What is depression?

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Question:brain confusion

What is depression? Is it someone who tries to retain their feelings or someone who is in *too* much in touch with their feelings? I am the latter. Can that also be depression?

Answer:

Good question. When one is depressed, they generally feel very sad, unmotivated, negative, discouraged or even hopeless.

One could say he or she is very much in touch with these feelings. Continuing to focus on such feelings increases the depression. Unfortunately, where there is a biochemical basis for depression, it is very difficult to alter these thoughts, or pay less attention to the feelings. Therapy, or medication and therapy together can be very helpful.

One who is “too much” in touch with feelings may be highly sensitive, or a “feeling type” personality. This, in itself, would not constitute depression, as we would expect the individual to be just as “in touch” with positive feelings as with the negative ones.

Someone who tries to retain or hold back their feelings may be emotionally reserved, blocked or simply not in touch with their feelings. This does not mean the person is depressed, even though the emotions are repressed. Such an individual could be depressed, acting out the denied feelings through various addictive behaviors.