Depression is Society Taking the Wrong Approach

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"Depression is Society Taking the Wrong Approach"
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Perhaps if the term "depression" is clarified then we can better address whether or not society is taking the wrong approach to what is real clinical depression, what is not and redefine the term "depression" as it is used currently to refer to sadness. I suspect though, society is categorizing something as depression when it is nothing more than the normal lows associated with living life.

In preparation for this article I googled "causes of depression" and was shocked to find, in the number one spot, a site that listed the below noted events or conditions as causes:

Family History
Trauma & stress (death, divorce, job loss etc)
Pessimistic personality
Physical conditions (diagnosis of a serious illness)
Other psychological conditions (bi-polar, schizophrenia,postpartum psychosis etc)

Of that list I see only one valid cause of depression and that would be the final one. There are chemical abnormalities that happen within the brains of certain individuals that cause what is real depression. By real depression I am referring to what is now considered clinical depression, depression that is caused by an extreme chemical imbalance in the brain.

The "other" depression is simply what they used to call a nervous breakdown or the blues. New age circles may refer to it as the dark night of the soul or a spiritual awakening. It is a persons inability to cope with the normal day to day things that happen in life. They become overwhelmed with their sadness or pain or stress and simply do not seek out the proper tools to help them through those feelings.

In a society now ruled by the quick fix and instant gratification, it is of little wonder to me why so many claim to be "depressed". In a society where we have become more and more obese and generally less active, it is of little wonder why so many people do not have all the proper distribution of chemicals within their brains. Inertia can do that. In a society where we have structured our lives to be so busy we have stolen our simple enjoyment of the little things in life, destroyed or neglected our relationships and sought out the quick fix so we may achieve more, make more, spend more or keep up with the neighbors, it is of little wonder why we are not feeling joy.

We are a society that has been taught to believe that more stuff will make us happier. If we don't have more, we try to make more and rob ourselves of the simple joys in life by overworking and placing too much pressure on ourselves and in our lives. If we have more, instead of using that more for the betterment of life and society, we continually fill our lives with more things to do, in search of happiness. More vacations, more cars, boats, clothes, jewelry etc etc. In our quest for instant gratification we lose the gentle joy found within the moment.

Unexpressed emotions can cause "depression". Unfulfilled relationships can cause "depression". Okay, so stop and listen. Listen to your life, listen to your heart, just listen!

Clinical depression cannot be prevented and so it is logical to utilize the many drugs out there to create the proper balance of those brain chemicals. "Depression" as I understand the term is now being used, is a simple reaction to a bump in lifes road that can be dealt with quite effectively through proper examination of your life, a little work on yourself, exercise, finding purpose and meaning for your life and most importantly, a change of priorities and how you choose to think and conduct your life.

We have become a generation of personal whiners and slackers in search of instant gratification and quick fixes for the challenges life naturally present. We don't want to take the time to work on ourselves and create a life of peace, joy and happiness. We want a quick fix, a pill and an excuse. Society has given that to us. It is our choice if we want to accept that for our lives.

Clinical depression is a diagnosable medical condition. Depression is a title we have given the normal emotions experienced when our lives are less than happy and peaceful because we have chosen to allow our priorities in life, contradict the desires of our heart.

In Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs, the ultimate goal is to get to the self actualization point, society has , for the most part, confused the needs step and turned it into wants. This has frozen their progress in life and created a life of stress, unhappiness and lack of anything of real substance. So they take a pill and keep going!

More about this author: Kristal Mcvicar

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