Manic depression is a type of depression, technically, and it's the opposite of uni-polar. Manic depression is also called bi-polar disorder. Some people don't like to call it that because they think it makes it sound too nice, when the reality is if you have manic-depression you have manic-depression.
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Depression must be avoided, no matter what the cost. Depression is lying on the Edwardian couch for six months, too tired to unlace your shoes. Depression is awakening each morning feeling as if someone near and dear and closely related died the night before. Bad news. Don't tempt depression.
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There are many misconceptions about depression-mostly negative. Unfortunately, because depressed people think negatively about depression and its treatment, they don't get help, which allows the depression to worsen, which leads to more negative thinking, which produces a vicious cycle of suffering.
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Anyone who has actually been that sad can tell you that there's nothing beautiful or literary or mysterious about depression. Depression is like a heaviness that you can't ever escape. It crushes down on you, making even the smallest things like tying your shoes or chewing on toast seem like a twenty-mile hike uphill. Depression is a part of you; it's in your bones and your blood.
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As it stands, the diagnostic criteria for depression are so loose that two people with absolutely no symptoms in common can both end up with the same unitary diagnosis of depression. For this reason especially, the concept of depression as a mental disorder has been charged with being little more than a socially constructed dustbin for all manner of human suffering.
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Depression is a serious problem, but drugs are not the answer. In the long run, psychotherapy is both cheaper and more effective, even for very serious levels of depression. Physical exercise and self-help books based on CBT can also be useful, either alone or in combination with therapy. Reducing social and economic inequality would also reduce the incidence of depression.
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Depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and it is not cured by medication. Depression may not even be an illness at all. Often, it can be a normal reaction to abnormal situations. Poverty, unemployment, and the loss of loved ones can make people depressed, and these social and situational causes of depression cannot be changed by drugs.
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This story ["The Depressed Person"] was the most painful thing I ever wrote. It's about narcissism, which is a part of depression. The character has traits of myself. I really lost friends while writing on that story, I became ugly and unhappy and just yelled at people. The cruel thing with depression is that it's such a self-centered illness - Dostoevsky shows that pretty good in his "Notes from Underground". The depression is painful, you're sapped/consumed by yourself; the worse the depression, the more you just think about yourself and the stranger and repellent you appear to others.
David Foster Wallace
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In the large sense the primary cause of the Great Depression was the war of 1914-1918. Without the war there would have been no depression of such dimensions. There might have been a normal cyclical recession; but, with the usual timing, even that readjustment probably would not have taken place at that particular period, nor would it have been a "Great Depression.
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When you feel depressed, it helps to actively change your environment. Go and do something different. Martin Luther conquered his depression by going outside to work in his garden. Surprisingly enough, one of the best ways to handle depression is to go to work immediately on the task you least enjoy. (The chances are your depression is caused by guilt feelings arising out of neglect of those tasks.)
R. C. Sproul
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I know the difference between sadness and depression. Clinical depression has no source from which it springs-it just is. Intractable sadness has nothing to do with synapses, or brain chemistry, or essential salts, it's born of something. It's the product of injustice and helplessness. It can be anesthetized, I suppose, but it's there, unaltered, when the medication wears off, like an intruder who has broken into your house and is still there every morning when you wake up. Given the choice, I would rather be depressed. I've come back from depression.
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If you tell someone you have depression, they will often say, "Oh, I've been depressed before, too." The difference lies between being depressed and having depression. Everyone's been depressed at one time or another, but these are far from being the same things. One is a passing mood. The other is a chronic illness that does not come and go, ebb and flow, is here one day and gone the next. The difference between being depressed and having depression is that one is a mood and the other is an illness. One is a momentary bout of melancholy. The other is a debilitating condition that requires medical treatment. Would you feel better about having a cancerous lesion if I likened it to the rash I had last week? The difference between being depressed and having depression is the difference between a mood that will soon pass, and a serious illness that disrupts your ability to function and will take years to treat. The difference between being depressed and having depression is the difference between Cleveland and Bangkok, or your frying pan and the surface of the sun. So, no, we (depressives) do not feel better when you tell us about your rash. We'll do our best to be polite about it, but no, it really doesn't help at all.
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Silence is one of worst, most vocal enemies, yet people go through many bouts of depression not sharing what is happening. People don't understand that, but as someone who suffers from it, I can tell you that it's difficult to be objective about the gray. I described depression to my therapist as a misty fog that surrounds me, heavy on my shoulders, pervading everything and nothing at all. I liken depression to a bird stealing into the depths of your soul, pecking at your disposition until nothing is left. And that is when you break into pieces.
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The terrible truth about depression, and the part of its nature that terrifies me the most, is that it appears to operate beyond reason; feelings happen to you for no apparent cause. Or rather, there is usually an initial cause, a 'trigger'as they say in therapeutic circles, but in severe depression the feelings of sadness, grief, loneliness and despair continue long after the situation has resolved itself. It is as if depression has a life of its own, which is perhaps why so many sufferers refer to it as a living thing, as some sort of demon or beast.
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I decide to scope out craigslist to see all the vibrant economic employment opportunities available to me in this depression. Oh, I'm sorry, I mean 'recession.' No matter how many millions of jobs are lost, how much debt our country accrues, or how many years the stagnation drags on, it's not a depression until the dogmatic media officially declares it to be a depression. It's as if they believe by repeatedly printing or saying economists are afraid the economy will slip back into a recession, they'll fool the masses of unemployed or underemployed into believing that not only are we not in a depression, but we aren't even in a recession. I'm sure the millions of unemployed, freshly graduated college kids who have thousands of dollars of unshakable debt to pay off feel comforted by the empty repetition.
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The point about manic depression or bipolar disorder, as it's now more commonly called, is that it's about mood swings. So, you have an elevated mood. When people think of manic depression, they only hear the word depression. They think one's a depressive. The point is, one's a manic-depressive.
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Anna Petrovna: Kolya, my dearest, stay at home. Ivanov: My love, my unhappy darling, I beg you, don't stop me going out in the evenings. It's cruel and unjust on my part, but let me commit that injustice. It's an agony for me at home. As soon as the sun disappears, my spirit begins to be weighed down by depression. What depression! Don't ask why. I myself don't know. I swear by God's truth I don't know. Here I'm in anguish, I go to the Lebedevs and there it's still worse; I return from there and here it's depression again, and so all night... Simply despair!
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POST ORGASMIC DEPRESSION I SAW YOU AT THE PARTY, I KNEW WE `OUGHTA BE WELL YOU WERE HUNGRY FOR MY BOX THAT MADE YOU PITY ME I TOOK YOU TO MY BEDROOM, I WAS HOPING FOR A TREAT WELL NOW THE PARTY'S OVER, I WISH YOU'D HIT THE STREET WELL I DONT REALLY GIVE A SHIT ... POST ORGASMIC DEPRESSION OH WELL YOU WERE SUCH A GOD BEFORE YOU SLIP IT IN AND NOW MY WEIGHT IS___ THE HATE COMES ROLLING IN. I'M STARING AT THE CIELING, NOW WHO DO I HATE MORE? YOU BECAUSE YOU'RE AN ASSHOLE? OR ME 'COS I'M A WHORE? WELL I DONT REALLY GIVE A SHIT ... POST ORGASMIC DEPRESSION WELL EVERYTIME I DO THIS SHIT, IT ALWAYS ENDS THE SAME IT STARTS OUT ORTHODONTIST, ENDS UP LOOKING LAME I WISH I COULD CONTROL IT, I WISH I COULD REFRAIN HERE HE COMES, HE'S HARD AGAIN WELL I DONT REALLY GIVE A SHIT ... POST ORGASMIC DEPRESSION UH HUH UH HUH TELL ME THAT I DONT HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO WITH MY TIME OH WELL I DONT REALLY GIVE A SHIT ... POST ORGASMIC DEPRESSION UH HUH, NO, NO, UH HU
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You have a class of young strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something. Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they don't need. Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don't really need. We don't have a great war in our generation, or a great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against the culture. The great depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression.
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Depression is not madness, it's just depression, the loser version, the low-energy response to bad stuff that happens in your life. When you're depressed, you think you're the only one to have ever tasted this kind of hurt. And that lonely self-regard brings with it its own painful pleasure.
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If the spectrum linking everyday depression to Major Depression sometimes hinders understanding of it, it also offers an opportunity for empathy. Because almost everyone, at some point, experiences feelings of sadness, of hopelessness, of emptiness, not to mention lethargy and irritability.
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That's the thing I want to make clear about depression: It's got nothing at all to do with life. In the course of life, there is sadness and pain and sorrow, all of which, in their right time and season, are normal-unpleasant, but normal. Depression is an altogether different zone because it involves a complete absence: absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest. The pain you feel in the course of a major clinical depression is an attempt on nature's part (nature, after all, abhors a vacuum) to fill up the empty space.
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I can't stand THE DEPRESSED. It's like a job. It's the only thing they work hard at. Oh good my depression is very well today. Oh good today I have another mysterious symptom and I will have another one tomorrow. The DEPRESSED are full of hate and bile and when they are not having panic attacks they are writing poems. What do they want their poems to DO? Their depression in the most VITAL thing about them. Their poems are threats. ALWAYS threats. There is no sensation keener or more active than their pain. They give nothing back except their depression. It's just another utility. Like electricity and water and gas and democracy. They could not survive without it.
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There is no common standard for education about diagnosis. Distinguishing between bipolar depression and major depressive disorder, for example, can be difficult, and mistakes are common. Misdiagnosis can be lethal. Medications that work well for some forms of depression induce agitation in others.
Kay Redfield Jamison
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Nesse's research focuses on the evolutionary origins of depression. Why does depression exist at all? If it's stayed in our gene pool for so long, he argues, there must be some evolutionary benefit. Nesse believes that depression may be an adaptive mechanism meant to prevent us from falling victim to blind optimism-and squandering resources on the wrong goals.11 It's to our evolutionary advantage not to waste time and energy on goals we can't realistically achieve. And so when we have no clear way to make productive progress, our neurological systems default to a state of low energy...
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In the end, I do not think we will find the neat boundary between 'normal sadness' and 'clinical depression,' if only because mood is an innate human characteristic, like weight or the length of our hair. However, to reject the very notion of depression as an illness on account of these difficulties is throwing the baby out with the bath water.
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Depression is a painfully slow, crashing death. Mania is the other extreme, a wild roller coaster run off its tracks, an eight ball of coke cut with speed. It's fun and it's frightening as hell. Some patients - bipolar type I - experience both extremes; other - bipolar type II - suffer depression almost exclusively. But the "mixed state, " the mercurial churning of both high and low, is the most dangerous, the most deadly. Suicide too often results from the impulsive nature and physical speed of psychotic mania coupled with depression's paranoid self-loathing.
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If you know someone who's depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn't a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they're going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It's hard to be a friend to someone who's depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.
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Our culture treats people with depression is as if there is something wrong with them; a biological imbalance best treated with medication. But if it's impossible to understand biology outside the context of environment, and there is a frightening increase in male suicide and depression, perhaps we need to take a closer look at the other variable - our environment.
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In my mind, depression is, like all non-communicable diseases, a physiologically expressed condition which is profoundly influenced by our social and cultural environments. Depression is a global crisis not only because it is common and universal, but because the vast majority of affected people suffer in silence or receive inappropriate care.
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Looking after children can be a subtle way of giving up... They become the whole ones, the well ones, the postponement of happiness, the ones who won't drink too much, give up, get divorced, become mentally ill. The part of oneself that's fighting against decay and depression is transferred to guarding them from decay and depression. In the meantime one decays and gets depressed.
Edward St Aubyn
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Darkness, whether in mood or in night, is natural. So if we flow with the black bile of melancholia and endure the terrible darkness of depression, eventually we will break through into the light of joy. This is the Tao (the Way) of darkness or depression--this is the Mystery of its evolution.
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To illustrate the vain conceit that the universe must be somehow pre-ordained for us, because we are so well-suited to live in it, he [Douglas Adams] mimed a wonderfully funny imitation of a puddle of water, fitting itself snugly into a depression in the ground, the depression uncannily being exactly the same shape as the puddle.
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sufferers of depression, who can elect to keep their feelings private, experience chronic, unremitting emotional alienation. Each moment spent 'passing' as normal deepens the sense of disconnection generated by depression in the first instance. In this regard, depression stands as a nearly pure case of impression-management. For depressed individuals, the social requirement to 'put on a happy face' requires subjugation of an especially intense inner experience. Yet, nearly unbelievably, many severely depressed people 'pull off the act' for long periods of time. The price of the performance is to further exacerbate a life condition that already seems impossibly painful
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In a strange way, I had fallen in love with my depression. Dr. Sterling was right about that. I loved it because I thought it was all I had. I thought depression was the part of my character that made me worthwhile. I thought so little of myself, felt that I had such scant offerings to give to the world, that the one thing that justified my existence at all was my agony.
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This depression comes over me whenever the Lord is preparing a larger blessing for my ministry; the cloud is black before it breaks, and overshadows before it yields its deluge of mercy. Depression has now become to me as a prophet in rough clothing, a John the Baptist, heralding the nearer coming of my Lord's richer benison
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The most important thing to remember about depression is this: you do not get the time back. It is not tacked on at the end of your life to make up for the disaster years. Whatever time is eaten by a depression is gone forever. The minutes that are ticking by as you experience the illness are minutes you will not know again.
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It's awful to have a depression, but it's a great thing to have a depression mentality because it means that we are not speculating, we are not living beyond our means, we don't quit our job to take a big risk because we know we might not get another job. There is something stable about a country, a society built on those values.
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There is enormous shame around depression of any kind and at any time. And there's enormous social stigma attached to it, which we need to go on fighting. But I think that the sense of depression during pregnancy and early motherhood has been particularly stigmatized, that people especially feel that should be the happiest time of your life.
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Mild depression is a gradual and sometimes permanent thing that undermines people the way rust weakens iron. It is too much grief at too slight a cause, pain that takes over from the other emotions and crowds them out. Such depression takes up bodily occupancy in the eyelids and in the muscles that keep the spine erect. It hurts your heart and lungs, making the contraction of involuntary muscles harder than it needs to be. Like physical pain that becomes chronic, it is miserable not so much because it is intolerable in the moment as because it is intolerable to have known it in the moments gone and to look forward only to knowing it in the moments to come. The present tense of mild depression envisages no alleviation because it feels like knowledge.
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Unless you are political or intellectual, events like the Depression are seen as personal events. We thought of the Depression as something that made the pipes freeze; we thought it hit us because Daddy didn't move his taxi stand and because he broke his hip. It was only later I found out it was a national phenomenon.
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Anna Petrovna: Do you know what, Kolya? Try and sing, laugh, get angry, as you once did... You stay in, we'll laugh and drink fruit liqueur and we'll drive away your depression in a flash. I'll sing if you like. Or else let's go and sit in the dark in your study as we used to, and you'll tell me about your depression... You have such suffering eyes. I'll look into them and cry, and we'll both feel better.
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If someone told me that I could live my life again free of depression provided I was willing to give up the gifts depression has given me-the depth of awareness, the expanded consciousness, the increased sensitivity, the awareness of limitation, the tenderness of love, the meaning of friendship, the apreciation of life, the joy of a passionate heart-I would say, 'This is a Faustian bargain! Give me my depressions. Let the darkness descend. But do not take away the gifts that depression, with the help of some unseen hand, has dredged up from the deep ocean of my soul and strewn along the shores of my life. I can endure darkness if I must; but I cannot lie without these gifts. I cannot live without my soul.' (p. 188)
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Some authors have conceptualized depression as a "depletion syndrome" because of the prominence of fatigability; they postulate that the patient exhausts his available energy during the period prior to the onset of the depression and that the depressed state represents a kind of hibernation, during which the patient gradually builds up a new story of energy.
Aaron T. Beck
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Writers, especially poets, are particularly prone to madness. There exists a striking association between creativity and manic depression. Why are more creative people prone to madness? They have more than average amounts of energies and abilities to see things in a fresh and original way""then because they also have depression, I think they're more in touch with human suffering.
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People with depression can't just snap out of it or "turn that frown upside down." Depression can be a painful and overwhelming state that makes one unable to function, to think clearly or reasonably, or to want to simply face another day. Many people suffer alone and in silence because they are scared or ashamed. They feel weak... or pitiful. How can a person be incapable of having joy? 'Why can't I just have a good time? Why can't I get on with it?
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I know, perhaps as well as anyone, what depression means, and what it is to feel myself sinking lower and lower. Yet at the worst, when I reach the lowest depths, I have an inward peace which no pain or depression can in the least disturb. Trusting in Jesus Christ my Savior, there is still a blessed quietness in the deep caverns of my soul, though upon the surface, a rough tempest may be raging, and there may be little apparent calm.
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In the psychological literature, depression is often seen as a defense against sadness. But I'll take sadness any day. There is no contest. Sadness carries identification. You know where it's been and you know where it's headed. Depression carries no papers. It enters your country unannounced and uninvited. Its origins are unknown, but its destination always dead-ends in you.
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The Great Depression was going on, so that the station and the streets teemed with homeless people, just as they do today. The newspapers were full of stories of worker layoffs and farm foreclosures and bank failures, just as they are today. All that has changed, in my opinion, is that, thanks to television, we can hide a Great Depression. We may even be hiding a Third World War.
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