Depression cannot be reduced to a single factor. It is the result of the coinciding of different factors. Biological, historical, environmental and psychological factors play a certain role in the beginning and its evolution.
Many people never reach a state of clinical depression. Such depression, with the feeling of paralysis that it involves, is different from normal sadness. People with clinical depression, in general, demonstrate physical and psychic alterations; people who are not depressed manifest certain mental signs of sadness.
In addition, people often confuse depression with unhappiness. often one can hear the phrase “I feel depressed’, even though the person concerned only wants to say that he or she is not happy. Until, one has really experienced depression one cannot realize the enormous, difference that exists between being depressed and being unhappy. When we are unhappy, despite the scale of the tragedy that has afflicted us, we remain in contact with reality. When other people offer us consolation and love we can still feel gratitude for their warmth and support. But when we are depressed we feel like people who are excluded from the rest of the world. The comfort and love offered by other people do not penetrate our barrier and we feel neither consoled or loved. To experience real depression means to feel entrapped in pitch or suffocated by some dense, heavy material or buried alive in a dark tunnel. The depressed person is interested in nothing and nobody, and does not feel any hope.”
SOURCE: Jose Saraiva Martins
Comment: If you are a depressed person and are reading this you know the guy who is writing the above material knows what he is talking about. But, if you are a person who has been unhappy but never depressed, it is impossible for you to even begin to fathom what he is talking about. ” Yes”, you might say, “but I don’t see any plaster casts, no sign of physical brokenness and the guy or gal is always happy. You know, the life of the party.”
There is a night and day difference between being depressed and being unhappy. I know, as I have been depressed. I also have been very unhappy as well. Being depressed is a life threatening illness and for many the trajectory can lead to suicide preceded by thinking that is hopeless and suicidal.
The person who has experienced depression themselves and who seeks help to climb out of the dark pit now has friends in the Depressed Anonymous fellowship of the 12 steps. The new person coming into our group soon learns that the members know about the depression experience. Some have talked about trying to commit suicide.
My point is that persons depressed live in a world that they cannot touch, a world which they are viewing from the insides of an enclosed soundproof glass room. They are completely isolated and adrift — floating alone in a river of turbulence and dangerous currents. And when the time comes to flee this pain and isolation they run to the people who say they know what depression is. They also have a “toolkit” which they continue to use in their daily lives which helps them to forever stay out of that glass enclosed room. I am one of those persons who never returned to that past time in my life when I felt totally alone, without friends, purpose or meaning in my life. I owe my life to Depressed Anonymous and its powerful focus on hope instead of hopelessness.