Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. In 2012, an estimated 16 million U.S. adults had at least one major depressive episode, or bout of depressive symptoms, in the past year. But despite how common the illness is, many people do not understand exactly what it means to have depression, and often think of it as being the same as sadness. "Depression is one of the most tragically misunderstood words in the English language," writes Stephen Ilardi, an associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kansas, in 5 Myths About Suicide, Debunked.


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"When people refer to depression in everyday conversation, they usually have something far less serious in mind," than what the disorder actually entails. "In fact, the term typically serves as a synonym for mere sadness."

Although major depression can strike people of any age, the median age at onset is 32.5, according to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.


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The apparent suicide of Robin Williams is a good reminder that there is a universe of difference between being "sad" and being "depressed". In our language we have conflated the meanings of the two words. Yet they describe dramatically different realities. A person who suffers depression is ill (sometimes terminally), just like a person with cancer or any disease.

#1 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-08-12 11:45 AM | Reply | Flag:

money and fame don't bring happiness.

#2 | Posted by DeadSpin at 2014-08-12 04:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

"money and fame don't bring happiness."

Sadly true.

#3 | Posted by Tor at 2014-08-12 05:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

But they sure do make it a lot easier to go look for it-

#4 | Posted by jrod54 at 2014-08-13 12:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

"money and fame don't bring happiness."

But it does buy beer, fast cars, lots of legos, ice cube treys that make ice cubes look like dragons, silk underwear, multi-headed showers, the ability to crossbreed a porcupine and a hippopotamus and toilets that talk to you. And that is pretty close.

#5 | Posted by salamandagator at 2014-08-13 01:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

Calling suicide a 'coward's way out' is a stale and ignorant observation. One of my best friends dove off of a freeway overpass in 2007. As another friend put it "He was like a man on fire diving into a lake." Depression, which might be biochemical as well as psychological, can be so severe living is intolerable. I feel nothing but sympathy and heartache when I hear of someone taking their own life.

#6 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2014-08-13 01:17 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

You are wrong. Depression isn't a matter of not having cool stuff or even any stuff. Depression is an organic condition of the brain. Billionairre or penniless, the pain and despair of depression runs just as deep. Hopefully, with some money though, better treatment options are available.
Anyone who continues to mistake depression for being sad is ignorant. Anyone who continues to believe that suicide by a depressed person is an act of cowardice is ignorant. A complete failure to understand a debilitating medical condition.

#7 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-08-13 01:20 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

I would expect the right-wingers to fall in line with the claim that depression is nothing more than when you feel a little sad.

It fits lockstep into their inability to experience empathy, for example claiming that waterboarding is when you sprinkle water on somebody.

#8 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-13 01:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

Waterboarding is like a day at the spa. You get to have someone else wash your face for you.

#9 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-13 01:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

Depression is a sad person who is on a self-pity parade. If a depressed person had any gumption, he'd be happier.

#10 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-13 01:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

Waterboarding is like a day at the spa. You get to have someone else wash your face for you.

#9 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-13 01:46 PMFlag: (Choose)

Depression is a sad person who is on a self-pity parade. If a depressed person had any gumption, he'd be happier.

#10 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-13 01:47 PM |

Double troll fail in under two minutes!

#11 | Posted by truthhurts at 2014-08-13 03:12 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Well no. Depression is not sadness. It causes sadness. Sadness itself is normal.

#12 | Posted by pragmatous at 2014-08-13 03:51 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

That's not nice, Troofy.

I thought my comments were pretty funny.

#13 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-13 04:29 PM | Reply | Flag:

#7 Sounds like naturalism is a cruel mistress

#14 | Posted by HeuristicGratis at 2014-08-14 08:15 AM | Reply | Flag:

Depression hurts. It hurts a lot. Sometimes if you ever encounter this beast you would do anything to escape it's clutches. Drink, drug, sex yourself to death or maybe put a bullet through your head to stop the pain. What I have done, and the only thing that has worked for me is this.
1. Get out of bed and get some exercise.(the first 5 minutes are the hardest).
2. Do not use drugs or drink any alcohol- the hour before you go to, or try to sleep is alright- but more than two ounces of ethanol or a couple of bong hits is too much.
3. Lessen to the people that love you and cultivate personal relationships, seeing the lives of others gives you perspective.
4. Pray or meditate every day at least once. This stimulates areas of you brain that help your mood.
5. ------ a few times a week, especially if you have someone who wants to do this with you-this stimulates a lot of things chemically in you brain that help defeat the beast. If you are female- do it even when you DON'T feel like it.
6. Sleep at night, at least 6 hours a day and get into the sun light for a couple of hours, especially in the morning.
7. Do something for someone else, Visit a shut in, someone you know who is in the hospital, jail, prison- Give something- it improves your own self image.
8. Avoid those pills- every person I have known who suffered from depression and eventually killed themselves were on "anti-depressants". The cure is not found in a pill.
9. Music is therapy- lessen. If you hear something so moving or beautiful that it brings tears to your eyes, that's is a good chose. If it makes you want to dance, even better.
10. Talk to your doctor- and get an exam, organic depression can be triggered by health problems, sometimes very serious ones, as I have found out.

#15 | Posted by docnjo at 2014-08-14 05:58 PM | Reply | Flag:

Docnjo: Your advice for depressed people to avoid anti-depressant medication is about the most irresponsible thing you could have written. Anti-depressants have greatly helped the lives of millions of people. And the good is, there are now so many different types of anti-depressants that if one type does not work for you, the doctor can try you out on a completely different type. One of them will work. Rejecting medication for mental health problems is very scientologist of you. Tom Cruise I'm sure would agree with you.

#16 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-08-14 06:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

I can only report what I have seen with my own eyes.

#17 | Posted by docnjo at 2014-08-14 06:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

DOCNJO thanks for trying to help people but mod is right medication can be of great assistance though people should be VERY careful when getting on and off it.

I'd like to also point out that vitamin D and sunlight are also good for helping to combat depression.

#18 | Posted by Tor at 2014-08-14 06:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

Caveat: I know some are helped by pills, but if one can avoid them, do so, they seem to have side effects that make headlines. If you take them, do not stop unless you are under the close supervision of a doctor. I note that physicians in the US are pill happy, check out the suicide rates in Europe- fewer pills, fewer suicides and they do have a bigger problem with alcoholism and depression.

#19 | Posted by docnjo at 2014-08-14 08:32 PM | Reply | Flag:

"in Europe...."

They also have universal healthcare.

#20 | Posted by Tor at 2014-08-14 11:44 PM | Reply | Flag:

And doctors can not be sewed for malpractice ether, no matter they screw up. You can not chose your provider, and they euthanize old people fairly often. I lived in the BRD for a few years.

#21 | Posted by docnjo at 2014-08-15 01:04 AM | Reply | Flag:


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