One thing that people do not understand about depression is, that it is an illness. It is an illness that has the same effects that any other illness has on the human body. Today, we will be talking about depression and things that people mostly do not know or misunderstand about it.
It is not a depressive mood
First things first, depression is not a depressive mood. It is not stress or mere sadness. It is commonly observed that whenever someone is sad for some days. He/She says that I was depressed or in depression. It is not what depression is. Stress, sadness, or a depressive mood can last for a few days. But depression can last for months or years. Actually, people confuse the illness with the depressive mood. Feeling depressed is the part of the illness, not the illness itself. There are other factors or symptoms of the illness that are enough to affect the quality of life. So, if you feel sad or not in good mood, do not say that you are depressed. Because people who are suffering from the illness face trouble in focusing on their career or professional life. They also become unable to do anything good for their relationships.
It is curable
Like I said that it is like any other illness. But It cannot be easily diagnosed. It is complicated to recognize. Friends, family, or even health professionals sometimes seem unable to judge it. But it also can get better with treatment. It is curable. Most people think that once a person falls into this illness, he/she cannot recover. But the truth is that It is curable. As early you consult a specialist you start to recover. Although, there are chances of recurrence. But a person can lead to healthy life afterward.
Some serious complications can be observed in the patients. In chronic depression, certain parts of the brain start to shrink. This shrinkage depends on the illness duration. These two are correlated. This is why it is observed in chronic depression. The parts of the brain which are observed to be shrink in patients are; Hippocampus and Amygdala. Hippocampus is responsible for memory. The patient may not remain efficient in recalling. The amygdala is responsible for emotions, It can lead to the inefficiency of patients to feel emotions and interact normally with their environment. Besides this premature cell death has also been observed in the illness. The prefrontal cortex may also show a reduction in size which can affect patients’ decision-making power and intellectual functioning. These effects can be reversed through treatment or not is a matter of more researches.
It is not new in the world
The concept of depression is not new. Ancient Egypt, Greek, and Romans were already familiar with it. The term melancholia was used to refer to depression. The Hippocrates (460–357 BC) described it as a condition characterized by sadness, loss of appetite, irritability, and restlessness. The term means Black (Melan) Bile (Chole) which means Black Bile. This term refers to their ideology or conception of depression. The Greeks were used to believe that melancholia arose from the melancholic temperament that under the influence of Saturn’s planet cause the spleen to secrete the black bile which affected the brain and resulted in the depression of mood. Later, the Greeks and Romans let go of this belief. They discovered that it is not the black bile that causes melancholia but alcohol consumption, anxiety, and disturbed sleep cycle do. Jean-Phillippe Esquirol was a French psychiatrist who is considered probably the first to discover that depressive disorder was primarily a disturbance of mood not due to the black bile. Later after the Second World War, World Health Organization started working on it and helped in the diagnosis and understanding of the illness.
Famous people who suffered from the illness
The Greek philosopher Aristotle observed that those who become great in philosophy, politics, poetry, and arts all had tendencies towards melancholia. Plato, Alexander the Great, Oliver Cromwell, Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Hemingway, and Winston Churchill were all reported to have suffered from depression. besides this, people like Saint Augustine, Saint John of the Cross, John Keats, and Leo Tolstoy are also said to be suffered from the illness.