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Leslie Pieters

Physical Educator, NYS Assoc. for Athletics, Health, Physical Education, Dance & Recreation; Social Enterprise Alliance; American Tennis Associatio

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Depression is an Illness!

Depression may need a new same because I am one of the happiest DEPRESSED people I know!

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Closing Statement from Leslie Pieters

Sharing my idea on Depression confirmed the need for more conversations on the topic. I appreicated the inquest that prompted me to complete my statement sooner than later which helped my idea take form.

It takes a lot to "come out" about a sensitive topic and those who did offered comfort along with their insight on Depression. This conversation enabled me to be objective about Depression while understanding it from a subjective frame of reference.

Stong statements were made by those observing the illness which proved valuable for continued directions in research. Depression referred to, "Our own slow train to our own Auschwitz", was extremely impactful comparison. I wholeheartedly advocated for a new name for Depression the illness, not depression the emotion!

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    Apr 20 2013: Mental illness is much more lethal than physical one. Depression can lead a person to suicide!
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      Apr 20 2013: You said it, Kareem.As a person may become depressed/sad/melancholy over their compromised physical state but Depression may cause a person to rid themselves of their physical being altogether!

      I couldn't believe it; one moment I am teaching the signs & symptoms of seasonal depression to my students and the next moment I am contemplating easing out of this world...simply fascinating!I want the mentally ill to feel ill instead of demonized!
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        Apr 20 2013: Exactly.

        To fight depression one needs to be tough mentally over and over again which is easier said than done.

        Observing a friend of mine who suffered depression recently and was hospitalized for two weeks I experienced how destructive depression is. This friend was an amateur boxer and was leaving a perfectly normal life. But in a couple of weeks he was a totally different person. Just meeting him and seeing him like that was a painful experience for me.

        Thanks to Allah he is recovering fast now :)
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          Apr 23 2013: I was more amazed when the symptoms of Depression sneaked into my lifestyle. All my basic needs are met as well as my emotional needs.

          It truly needs another name, Kareem. Depressed people are depressed. People with Depression are truly ill!
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    Apr 17 2013: One of the problems with a discussion about depression is it is like a discussion about love. We all know what it means but once you start trying to define it as if it were a 'thing' out there in the universe and we are the 'observers' you lose it completely. Depression is not an illness - any more than, for example, God is love. Depression is the human response to unsatisfactory and unresolvable circumstances. In my experience that is always as the result of contradictory behaviour by other humans. In simple terms the solution to depression is not to cause it in the first place. Once someone is depressed the only thing one can do is support, appreciate, value and love them. They are quite capable of getting through it themselves with the right support.
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    Apr 16 2013: There are a bunch of conditions which result in the symptoms of depression.
    Generally speaking, depression is diagnosed as a chronic persistence of cortisol and related stress "chemicals".
    This can be downstream of any number of causes. And can result in recognised types of outcomes - for instance, one might be a seasonal-depressive, and some forms of depression are not related to suicide.

    Another thing to consider is that depression is not the opposite of happiness .. these subjective states don't seem to work in dichotemies such as hot/cold up/down etc. One may be depressed and sad and happy and angry at the same time .. we over-simplify these things for the sake of communication.

    Above all, these mental classifications all seem to work as spectrum things - much as autism is a spectrum condition, depression can have degrees of manifestation. They represent adaptive potentials .. it is the context which determines if they are appropriate.
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    Apr 23 2013: To All Commenters,
    I learned so much from you all!

    Thanks a million.

    See you on the mentally healed side of the moon!

    LZP
  • Apr 23 2013: Depression has a tremendous impact on the people surrounding the person suffering with the illness. Not often recognized, the effects of depression can be crippling and overwhelming on loved ones who struggle to understand the challenges facing the person. Fractured communication skills and schisms that prevent positive interaction create emotional and psychological dissonance. Recognizing that depression can cause overwhelming destruction to the emotional and physical relationships in the person's life must be an important analysis of the disease and its treatment.
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      Apr 23 2013: Jason, I applaud your sentiments!

      Like every illness, loved ones are sometimes affected more if they do not accept it. I finally accepted my brother's schizophrenia because I saw the mental deterioration it caused. I still want him to say, "Got Ya", and get out this state. He had a beautiful mind and now he cannot control it at all; it controls him in words and deeds.

      With Depression, many I know do not think they have a problem but simply cannot function properly and simply wonder why they can't?

      A former student told be he's Bipolar and takes three medications/day to get through the day. He is now speaking about the disease with the topic, "I'm Not Crazy, I'm Mentally iIl'. I'm so proud to know him and have decided to do the same.

      I am aware that people will deny, insult the illness and the people with it and so on. Some of these people are in the field but many are our friend and family who want everything to be ok.

      It can be when we can identify Depression and continue the healing process indefinitely.
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    Apr 17 2013: To elaborate, I've been hypnotized and have identified depression in therapy with several causes be it the quintessential: mother, environment & so on.
    With so much attention given to the mentally ill because of the recent shootings, I think there needs to be a repect to the mentally ill as we would have for the physically ill.

    The representatives of print and talk media who bring the stories to prime-time use such negative discriptions of the ill and not the illness.

    Like many illnesses of the mind, I agree that it is still difficult to define it as it is to define other intangibles such as love. Like many different versions of the illness, mine makes me hypersensitive when not medicated. Sad things make me extremely sad to uncontrollable tears and happy things make me happy. The sad things are overwhelmingly sad, however, at a time when it doesn't affect me but affects others in the world, i.e. famine in Africa, war in the Mid-East, Ethnic Cleansing in Eastern Europe.

    What can be done to take the stigma away from the mentally ill so that we don't hide behind a lonely place and come out only when it's too late?

    Acceptance is needed and protection along with the support. As for Depression, another name is needed for this illness. Being depressed, saddened by a certain trauma that takes time and modalites to heal is different from Depression, the illness.
  • Apr 17 2013: Depression is not an illness but a healing process. A person not able to resolve a trauma at the time will attempt to think the problem through. In order to think, the mind slows down and after a while the slowing down becomes a habit. Ask any depressed person 'what happened' a few years before the onset and almost always they will describe a trauma. Like so many similar symptoms, it is mostly due to emotion trapped with no way out logically.
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      Apr 17 2013: I understand your logic, David!
    • Apr 21 2013: that's not true at all, depression is not mostly caused by trauma and a large proportion of cases are either caused by bad brain chemistry or a slow grinding down of happiness.
      depression is not a healing process, it is a malfunction of thinking; if anything its the opposite to healing as if given the chance the majority of cases deteriorate without intervention
  • Apr 23 2013: I am not troubled or frustrated with 'depression'. Which is not a disease. I am frustrated with people who cannot read properly. You must be the world expert thinking it is a disease so please go save the world and leave me in peace. Perhaps you have too much spare time or are trying to find a friend to which I decline.
  • Apr 23 2013: For a number of years I and other NLP practitioners have been helping people of all ages to resolve their depression. Stop wasting yours and my time debating clinical issues. If like us you can help by resolving , curing or whatever you wish to call it continue to comment. if you cannot then clear off and get a life. It cost money to train in NLP why don't you stop messing about and do something like learning then i will have time for you.
    My belief is ninety percent of ailments start in the mind. Doctors and hospitals are welcome to the remaining ten percent.
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      Apr 23 2013: David, you seem very troubled and frustrated by the disease also. I do hope you can help us advocate for another name for it.

      We must continue not to dehumanize the person by blaming them.
  • Apr 22 2013: Correct me if I am wrong but isn't 'given the chance the majority of cases deteriorate without intervention' the same as healing? What on earth is a 'slow grinding down of happiness'?
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      Apr 22 2013: That's just it, David.

      It is not simply the grinding down of happiness. It literally attacks the body/brain and heightens sensitivity to tragic occurances or brings them about.

      These occurances can include the distructive as well as the fatal. It is not the opposite of sadness. Depression is not the same as being depressed that's why I'm advocating for another name for this mental illness!
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        Apr 22 2013: Does the term Clinical Depression refer to the illness as opposed to the temporary reaction to an effecting event, such as a death in the family or the loss of a job?
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          Apr 22 2013: Yes, Clinical Depression is what the doctor will diaognose and label one clinically depressed if one exhibits the symptoms.
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          Apr 23 2013: Well put, Don!

          I'm glad I'm alone on that train and not lonely!

          I understand!
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  • Apr 20 2013: The problem when comparing mental and physical illness is that mental illness is not as measurable as physical.illness. You can take a person's blood pressure , measure their glucose levels, or use any number of imaging tests to check the spread of cancer. Unfortunately no such tests exist for mental illness. One simply can not quantify behavioral health. There is no test for levels of depression, or bi-polar disorder, or schizophrenia.For this reason many still refuse to accept the reality of mental illness and continue to view it as an excuse for anti-social behavior. Unfortunately for a lot of people mental illness remains an "I have to experience it before I believe it" subject, leaving those who live with it, and their families, struggling for recognition and treatment.
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      Apr 20 2013: Sofia, I concur!

      I truly believe that if the stigma is removed from this behavioral malady, more people may come forth giving us more subjects to test the spectrum if the illness.

      For now, it needs to be respected and not damned until we can fully test and qualify it to properly treat it.
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        Apr 20 2013: I understand that depression carries much more of a stigma within some communities than others. Have you looked into this?
  • Apr 17 2013: Like Mitch says - Is it's not always the same?
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      Apr 17 2013: Still looking for that distinction, George!
      • Apr 17 2013: No, but it's just an observation. It's a little depressing when you think about it like that
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    Apr 16 2013: Could you elaborate, please, on your idea?