I found this article very interesting on many accounts. It seems in this day and age Depression is either minimized (snap out of it, it’s just the “blues,” pull yourself up by your boot straps, just think positive etc…) or just about everyone will tell you they are depressed (whether due to: a break up, the weather being bad, an argument with a friend, not getting a promotion or noticed at work, etc…) Also I think treatment for depression, regardless of it’s severity duration and all that, is almost always treated with anti-depressants. A primary care physician can prescribe them without you even seeing a mental health professional, few are offered therapy, and the “guidelines” are grey with doctors prescribing the drugs erring on the side of caution, trying to quickly “fix” a problem, or being influenced by drug companies. The full article can be found here. And of course a couple quotes:
When does sadness cease to be a normal emotional response, and become a mental disorder? Can psychiatrists ‘draw the line’ between healthy and sick moods, and if so, where?
It turned out that there was a strong predictor of recurrence, which the authors call “complicated” depression. People with a history of complicated depression had a 15% chance of being depressed at follow up. Only 3.4% of those who’d had “uncomplicated” symptoms, however, were depressed a year later. Given that 1.7% of people with no depression historyhad become unwell by Time 2, this means that “uncomplicated” depression was almost never recurrent.
So what exactly is “uncomplicated” depression? The criteria were: episodes that last no longer than 2 months, and that do not include suicidal feelings, psychotic symptoms, psychomotor retardation, or feelings of worthlessness. If any of those symptoms were present, or if the low mood lasted longer than 8 weeks, it was classed as “complicated”.