• ithinkthereforeidontgiveaf
    66
    First, I would like to say that I have not read enough about psychology to present these ideas as scientifically true. These are "Empirical", a priori conclusions that I have made past the last six years. I mostly intend to discuss them, as I don't usually talk to other people.

    With that being said...

    We all have been through hard times, however, when you are depressed, I think that could be seen as an adaptation. You now don't feel like needing things (especially the things that caused you pain), so you can choose your decisions from an emotionally-detached point of view, which is important on critical situations that happen sometimes.

    I see depression affects people differently; Some seem to be affected in a way that causes them sadness, mostly, whereas there are some that just get inhibited from some of their cognitive responses. How can this be useful in any way? Well, it feels like depression represses those cognitive responses that usually "Get in the way" of thinking and, especially and most important, in the way of doing.

    I was diagnosed with "Severe depression" recently, and all I remember about being in a normal condition is pain. The only thing that I find not actually useful is that sometimes you feel the desire to die, which are frequent thoughts. I was not able to take responsibilities that now I'm willing to, "What can I lose, right?"

    I frequently find myself observing other people manipulate them each other and I easily see what they do to their emotions because I used to feel like that. I know what is like to feel desperate to do something because you have something important at stake, and I know how it feels to be overwhelmed by your own thoughts when doing something important when you have to hurt someone else's feelings to do so. When people feel like this, they are predictable and manipulable.

    I find myself observing, and also not doing it, which makes me think: Is my condition actually an illness, or is it an adaptation, really?

    Thank you in advance for the responses, and remember what I said in the first paragraph.
    Regards.
  • unenlightened
    6.5k
    Is my condition actually an illness, or is it an adaptation, really?ithinkthereforeidontgiveaf

    The current psychobabble rather agrees with you, that depression is an adaptation to traumatic experiences. This is actually in line with physical illnesses to a large extent, in the sense that symptoms are very often adaptations to pathogens - coughing, raised temperature, and so on.

    The classic case is childhood trauma at the hands of one's primary carer. There is no escape from the neglect or abuse, and so the mind shuts down or turns down the sensitivity.

    Here is a link about adverse childhood experiences: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/riskprotectivefactors.html

    And here is an old discussion on this very site where we talk about them: https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/5783/adverse-childhood-experiences/p1

    Adverse adult experiences can have the same effects, and PTSD often includes depression.
  • Angelo Cannata
    152
    Making depression as a tool is one the best ability of humanity. I think you have just practiced one of the best capabilities you have: transforming anithing in a resource for growth.
  • EugeneW
    1.7k
    , as I don't usually talk to other people.ithinkthereforeidontgiveaf

    Why not? I've been depressed for most part of my life. Luckily with great highs in between in which I felt myself truly. Bipolar is the label. The depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance. The depression, the imbalance, is caused by the unnatural surroundings we are puffed in. The baby grows in a world not fit for the brain. So the brain reacts Depression, psychosis, mania, drugs addiction, etc. I had a fair share of all and they are just reactions of the lightning-shaped chaotic brain to the linear environment it's pushed in.
  • universeness
    1.8k
    Discussing and revealing your condition to others is healthy in my opinion.
    I don't subscribe to 'misery loves company,' and subscribe more to 'a problem shared is a problem halved.' I have my own ways of dealing with dark thoughts.
    I find it interesting that some of the greatest battles individual humans face are internal, either due to their own 'internal wiring/chemistry/biology/ or based on trying to make personal sense of what they witness or experience or read about during their lives.
    I am mostly able to defeat dark thoughts with stuff like "well, things could be worse, I could be........'
    Or "Well, if I kill myself, something really cool will happen a few days later like aliens will visit us or something and I will f****** MISS IT"
    I know such does not work for 'severe depression' or such conditions as bipolar but I think it's important to just be there for others if they need you to be.
    I say all power to you, in finding aspects of depression, which can, in your own way, be less negative than the 100% negativity normally associated with such words.
    I have heard Stephen Fry talk online a great deal, about being bipolar and that in the final analysis, it makes him who he is today and he wonders if he would have had the good life he has had overall, if he were not bipolar.
  • EugeneW
    1.7k
    I find myself observing, and also not doing it, which makes me think: Is my condition actually an illness, or is it an adaptation, really?ithinkthereforeidontgiveaf

    The modern approach to depression is to see it as being caused by a chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters. Too many of them or too little. This can be the case. In which case there is no real reason except the neurotransmitters being produced too much, or too little. Or them being re-uptaken badly. Or whatever can cause the abnormal quantities. Drugs can relieve the pain. Heroin is well-suited but has known consequences. Mainly money-related. Given on prescription (in Portugal it's a legal stuff, like most drugs). Methadone, the state-provided drug, offers relief too. They don't kill physical pain only. Many people don't experience relief by taking anti-depressants. The situation actually can get wirse, no matter the sophidtication of a "new generation" of drugs (selective re-uptake inhibitors, for example). They did make it worse for me.

    This imbalance could be caused by some defect in the brain mechanisms keeping the balance right. Modt of the time though, the imbalance has external causes. And most of the time these can't be taken away. Modern society is present in virtual every spot in the world.

    Why so many people are depressed? Sign of the times.
  • dimosthenis9
    709


    If you actually achieve to use depression as a tool to grow yourself bigger, you won't believe afterwards the things you will achieve.
    I don't know if that makes you feel better but I always found people with psychological problems kind of "special". The actual potential they have deep inside them, is huge.
    And I always found them much more interesting persons than the "normal" ones.Normal people are damn boring.
  • ithinkthereforeidontgiveaf
    66
    symptoms are very often adaptations to pathogensunenlightened

    This is a good analogy. But it is often confusing to relate physical and psychological phenomena as the "Wounds" that one could suffer mentally don't heal automatically but we have to; first be willing to; and second, knowing what to do in certain situations. That without taking into account that every course of action requires opportunity and that certainly is not always present.

    Why not?EugeneW

    Thank you for asking. I thought that would be misunderstood.
    I don't talk to other people because I'm a very solitaire person. This can be but I think is not the reason for my depression, although may have worsen my ability to understand it. I'm just not good at making friends in the real, "Physical" world. And as I don't usually do, I also lack most of the "Social abilities", so to speak. However that is not important to me.

    I had a fair share of all and they are just reactions of the lightning-shaped chaotic brain to the linear environment it's pushed in.EugeneW

    Well I think I'm not far from truth. That is what I believed.

    "Well, if I kill myself, something really cool will happen a few days later like aliens will visit us or something and I will f****** MISS IT"universeness

    What a survival instinct.

    I honestly have very recurrent suicidal thoughts sometimes but thinking about missing out things would just produce me stress because I will certainly die at some time.

    When I think about that, I just remember the things I like about being alive, like being able to drink water and pet dogs. I also have very ambitious vices as everyone else, but I would not change the first two for anything.
  • ithinkthereforeidontgiveaf
    66
    Why so many people are depressed? Sign of the times.EugeneW

    I believe there are much chance for instant pleasure, which often doesn't last much. There are many short term solutions to every problem that only thing you can do is forget about the laborious ones.
    This have lead people to forget about long term well-being.

    That also affects one's ability to grow correctly a family or children, or even to take care about oneself.

    This surely is one of the things that may have affected me personally.
  • universeness
    1.8k
    Normal people are damn boring.dimosthenis9

    I think this is an imbalanced viewpoint as well. 'Boring,' is not a label that should ever be applied objectively to any individual or group. 'Boring,' is always a subjective label and is nothing more than a circumstantial opinion. I find the vast majority of all hip hop music I have ever heard 'boring,' but I know many general music fans would fire pelters at me for such a viewpoint. I find a lot about philosophy boring. I could give you many more personal examples but it's just really personal taste and is mostly momentary and can even reflect mood at the time, etc.

    What I think is essential in a thread like this, is the more important effects of stigma/fear/shame etc associated with mental health. These are the real enemies in the area. This is what must stop.
    There MUST BE NO SHAME, NO ONE SHOULD BE SCARED TO SPEAK ABOUT AND NO ONE SHOULD EVER BE STIGMATISED due to any struggle with mental health. This has to be the goal of any decent, ethical, humane society, in my humble opinion.
    People must be able to discuss their psychology with those who can help them develop ways to cope and turn potential disadvantage into something more positive. We must reach a stage where revealing and discussing mental health issues is as common as revealing and discussing that you regularly get indigestion problems.
  • dimosthenis9
    709
    Boring,' is not a label that should ever be applied objectively to any individual or group. 'Boring,' is always a subjective label and is nothing more than a circumstantial opinion. Iuniverseness

    Sure it is. My personal opinion and nothing else.
  • EugeneW
    1.7k
    When I think about that, I just remember the things I like about being alive, like being able to drink water and pet dogs. I also have very ambitious vices as everyone else, but I would not change the first two for anything.ithinkthereforeidontgiveaf

    I think that's a profound realization.
  • universeness
    1.8k
    When I think about that, I just remember the things I like about being alive, like being able to drink water and pet dogsithinkthereforeidontgiveaf

    Sounds like a good approach to me!

    Sure it is. My personal opinion and nothing elsedimosthenis9

    I was merely typing about my disagreement with your personal opinion, that's all.
  • universeness
    1.8k
    I don't talk to other people because I'm a very solitaire person. This can be but I think is not the reason for my depression, although may have worsen my ability to understand it. I'm just not good at making friends in the real, "Physical" world. And as I don't usually do, I also lack most of the "Social abilities", so to speak. However that is not important to me.ithinkthereforeidontgiveaf

    Do you think something like 'that's just who I am and who I choose to be and I am perfectly happy with the advantages of being a more 'solitary' person,' or 'I accept these as shortfalls and I have tried to combat this but I have been unable to, I would like to be less solitary,' or 'I suffer from SAD, social anxiety disorder' Do you think that named medically recognised conditions such as SAD help or do you think they are medically contrived for the sake of political correctness?
  • Joshs
    3.2k


    depression is an adaptation to traumatic experiences. This is actually in line with physical illnesses to a large extent, in the sense that symptoms are very often adaptations to pathogens - coughing, raised temperature, and so on.unenlightened

    Is depression like the body’s immune response to an invader, designed to protect the organism but also capable of damaging the organism?


    I know there are some approaches which claim that depression is adaptive ,

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2734449/

    but I disagree. I argue instead that depression is not an ‘adaptation’ to trauma. It is the interpretive experience of the repercussions of the trauma itself. It is not a response to injury, it is the injury itself. It is the opposite of an adaptation. I am not taking the dsm view of depression as a pathology WITHIN the brain , but rather as a crisis triggered by one’s situation as one interprets it.

    It is loss of capability, loss of competence, loss of self-esteem, loss of meaning and relevance, loss of coherence. When one suffers a head injury and has difficulty with memory and concentration, these symptoms are not adaptations to the head trauma, they define the meaning the head trauma itself. Just as avoidance of over-stimulating situations is a
    coping adaptation to the head injury, adaptations benefit one in dealing with the losses that depression represents. For instance , withdrawing from social situations is an adaptation that protects one from being exposed to painful reminders of one’s loss of competence, and situations which may even deepen the feelings of worthlessness.

    Depression isnt a mechanism, it is a way of meaningfully appraising our loss of self-confidence.

    If we start by arguing that depression is adaptive, then we may as well also say that failure, confusion. illness , injury and all other psychological and physical responses to our environment are adaptations. But not every response of an organism to its environment is an adaption. Organisms can fail to adapt and fail to thrive. A prolonged severe depressive state is one such failure to thrive. Just because we recover from a depression or an injury doesn’t makes these adaptive. We may not recover from the injury or the depression.


    One has to ask what is the baseline normative functioning of the psychological system at a given point, and whether the system’s reaction to a change in its world maintains and enhances that normative functioning( adaptation ) or reduces it ( non-adaptive).
  • EugeneW
    1.7k


    ithinkthereforeidontgiveafuck?
  • I like sushi
    3.7k
    What evidence? Severe clinical depression simply happens. Someone can be living a very happy and productive life then suddenly, for no psychological reason, they become depressed.

    From the last I read on this subject it is something that often worsens with age. I cannot remember when this usually happens, but if I recall well enough I believe most cases of this happen from mid 20’s to mid 30’s? It’s been a long while since I last looked at this though.

    By far and away the most prominent cause/trigger of items like psychosis and schizophrenia is irregular sleeping patterns. Given that our understanding of sleep and dreaming is fairly limited the reasons likely lie within this area.
  • EugeneW
    1.7k
    Severe clinical depression simply happens. Someone can be living a very happy and productive life then suddenly, for no psychological reason, they become depressed.I like sushi

    Total BS.
  • EugeneW
    1.7k
    I also have very ambitious vices as everyone elseithinkthereforeidontgiveaf

    Tell me about them.
  • ithinkthereforeidontgiveaf
    66


    I think you are right. That changes the way I think about it.
    Now I understand it's not an adequacy to something but the thing itself. That in fact really makes sense.

    However I still experience that my overall conditions are better than before, when I was not "Injured."

    For instance , withdrawing from social situations is an adaptation that protects one from being exposed to painful reminders of one’s loss of competence, and situations which may even deepen the feelings of worthlessness.Joshs

    I agree with you mainly in this. I'm completely aware that I stand apart from people because I don't like to deal with the failure that results from my lack of social abilities (And I also don't like when I see someone likes me in any way, it makes me feel that they are being somewhat hypocritical.) But as it doesn't cause me much pain I don't really see the point in solving it, honestly.

    You just said things that, frequently, when I say them to other people (Mostly trying to help), people get pushed away from me. That is a little hilarious.

    Do you think something like 'that's just who I am and who I choose to be and I am perfectly happy with the advantages of being a more 'solitary' person,' or 'I accept these as shortfalls and I have tried to combat this but I have been unable to, I would like to be less solitary,' or 'I suffer from SAD, social anxiety disorder' Do you think that named medically recognised conditions such as SAD help or do you think they are medically contrived for the sake of political correctness?universeness

    Well... I have always refused any kind of drugs and I stand on my position. I prefer this to kill me rather than alter my brain.

    I understand the point of your question. I know social distance usually causes a lot of pain, and it is actually a little uncomfortable, but it's not that I'm happy with it, which I'm not, but rather that it doesn't cause me enough pain for me to pay attention and time to seek a solution. I honestly was not looking for motivation in this aspect. I just commented it because I think it is important to know whether a person usually talks to other people or not when you are talking to them, as things said by the latter would be misunderstood sometimes due to that same lack of interaction. In that sense I don't have many problems...
  • unenlightened
    6.5k
    What evidence?I like sushi

    Links are provided in the thread I linked to, if you are interested.
  • EugeneW
    1.7k
    Well... I have always refused any kind of drugs and I stand on my position. I prefer this to kill me rather than alter my brain.ithinkthereforeidontgiveaf

    What's against taking drugs? I know it helps me. If you find the right one, it can sooth that brain depressing you. It wont take the real cause away though. But they can sooth the brain, which I dont see as constituting an essential part of me. Damned brain...
  • Cuthbert
    750
    Sometimes I think - in this world, if a person is not dejected, helpless and furious then they must be crazy. Other times I think - in any world, it's not healthy to be always dejected, etc.

    Then I think - maybe the first is true and health is how I deal with the dejection, helplessness, rage, rebellion, fury etc.

    Turn it inwards - it's suicide. Turn it outwards - it's murder and destruction. Turn it into something else - music, art, drinking water and patting the dog as has been mentioned.
  • EugeneW
    1.7k
    "And then the clouds shake
    A ray of sunshine Gloria
    As if a promise
    Some strange kind of Euphoria
    Here in my darkness
    Some strange kind of Euphoria
    I wander in the endless desert
    Drowning in the waves"
  • I like sushi
    3.7k
    They offer nothing. I did look.
  • I like sushi
    3.7k
    Things are not BS just because you say so. Sorry.

    Being upset and saddened due to the death of all your family and friends is not exactly the same as having a happy family life, a successful career following the path of your childhood dream, lots of friends, good health (eating, sleeping and exercise), yet you feel like you should be dead or die due to misery.

    There is a significant difference.
  • universeness
    1.8k
    Turn it into something else - music, art, drinking water and patting the dog as has been mentioned.Cuthbert

    Best to do that then or we might let the horrible antinatalists in.
  • Cuthbert
    750
    the horrible antinatalistsuniverseness

    I don't mind. They are always jolly company.
  • unenlightened
    6.5k
    Sorry, I posted the same link twice instead of a link to my previous thread. I've edited it above, but here it is again: https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/5783/adverse-childhood-experiences/p1

    there are some links in that op and more later in the thread, and there is a deal of research been done done. One link I like is this:
    https://whatnow727.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/herman_trauma-and-recovery.pdf
  • I like sushi
    3.7k
    My point was that people can suddenly be depression even though their life has been perfectly fine (including childhood).

    Some people can be psychopaths due to a gene. But not all people who possess the gene become psychopaths. Some people’s neurochemistry simply changes to a certain degree in later life that can cause quite severe depression (irrespective of outside influences).

    Of course there are some from column A and some from column B, but it is (as has been suggested by some one) plain wrong to state that it is all about life experiences.
  • universeness
    1.8k

    :smile: Very magnanimous of you. To me, when they type their depressing viewpoint, they add to the suffering they claim they wish to prevent/terminate but I know that's not how they see it and I hope I have just not given them an opening into this thread! :scream:
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