What is depression? – Helen M. Farrell


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Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world; In the United States, about ten percent of adults have problems with the disease. But because it is a mental illness, it can be much harder to understand than, say, high cholesterol. Helen M. Farrell examines the symptoms and treatments of depression and offers some advice on how to help a friend who is suffering.

Lesson by Helen M. Farrell, animation by Artrake Studio.

Video credits to TED-Ed YouTube channel





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    What is depression? – Helen M. Farrell

    Comments 46

    1. I was diagnosed with depression 4 years ago I’ve struggled with it ever since I’ve been on medication on and off during that time. real depression is when it feels impossible to ever experience happiness ever again. I felt like depression ruined my life.

    2. I have depression, suicide thoughts and many other things that can slowly be killing me. I go to therapy but guess what? it's not helping me. i have no friends, my family sometimes talk about me but i can't do anything about it.

    3. I've been struggling with chronic depression for over two years. You literally just want to lie down somewhere and die.

    4. I want the person who I used to be. The ME right now? I can't accept her. She's not the same. She's useless, unloved, and a burden. Why is SHE like this?

    5. Depression is when you don’t feel feelings besides anger and sadness . Your numb to everything around you , you don’t feel joy in any activities, you don’t feel love being around people you love, it feels like even when I smile and are “happy” it’s all fake . I fake emotions because it’s easier to do that then ask for help and be labeled weak . Depression is being so dead inside that the thought of suicide isn’t so bad, it actually sounds better then being alive in a constant loop of self pity, misery , self hate . You get labeled lazy because you don’t do anything and you feel like a burden on everybody around you . You can’t get it out of your head , doesn’t matter how hard you try . “Happiness” , yea I miss that , I feel like I’ve been stuck In this for so long I forget what it feels like to be genuinely happy…

    6. Depression is spiritual. Only Jesus can set free and enjoy true freedom. The person might not be a believer but just need a believer to pray for him or her with or without his/ her consent and total deliverance is done in Jesus name. Its happened to a boy that almost commit suicide even after months of regular treatments. Jesus is good and He wants to set people free and be healed and live long. Amen.

    7. Who else replayed the symptoms of depressions so they could count how many symptoms they had??

      Oh. Just me then..? Well this is awkward……..

    8. Besides allergies to food or other substances that cause severe depression, there are other medical conditions to look into: Hypothyroidism leads to depression. TSH is not the only reading you want. You need a full thyroid panel. My thyroid is fine. But if you're in your peri-menopause years and are gaining weight, feeling unmotivated and sluggish, it may be your thyroid. Low serum cholesterol leads to the blackest depressions. Mine is 103. Statins, which lower cholesterol, lead some people to develop depression if they go below 180. Why? Because cholesterol is needed to synthesize vitamin D. The sun doesn't "give" you vitamin D. Your body uses cholesterol and your sweat to make vitamin D. In sum: low cholesterol, and hypothyroid.

    9. Hi there, person reading this comment! Yes, you! 🙂 Wherever you are in the world, whoever you are, Whaterever has happend or happening with your life, I just want you to know that you are AMAZING ! No matter what bad stuff somebody may do to you or say to you. The reality is you are worth it! You are loved! You are beautifull! You are a gift! I am so happy that you are alive and reading this because the world will never have another you! Its a beautiful life.

    10. I used to be like this. I was so sad that I just felt empty inside. I was in high school and I felt so sad for no reason. I thought it was cuz of stress in school and stuff but I don't know. But now I don't have it. Thankfully. But now I think my younger brother has it. He's acting sort of sad and angry all the time like some kind of emo. But what I said was true. It was the worst feeling of my life

    11. People may not read this but I really need to vent. My sister has problems with my mom, my other sister has health problems, and I haven’t seen my dad since I was 3 (I’m 12 now). I also only have 1 friend and we don’t even talk much anymore. Why is life so hard? I’m really not enjoying it so far.

    12. I've been in a depressing situation for about 9-10 years now. And I am young. Damn it I'm young, and depressed. It holds me back in so many things. I don't even remember when was the last time i loved myself. And the thing is, no one cares. Not even my friends. I try every sigle day to avoid those "demons" of depression but i fail every time. I've lost my excitement too, for things that I've loved and things that i was having fun. I really don't know what to do to get out of this situation.

    13. I personally feel that atleast for myself that the dangers of depression is the lack of knowledge that people have coupled with it being easy to hide.

    14. I need help. I cry almost every single day. I get depressed over the littlest things. When someone crticised me I get super down and super depressed. Now it affects my school work. I cant seem to pick up the pen to do my work. Going to school feels like a chore. I graduate in 8 months ( hopefully ) and I am super scared I wont graduate. Everything feels murky. I hate myself for feeling this way, I feel weak I feel like a whiny teenager. But it hurts. My head hurts so much from all the overthinking thoughts. I want it to stop but it just wont.

    15. Does depression cause you to feel so upset but at the same time no emotion at all?
      I’ve thought that I’d be better dead or never existed.

    16. I Was in Depression for almost 8years, It started losing my grandfather( very close relationship) same year parents got divorced,split with my gf, i felt so dawn hopeless, i started taking drugs,alcohol and smoking. It pushed me dawn more and more. I want feel alone all the time,not to socialise, no hobbies,thinking of suicidal thoughts.. I was very bad but feeling shame to ask for help.. My family try to help by talking to me …but i could not control my emotions.It was like a disease.. Last month i ve pushed my self to stop smoking,alcohol.I pushed my self to go gym. Started to socialse with family friends.I started to get my confidence back.Now I feel very healthy and relaxed ..Just tell you friends "if you dont overcome depression it will destroy your life " good luck 👍👍

    17. This was very helpful, i've been feeling bad for months and i have had difficulty talking and figuring out what the issue is. It has helped me figure out what is actually my problem

    18. I Just Remember When I Was 5 Years Old l Have An GirlFriend And She Breakup With Me And Now My Age Is 17 Is Just Sad That I’m Lonely When I Was An Kid

    19. Honestly, I know it’s terrible and I don’t support suicide in any way but sometimes I just feel like I can’t take it anymore and anything or anyone can help me at this point…

    20. Idk, I suddenly burst into tears watching this. I’m so helpless and lonely, I bear with this on my own, it’s like there’s only me in this world.

    21. I just watch this because I wanna save my friend. She have depression. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    22. I have depression and ppl often says just seek God for help.

      How can I even seek God for help, if I already see the world so dark. 🙁 So insulting and depressing at the same time because they really don't understand you.

    23. lets see

      low mood, lost of things you enjoy, feeling worthless, slowness, thoughts of suicide, sleeping to little…

      I knew im depressed anyways

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