What is Depression?
Latin origin ‘Deprimere’, meaning ‘Press down’. Few other related words are :- ‘Opprimere’ meaning ‘press against’; ‘Exprimere’ meaning ‘pressing out or re-present’; Suppremere from sub+primere meaning ‘press down or restraint’.
Sanskrit origin Avasaad (inhibition), opposite of Prasaad (offer).
History of Language bewilders me!
De-pression means ‘to hold back’, ‘withhold’, ‘hold within’, instead of Ex-pression. Expression means ‘to freely offer or re-present what is within’.
What happens in Depression?
The Baseline functions of the Body and Mind fall (retract) below usual or normal.
Body has low energy flow, muscles feel sluggish, body parts ache, sense of getting drained out quickly, with little tasks, cannot make sustained efforts, digestion is slower, appetite is lower, bowel motions clog. Stress and strain related feedback loops to brain, activates hormones to help economy of biological systems.
Brain produces less of certain Neurohormones and Neurochemicals, excess of Stress management related Tissue enzymes. Attention span (ability to hold attention for a length of time) decreases. Concentration (ability to keep attention focused on one task or thing) is poor. Distraction (floating ideas), along with Rumination (repetitive shallow and inefficient thinking, in circles) effects Memory processes (new memory formation and recall). Forgetting and slowness of executing actions reduces the motivations and effort to act.
The altered biological functions and hormonal balance force the heart, lungs, and blood circulation systems to adapt to this inner stress. Chronic (continuous) depression leads to compromise in organs (Heart, Lungs etc.), speeds up aging of tissues, lowers immunity levels. Body becomes vulnerable to other diseases and damages.
Mind experiences less vitality, due to inefficient absorption and flow of Prana. Slow thinking, decrease in intensity and range of emotions, loss or reduced interest in engagement, withdrawal and subsequently complete shutdown (self-absorbed state) can occur.
What does the state of Depression do to my Psyche?
Depression impacts Psyche in two main parts. (1) The Content (Memory Centers). (2) The Processes (linking my Instincts with Memory units).
Imagine the Memory Centers to be like data towers. Different types of memory get stored in different towers. In depression, the memory towers of the Psyche go into quarantine mode. We feel a sense of disconnect within our Persona (as if my inner awareness is fragmented, split, or isolated). Imagine the Instincts to be like wires or wifi networks. Instincts link, connect and carry data between different memory centers. When this linking (process) goes haywire, Memory data gets jumbled up (unformatted). This jumbled up, random information processing (RIP) does ‘not make sense.’(Confusion or Delirium). When the Content and Processes of our Psyche are severely disintegrated, it does not respond to Reality. Psyche is out of synch with Reality. (Reality Disorientation or Psychosis).
Does Depression cause Anxiety?
Depression changes the way our Body, Mind and Cognition are operating (the Status quo). It knocks us off the Balance (Equilibrium and familiarity). Anything that changes the Inner sense of Balance provokes Anxiety (also called Neurosis when it is coming from Psyche).
What can you do to treat Depression?