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Examples of weakening the meaning of the word "depression"

MeAndMyDepression

MeAndMyDepression

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The meaning of the word "depression," as it relates to mental health, is being watered down by casual usage in everyday life. For example, two teenage girls could be talking on the phone to one another, and one says to the other, "I was so depressed this morning I could have died!" Over time, the meaning of the word "depression" is being diluted to just reflect a state of sadness and nothing more. The meaning of the phrase "to die" is being tossed about casually--figuratively--and not literally. The concept of death is being watered down as well. Can you think of other examples where the casual usage of the word "depression" and the phrase "to die" is hurting people's understanding of this mental illness?
 
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2Much2Feel

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I do agree. The same with the term "bipolar", which pisses me off regularly. Anyone with strong emotions is labeled "bipolar", and I love how TV shows and such even make a joke of it. People just don't get it.
 
Capt Hooke

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Just what is the meaning of the term "depression"? It's really a very diverse "catch-all phrase" which serves to highlight the fact the we understand so very, very little about the subject. I really wouldn't give it a second thought.
 
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Pollypop

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I heard a woman who had been to an AA meeting say

“I didn’t want to be told I was an alcoholic,
I wanted something glamorous like depression”
 
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turnitoffandonagain_again

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I have to say I don't really agree with this view (which in my experience seems very common among those in the mental health system). I think many of these things are a continuum, and I don't like the idea that only those who have had their conditions officially labelled by the (intensely ideological/political) psychiatric priest-caste can have such terms applied to them.

It's a kind of jealous 'diagnostic boundary policing' and it concedes far too much authority to those who get to bestow labels. It seems to degenerate into "I have a _real_ condition, they are just a bad person". Those who have managed to get a label for their pain, seem prone to guard that precious prize jealously and deny anyone else the right to use it.

I frequently say I'm depressed, but I resent being asked to 'prove' I meet some supposed objective clinical criteria to use the word. That said, the last time I saw a mental health professional they referred to my condition downright dismissively as "just depression" (in the context of a referral being rejected by another specialist mental-health service for that reason "it's just depression, should be dealt with at the primary care level" i.e. GP will shove some SSRIs at you, for the hundredth time).

But I don't really know what the word means. I just feel ill, crap and hopeless and unmotivated all the time, and feel nothing is ever going to get any better, is all. I very strongly suspect my real problem is an undiagnosed physical illness, mind you.

Following this line that such terms require a formal validation from an acredited 'expert', you end up with absurdities, like the way the NHS chief psychiatrist has, on the one hand, condemned mental-health professionals for diagnosing Donald Trump as having NPD without a formal assessment, and yet on the other has declared that all of us with 'medically unexplained symptoms' are just suffering from psychosomatic conditions - without even speaking to most of us.

As ever, psychiatry is 100% political - you can't diagnose the rich and powerful at a distance, but apparently you can diagnose the rest of us that way.
 
UpnDwn1978

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I do agree. The same with the term "bipolar", which pisses me off regularly. Anyone with strong emotions is labeled "bipolar", and I love how TV shows and such even make a joke of it. People just don't get it.
As someone with bipolar disorder this annoys me to no end. I meet a lot of people that think mental illness is somehow just a phase one is going through and that you can just pull yourself together and get over it. My best friend is like this, he doesn't believe in mental illness even though he is clearly suffering from depression. We've had many heated arguments about it but we've jut agreed to disagree and he don't bother me about it anymore.

I see a lot of young people throwing around mental illnesses like they're badges of honor, if you don't have one you're not part of the culture. I think it's harmful to people with real conditions and should be pointed out. I can't believe we're in 2021 and still there's so many misconceptions and stigmas concerning mental health issues.
 
jajingna

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My best friend is like this, he doesn't believe in mental illness even though he is clearly suffering from depression.
I just find this odd. If I have a problem, and I'm aware of it, then it would be strange for me to say the problem doesn't exist. I may not label it accurately. I may not understand it properly. Yet the problem is there, and to deny there is a problem or say there is no such thing, is an odd position to take.
 
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Mistral

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My take on the word "depression" is that it is now being used exclusively to mean a mental illness, while its meaning has always been much wider than that. It is perfectly OK, as far as I can see, to feel depressed and say that we are depressed and yet not have a mental illness.
 
Pocahontas2008

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I've lost count how many times I heard neurotypicals say they were depressed over something petty.
They wouldn't survive a day in our shoes.
 
MeAndMyDepression

MeAndMyDepression

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I've lost count how many times I heard neurotypicals say they were depressed over something petty.
They wouldn't survive a day in our shoes.
How true. Thanks for using the term "neurotypicals." I haven't heard that term before and so I looked it up. My vocabulary has now increased by one. 😀
 
UpnDwn1978

UpnDwn1978

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I just find this odd. If I have a problem, and I'm aware of it, then it would be strange for me to say the problem doesn't exist. I may not label it accurately. I may not understand it properly. Yet the problem is there, and to deny there is a problem or say there is no such thing, is an odd position to take.
He believes there is a problem, he just doesn't believe there is such a thing as mental illness, in fact he sees most of psychology as a quack science. He think every mental problem can be overcome with discipline and self-insight. It's so strange since he's clearly suffering from depression, although obviously he refuse to get help. Sometimes I want to go off my meds just to show him how bad it can get, but obviously I won't do that lol.
 
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turnitoffandonagain_again

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I heard a woman who had been to an AA meeting say

“I didn’t want to be told I was an alcoholic,
I wanted something glamorous like depression”
I find that very weird, given that it always seemed to me that things like alcoholism and substance addictions are (probably wrongly) seen as glamorous (look at the long association of those issues with artists and rock stars), while depression is considered rather boring as a topic - hence the last psychologist I saw declaring in a very dismissive tone that my problem was "just depression".
 
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turnitoffandonagain_again

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How true. Thanks for using the term "neurotypicals." I haven't heard that term before and so I looked it up. My vocabulary has now increased by one. 😀

I've heard it, but usually in the context of autism. I don't see how it applies to depression, unless one is convinced depression is solely about having abnormal neurons.

Also I don't know that I agree that we have to have special words for everything someone might _not_ be.
 
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