a weak personality.
  • Depression is not a “mood” someone can “snap out of.” (Would you ask someone to “snap out of” diabetes or high blood pressure?)
  • Depression is not fully recognized as an illness by most health care insurance providers. Most will only pay 50% of treatment costs for out-patient care, as well as limiting the number of visits.

from wingsofmadness.com


9 Responses to “What Is Depression (And What It Is Not)?”

  1. Miss M Says:

    I am what people think is material bliss. A two year old who is way too advanced for his age a husband who works away 2 weeks at a time and earns good money and ME who an educator by profession BUT is ready CRACK at any time – DEPRESSION for me has been since I was ignored as an ager from my mother and GAY father all due to thier work commits. I am STUCK on an ELEVATOR

  2. Miss M Says:

    Has called from the inside to the outside and has NEVER recieved an answer. But knows when the answer comes to her to it will arrive at that point that is is too late . May the reat of you learn we are NOT weak as I once thought, there is NO CURE, IT IS PAINFUL 4 ME and YOU, but when you finally see there was no solution, no cure, no quick fix, DEPRESSION is much deeper than all that and I HATE to leave in such a WEAK way.

  3. Lucas Says:

    im 15 and am pretty sure i have depression, but my mom has it at least as bad as i do and the last thing i want to do is tell her that i think i do so i can have it checked out by a doctor because i dont want her to feel like shes a bad mother which i know she will if i say that and asking my dad isn’t really an option. but i really want to know for sure if i do or not, even if i cant get medication for it, at least if i know i do i can try to blame something other than myself when i get to, you know, feeling suicidal and stuff like that…is there anything somebody can recomend for me so that i can find out without going to the doctor?

  4. mountcope Says:


    If you are feeling that way you really should seek a professionals help. I am a mother and believe me, it takes courage and strength to realize that you need help and to ask for it. Your mother would understand and be very supportive and proud of you. You are not helping her or yourself if you do not get the help you need. Please show that you love your mother and reassure her that she has been the best mother possible by giving you the strength to ask for help and a better life . Take care Lucas. There is lots of help out there and you will feel better. Start by contacting your doctor, or call your local mental health association. You will get the information you need.

  5. Camille Says:

    I’ve had depression for 5 years now, and I told my mother, but she just told me to think of happy things, like it was just a small feeling that is temporary. But Its not, and I try to tell her and my friends, but they just don’t understand, so I’m going to tell my doctor, and then, maybe my mother will listen.

  6. Ashley Says:

    I suffer from depression. I used to cut but I dont cuz I promised my girlfriend I would stop (I’m bi) I only suffer from it a bit now. Its going away. Slowly

  7. angie Says:

    hi am 35 yrs woman ,it’s a very long time that i feel sad all the time and i dont like going out , am alone most of the time .i feel tha t life had no meaning and i have no goal is this depression please answer me i need help
    thank you

  8. Jessica Says:

    For me, Depression is a love/hate relationship. I write about it and the following is me talking to Depression head on…

    I hate you.
    You make me cold and numb. You bring me pain. You bring me agony. You bring me unhappiness. You bring me sorrow. You bring me sadness. I am miserably heartbroken and suffering from a loneliness that no line of words could EVER get close to describing.
    I literally, absolutely without a doubt in my heart HATE you.

    But then,
    I love you,
    You bring me warmth. You bring me joy from my pain. Comfort in my agony. You bring me a different kind of happiness… a happiness that is received and achieved when I give in to you. When I harm myself… I cut myself, I burn myself, anything to feel the pain…I do it for you. When I do I get this high. I feel so dead that I don’t even see color. I feel so numb I don’t even feel life anymore.. So when I cut myself, I see blood… I can see color again,…I feel pain…I can feel again…I’m not dead, I’m not numb, I can feel again…through this I am given such a high and this happiness that I know is not healthy. It makes me smile but is not one of joy, it is of the dark depression lurking in me, it is of you. You, the depression is smiling, the small corner of my mind where I still exist is crying. But you are what I know, you are what I am. That is why I love you. You are so comfortable in the misery you give me. Life is so much easier when I listen to you and not to myself, the less of a fight I put up, the less of a fall I have to fall down. So I love you. But I HATE you for ever having to say the words I love you to you.

    I am a sophomore in college and have been clinically depressed since freshman year of high school. I’ve been in counseling and on medications since sophomore year of high school.

    There is a lot about what Depression is and a lot of what Depression isn’t.

    It is awful. It can be terrifying and the hardest fight you will ever fight. You may endure the strongest pain you have ever felt along the way. But I’ve been fighting this and went from being very suicidal to caring about myself again. This is the a daily fight. I have a bipolar variant, or bipolar type II and still take 5 different medications twice a day. I haven’t given up even yet…and yeah! I still think about it. Life would be way easier if I didn’t have to live it, I could just end it and things would get better. But I haven’t and won’t. Please don’t give in either…there are websites to help you understand what you’re feeling and talking to someone (doesn’t have to be a counselor, could be a neighbor… just anyone you can confide in) to help you cope with what you going through.

  9. S.M. Says:

    During my childhood and tennage times i was quite poor and i was not able to study, my parents were poor, but then i start working on jobs around and training, building a dream of being an adventurer, that is something thats in my veins, and i choose to be a career in the army. But in the recruitment centre they said that i had to had more studies or i could never get a career. And that if i go to the army with few studies i could never get a career. It was very difficult to study again and difficult training but in my poor country its one of the best careers you can have, where you can have a job for life and do something you like, and have some money. Other jobs, such as engineer or architect and so on are very difficult to get graduate, cause i am not good at maths. Most good careers in my countries are only for people who parents are wealth or know the firms director etc…other people will almost always be 6 months or 1 years in low money jobs and then unemployment(very high unemployment in my country Portugal). Most of them are like 400 dollars/month more or less, even graduate people are now very poor its awfull… I finish stuidies and went to army and then they said that i can be a soldier but that i was to old to career. And i said that i was studing, and then they said that i could been studing and be soldier at the same time. But when i was in recrutment centre they said that i could not!!! In the recrutment centre they LIED to me, and because of that i can NEVER be a career soldier. I am now in the army, i was one of the best of my platoon, i have a condecoration, but my contract is coming to an end, and i am condemned to bad jobs, unemployement, low money. I dream deep in my heart to be an adventurer and a mountaneer, and in my country you can only get this dream if you have a good job and money to the equipment and tools and journeys. I am passionated for my dreams of going into nature and mountains but i am loosing it all because im gonna run out of money… And besides, my parents are poor and my father is a poor old man who have heart desease, it is very difficult to deal with this all sadness. At least if i was a lifetime career soldier i would be able to help my parents and have money for go into nature and adventures, but i am loosing it all, just because one day an incompetent army son of a b**ch LIED to me!!!In my country many depressions derive from unemployement. I am going very depressive and cry everyday, i cant help it, cause my dreams are devastaded and my family will be very poor again. I know that are situations worst than mine but i am deeply growing hate and sorrow, for someone, without a reason, smashed my dreams forever!!!!

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