Trying to explain depression takes a great deal of effort. The explanations are seldom satisfactory and sadly inaccurate. Complicating the definitions are the two types of depression, which are quite different:
- Mild (dysthymia)
- Large (clinical)
Both of these are radically different and present a completely set of symptoms. Psychiatrists have diagnostic criteria they use to help them make a diagnosis that will be helpful to the patient. It is kind of a hit or miss judgement call, but there is some validity to their efforts. One of their main resources is the DSM-5 that standardizes treatment of mental disorders and provides a continuity of care.
Imagine an abandoned factory. You walk inside and at once crunch over the broken glass. Dust covers everything and the once ‘well maintained’ machinery is now covered with rust. It’s damp and musty. You notice graffiti and an old clock frozen in time to 7:53.
Overall, it seems a bit grim and sad. The factory is in complete disarray, but a crew could come and restore it to a functional state. It might take some serious rehabilitation, nevertheless it could happen.
You enter the abandoned factory and are glad you’re wearing a hard hat they gave you at the office. The floor is pretty much impassable, looking up you see that part of the roof has caved in. The machines stand in place, but are hardly recognizable; the are misshapen blobs of rust. There doesn’t seem much of anything to salvage anymore. Things couldn’t get any worse.
Depression has many facets; but it’s always destructive. I find the idea of rust the most compelling. The rust is just oxidation; not even noticeable at first. A steel girder seems strong, but left to its own the rust slowly eats away at the metal. There are molecular changes happening. The integrity of the steel will soon be compromised. It can happen quickly.
I want to encourage to get your depression treated soon. If you have a loved one who struggles get help soon. There is a fallacy about depression that it is relatively harmless— that one can deal with the ‘blackness’ without long term consequences.
If you are a Christian, you need to find help. You can’t ignore your depressive symptoms.