What is behind the word “depression”

People often talk about depression without always clearly understanding the meaning of the word. So what is Depression?   

In fact, the concept of “depression” has existed for over a hundred years and in translation from Latin means suppression or oppression. The word “depression” began to be used in medicine in the middle of the 19th century. Historians note that the earliest used to describe the state of prolonged sadness and despondency is the ancient Greek word “melancholy” (from the Greek melas – black and chole – bile) and, the medieval word “acedia”, meaning depression, lethargy and laziness – in the twentieth century gradually gave way to the term ” depression “.               

At present, most scholars define depression as a disease state characterized by a feeling of anguish, depression, despair, as well as inhibition of thinking and movements. Acquaintance with the literature on depression leads to the idea that this term unites a fairly broad group of mental disorders, moreover , characterized by different susceptibility to various types of treatment.         

We have to admit that today most of the terms used by doctors in the process of describing depressive conditions are not accurate enough. 

The modern international classification of diseases (ICD-10) states that depression can be diagnosed if at least two of the following symptoms are present :   

  • decreased mood for most of the day;
  • loss of interest and the ability to enjoy what was usually pleasing;  
  • a feeling of loss of energy and increased fatigue. 

Among other signs of depression include: deterioration in the ability to focus attention, reduced self-esteem and confidence in yourself, the emergence of thoughts of their own guilt and worthlessness, impaired activity with agitation or retardation, the tendency to suicide, sleep disturbance of any kind, loss of appetite and weight. According to the views of psychiatrists, in order to ascertain depression, it is necessary that such a state last for at least two weeks. 

Leave a Reply