Today, more people are claimed to be the victims of depression. A half a century ago, such phenomenon as depression was far from the wide public’s attention. Moreover, the majority of people were unaware of the existence of depression. However, nowadays it is entering the life of society very actively and is already considered to be pandemic. Specialists in mental health state that depression is the most common disorder they encounter on the daily basis.
The following paper aims to provide evidence of the existence of depression. Depression is a real concept, which is proved by the findings of medical, psychiatric, and psychological specialists, and wide recognition by contemporary mass media.
The current definition of depression is “a serious medical illness that should be distinguished from normal temporary feelings of sadness after a loss, such as the death of a relative or friend” (Torpy 1994). Depression is characterized as bad a clinical condition with severe emotional and physical implications. According to Torp, “a person who feels sad all the time, has unexplained crying spells or loses interest in usual activities may have major depression” (1994).
In a like manner, depression is described by the author of the article “Treat Depression, Help The Heart”, who has stated that “those who feel mostly bad for most of the day for weeks or months, who lose the ability to enjoy life” are affected by depression (1). Depression disorder is characterized by such symptoms as “recurrent thoughts of death or suicide”, “feeling sad or empty”, “decreased interest or pleasure in activities”, “decreased or increased sleeping”, “fatigue or loss of energy”, “feeling worthless or guilty”, and “difficulty thinking or concentrating” (Torpy 1994). Mental health professionals state that depression is the most common mental disorder nowadays.
The term “depression” comes from Latin and Old French languages. Originally, this word was a term in astronomy and its connotation was connected with barometric pressure, but in the later periods, it acquired clinical implications. Also, in the 19th century, the word was applied as an economic term meaning the decrease in economic activity. In 1905, the word “depression” first appeared as a term in clinical psychology to denote the condition of prolonged groundless sadness and apathy.
It received its wide implementation in medical science in the 1930s. Generally, the word has no other connotations in the current period, but its meaning slightly changes in combination with other words. For instance, the expression “clinical depression” has professional implications and is mostly used by psychiatrists to denote complex conditions.
The media portray depression as a serious mental illness. Depression is shown in such formats as films, music, videos, songs, advertising videos and images, and video games. The global society has faced a row of adverse health and mental effects of depression. This circumstance inspired the creation of numerous works of contemporary culture. Every year, songs addressing the theme of depression become hits. A similar tendency is observed in cinematography. Annually, the film industry produces a row of drama films addressing the theme of depression and some of those films become Oscar-winning.
The most popular films addressing depression are “Revolutionary Road” with excellent Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, “The Hours” with brilliant Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, and “Prozac Nation” with inimitable Christina Ricci and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Advertising industry is by far the most active user of the theme of depression in its activity. The specialists of this field are well aware of the scale of the depression pandemic and feel they may make huge profits by selling goods related to the treatment of this disorder. For that reason, they flood the media by the abundance of video clips and images showing people with depression.
Speaking about the evidence proving the existence of depression, it is important to consider the specialists’ point of view. First of all, the specialists in psychology relate depression to common clinic conditions. For example, in their article “Relation Between Depression, Loneliness, Self-Esteem And Internet Addiction”, Ayas and Horzum address depression as a “psychological symptom” (284). Further, medical doctors also distinguish depression as a serious mental illness that has bad consequences for health. To illustrate, the article “Treat Depression, Help The Heart” shows a close connection between depression and heart diseases. Next, psychiatrists consider depression one of the most common illnesses in their practice. The opinion of all those well-respected specialists can be hardly disregarded. Thus, the existence of depression is the reality of contemporary life.
Another line of evidence proving the existence of depression is its clear image in the media. Different formats of modern mass media such as songs, films, video games or advertising images and videos depict this mental illness as the part of people’s life as can be seen from the information provided above. The recognition of depression in the media leaves no space for doubts concerning its reality. More than that, those media forms claim that without prevention measures, depression has an extremely negative impact on its victims and society in general.
Particularly, the media inform that depression causes such harms as impaired working ability, pessimism, fatigue, loss of energy, retardation, agitation, insomnia or hypersomnia, poor social functioning, thoughts of suicide, and endless fear. The above-mentioned consequences of depression can hardly be considered unrealistic and thus, depression is a real problem and its existence cannot be doubted.
Regarding the position of opponents rejecting the existence of the phenomenon under consideration, it can be stated that their point of view is that depression is a fake concept made up to excuse the personal emotional weaknesses of some people. Such individuals think that depression cannot be either medically indicated or confirmed by analyses. Their view of the symptoms of depression is that they are unrelated individual factors that appear under the influence of constant stress or continued hardships in life. In a similar manner, these people object to the need for drug medication for depression along with psychiatric preventive measures. They see antidepressants as dangerous chemicals that cause physical and economic harm to consumers.
In conclusion, despite the fact that opponents do not consider depression a real phenomenon, a great number of medical specialists, psychologists and psychiatrists state that it is factual. These specialists insist that without proper medication and psychological therapy, depression may lead to suicide and thus, it is real and has actual implications. Moreover, the existence of depression is supported by its well-distinguished image in the media. In this vein, a variety of formats of mass media including songs, films, video games, and advertising videos show depression as a component of people’s daily life that needs close attention and well-elaborated prevention measures.
Ayas, Tuncay, and Mehmet Horzum. “Relation Between Depression, Loneliness, Self-Esteem And Internet Addiction.” Education 133.3 (2013): 283-290. Print.
Torpy, Janet. “Depression.” The Journal of the American Medical Association 303.19 (2010): 1994. Print.
“Treat Depression, Help The Heart.” Harvard Heart Letter 24.4 (2013): 1-7. Print.