It's important to realise that, like anxiety, depression in itself is not an illness. Depression is an integral part of
being human; everybody gets depressed to some degree at certain times in his or her life.
Life throws many things at us that give us a good right to become depressed. Such things as the death of a loved one, prolonged illness or
incapacity, relationship and work problems bring home to us our lack of control. This lack of control makes us feel helpless and hopeless
and that there's nothing we can do to change things. This is normal depression.
However, there is a situation where depression goes much deeper and becomes associated with something more than just those awful life
events that are uncontrollable and happen to everyone. Yes the same bad things happen, but they become related to our very self, our
'weakness' and the belief that there is nothing we can do about it.
With severe depression, nothing sounds good and nothing feels good. Thinking processes slow down and are replaced by a lack of concentration,
indecisiveness, and rumination. Dullness descends over us and even colours can appear faded.
Depress means 'to press down' and deep depression results from a 'pushing down' of emotions and feelings, particularly anger. Our mind and
body symbolise this dullness and 'pressing down' and make it real to us through physical sensations such as 'a weight on our shoulders' or
'a thick fog surrounding us'.
Depression involves tiredness and body aches, lethargy and procrastination, and our depressed immune system often results in constant
colds, flus and viruses. In chronic depression the only real things we do feel include anxiety and fear, worthlessness, helplessness,
hopelessness and guilt.
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One meaning of depress is "to press or push down"
(The Collins English Dictionary)
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