What’s Depression? The Basics
What is depression, anyway?
As promised, this post is the first in my series offering basic information on mental illnesses.
Let’s start with some caveats most people don’t get to hear:
Depression is a word. Like many words in the English language, it has multiple distinct meanings.
It can mean feeling sad or discouraged, as in “He felt depressed about his team losing so badly.”
Or the state of being lessened or lessening: “The housing supply remains depressed.” “HIgh interest rate depressed housing sales.”
Or a particularly severe economic recession: “The Great Depression.”
Is it any surprise people get confused when we use the same word to describe a biologic illness?
Depression is an idea.
Like all mental illnesses, our limited understanding precludes diagnoses based on underlying biology. We have plenty of evidence there IS underlying biology, but we’ve yet to sort out the specifics. Instead, experts have carefully…
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