I have introduced and commented on similarities and differences in behaviour in the manner in the manner in which I have for one very good reason. It is because, so far as human responses and behaviours are concerned (and that of course embraces depression just as much as any other mood state or condition) they are so easy to disregard or and, at times, even ignore (by all, that is, other than the recipient and sufferer).The simple truth is that although we are all likely to become depressed at some time (just as by that same token, we are all likely to experience a sense of elation i.e. a “high”); it is by no means necessarily going to be a response of the same severity or otherwise, even given similar causal stimuli.Let me use this blog to focus upon and summerize the contents of the previous two postings and thereafter conclude with an attempted working definition of human depression.
I have sought to show how it is that in terms of disposition, temperament and indeed, prima facie presentation to the world, most of us, it can be said, tend to congregate around a central – and therefore stable – norm. Moreover, this it is that affords confidence in and a basis for prediction relating to and concerning human responses (in the form of mood, activity and behaviour). By that same token, this means that there will be variances – in some instances slight, in others more pronounced – which contribute to the differing moods and thresholds to stress/depression etc. A further point requiring to be made is that variances can also be expected to occur between what we might regard as, the “universal norm”, “cultural norms”, “societal and community norms” and our own “personal norm”, i.e. that which is normal for you/me as individuals.
Thus it is apparent that none of us are – or should wish to be – ‘carbon copies’ of other people. Indeed, we are so very far from being some form of animated automatons, each possessing a capacity to imitate others. One man’s threat is and will remain another man’s challenge or stimulus. Similarly, succour and support may provide comfort and encouragement for one although not necessarily another; and so on. It is also important to point out that depressed mood, where evident in an individual, need in no way indicate depression, i.e. as a state or clinical condition; and whilst most people who are depressed will be sad and unhappy, by no means all sad or unhappy people are necessarily depressed.
Finally, before taking matters further as I hope to do in my next blog, let me attempt a working definition of depression•, which we can begin to apply throughout what is to follow. “Depression (which incidentally, is no respecter of persons) is an emotional state (this latter term indicating continuance) of dejection, which may range from mild “low mood”, i.e. down heartedness, to feelings of hopelessness/ helplessness and despair”. (Incidentally, it is my intention to deal with the symptoms of major depression in a blog on this subject matter soon to follow). In my next blog, we shall take a closer look at different types of human depression and consider distinguishing causes and effects of what is sometimes described as “reactive” or psychogenically induced and biogenically- or chemically-induced depression.