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Depression is neither Minor nor Brief

Real depression doesn’t come and go over the space of days. It is a near-constant specter in the lives of the afflicted. In order for someone to be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms have to manifest themselves for most of the day, nearly each day. Furthermore, these symptoms must persist for at least two weeks. Thus, a bad day, no matter how bad, can’t be termed depression.

Depression is not Grief

If you accept the idea that sadness can be good for us, then what about major life traumas, like the loss of a partner, a parent or a child? At moments like these, rest and perspective seem far away and the idea that sadness heals seems absurd. Clearly grief can trigger depression, yet clinically, grief is considered an experience apart from depression. Most cultures make special affordance for the grieving and the deep emotions that are to some degree expected and accepted as part and parcel of life.

Psychology, Philosophy & Real Life

Gordon Shippey

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