Depression can be completely confusing, seemingly ‘uncalled for’, and misunderstood at the best of times- whether you class yourself as someone who has experienced the debilitating, insomniac waves of Depression, in it’s many differing forms. Or whether you care, know, and/or love someone with the illness. Perhaps , you haven’t come across the illness, while it is on ‘top form’, the silent crushing which it inflicts.
It is confusing not only for the sufferer and those around them, but also to anyone else, because it doesn’t seem to make much sense. It often doesn’t seem proportionate, if people want to try and understand it, based on someone’s human and emotional ‘response’ to life stresses, and their own personal circumstances.
It is also fair to say that so many different forms of Depression, can certainly come across as an inconsistency across all attempts for us to really define, and to quantify ‘it’.
I found one which I think is pretty fitting, though:
“Severe depression is an illness causing substantial
impairment in patients’ ability to function and to lead
flourishing lives. Moreover, patients’ suffering has
negative consequences within families, communities,
and the workplace, leading to a vicious circle of stigma,
shame, and guilt. These effects are amplified if a patient
loses the ability to work, further diminishing dignity and
patients’ sense of personal and social value.”
I think it is important to stress the significance of the latter part of this definition– in that it defines Depression not only in terms of it’s mental and physical effects, but crucially, by including the reaction to Depression, externally, and by others. Also in accounting for the ‘vicious cycle of stigma’, and the ‘social’ consequences, including the ability to work or not.
See it never really is ‘just someone’s bad hair day’, or ‘moodiness’, or their ‘selfishness’, which is sadly often what others, wrapped up in the cycle of stigma and misunderstanding, can say about the illness, and it’s victims. Challenge this stigma- nobody is ever quite what they might seem.
No situation or pattern of behaviour comes with a necessarily simple, straight forward explanation, ’cause’ or blame.