By Ahmed Saeed, Psychologist
Depression and Anxiety: Mental Illness or Quintessential trend
Our world now is a completely different one. Perhaps change is the only constant which is still persisting. In this 21st century, we do get to know a lot of jargon that might be used for various purposes all throughout the day. But, keeping our increasing use of vocabulary in mind. It is a really heart-breaking thing that names of mental health disorders words, have now become words that are used for setting trends. There exists a separate fraternity of people, who use words such as depression and anxiety. As something which can be used, to make themselves sound cool. Let’s break this trend.
Depression is a serious mental illness, that affects people in how they feel. How they see and perceive the world. Depression included persistent low or sad mood, losing interest in activities, that were once very enjoyable, and preferring to stay alone. Also can also decrease the attention and concentration with which one used to do work and daily activities earlier. Understanding the symptoms of Depression might help in having a clear idea of what depression might look like. Depression has levels of severity and can range from mild to moderate to severe.
Symptoms might include experiencing
- Loss of enjoyment or interest in once-enjoyed activities,
- Changes in appetite,
- Weight loss or increase in weight,
- Sleeplessness or excessive sleeping,
- Energy loss or increased feeling of tiredness,
- Feeling fidgety,
- An increase in pointless movement (such as hand-wringing, pacing, or an inability to sit still) or slower speech or movement,
- A sense of worthlessness or guilt,
- Having trouble focusing,
- Thinking, or making decisions,
- Suicidal thoughts or even death-related ideas.
In mild cases of depression, only a few of the above symptoms might appear. But as the condition gets more and more severe. Other symptoms might also start to show an increase in severity might be seen. Depression is not just a cool word, that can be used often in sentences to sound like a part of the increasing trend.
On the other hand, the word Anxiety is also misused multiple times. Anxiety can be explained as a feeling of tension. Anxious thoughts might also lead to physical changes such as elevated blood pressure, sweating, and fidgeting. Typically, intrusive thoughts or worries repeat throughout the lives of those with anxiety disorders. They could stay away from specific circumstances out of fear.
They might also have physical side effects such as
- An accelerated heartbeat.
But, we should not confuse fear and anxiety. Which are frequently used interchangeably. Fear is a proper, in-the-moment reaction to a clearly recognized and precise threat. But anxiety is a long-lasting, broadly focused, future-oriented response to a diffuse threat.
Anxiety and Depression should not be confused with each other. Wherein depression is a disorder of mood, anxiety is an umbrella term, that can hold various types of anxiety people might experience in this 21st century. These two terms are not just “cool words”. But very real mental illnesses do affect individuals’ life to a great deal. To make this world a better place, a peaceful one. We need to stop misusing mental illness-related jargon, for being a part of the “Bollywood-y trend”. Just like the world is moving forward and understanding mental illnesses, like depression, and anxiety. We need to take a leap too toward a place where our mind is valued and treasured.