(1/2) Depression

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Feb 10, 2018 04:03
Years ago, the news that a well-known Chinese comedian had suffered from depression and committed suicide aroused my curiosity about depression, so I did a bit of search online. I used to think that people with depression tend to be very touchy and won’t stop fussing around. They must like to torture himself, sometimes even to the extent of committing suicide. It turns out that this isn’t quite the case.

Depression, in a sense, is an illness like many other diseases such as diabetes and cancer. The malfunctioning part of the body in someone with depression is the brain. The patient also has to take medication. Medical research has found that the brains of people with depression act differently from those of people without depression.

The chances of getting depressed vary from person to person. Some people are more susceptible to be depressed because of their genes. Some people are prone to suffering depression because of their temperament, whether due to genes or experience. Certain things trigger and contribute to their depression, but we can never know how much they've gone through and how they've perceived things. We simply aren’t them.

(In China,) Just because you only hear about cases of depression only in the news doesn’t mean the people with depression are few and not around you. It's a major public health problem. In China, there are untold millions who are suffering from this disease. At least two Chinese Lang-8 friends of mine have written entries here saying that they are dealing with depression. When I searched Weibo (China’s Twitter) and Zhihu (China's Quora) for discussions about depression, I was shocked to find that hundreds of thousands of users are struggling with it, and some of them have even gone so far as to attempt suicide. Many of them said that they hated it most when some snobs said things along the lines of “Why don’t you look on the bright side?” and “Why are you so emotionally weak?”.