Are You Actually Depressed, or Confused?

Photo credit: MSUHEAP

I was at MSU Shah Alam today for a forum about depression. The questions and the feedback were interesting.

One thing that stood out for me was how casually we use the term “depression” in our daily lives, without knowing what it actually means.

Depression is a mental illness, listed in the official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Ed. (DSM-5). Depression is only diagnosable by a trained and certified professional (not Google!) and people with depression needs professional help to different degrees.

So when you simply failed a test, don’t call that depression.

If you feel like you are depressed but you are unsure, then please seek professional help. They should be able to help you differentiate whether you are clinically depressed or just having a bad day. Try not to Google it, diagnose yourself with a serious mental illness, and start throwing the term around.

When we use the term willy nilly, the actual meaning of the term becomes faded. Just like the term “awesome”. It is a great word with a specific meaning. But because we use it way too much and way too loosely, it loses its real meaning. The same might happen with the term depression.

Someone with actual depression might be cast aside as a result of this careless use of the term, and simply asked to shake it off or don’t think too much about it.

But whether it is a typical sadness or clinical depression, either of them requires one essential thing from the rest of us: a listening ear. If we are not sensitive to people’s feeling and nuances, we can’t grow as a healthy community.

That is why programs like this forum is crucial so that we can increase awareness about the reality of depression, not the fantasy of depression.

Thank you MSU for hosting this awareness program. I hope to see more programs which tackles the misconceptions surrounding mental health.

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