Essay about Opposing Viewpoints on Depression

Essay about Opposing Viewpoints on Depression

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As Descartes argued, the mind and the body are the base of our existence, and many different cultures view different illnesses positively or negatively. Certain cultures, like the Hmong, believe that epilepsy is a good spiritual thing, but others, such as Western culture, believe that it is medically bad because it could cause death. Many illnesses can be viewed both negatively and positively, some more than others. However, one such illness that is mostly viewed negatively is depression. It is viewed negatively in a symptomatic sense – the symptoms are useless – and in a diagnostic sense – those diagnosed with depression are not actually depressed and the illness itself does not exist; it is simply an excuse to be lazy. There are many different approaches to depression and most of them consider that this illness is negative; however, depression is actually an evolutionary tactic subconsciously employed by humans that can have very positive effects.

Depression is much more common than most people think. Because it is essentially an invisible illness and is largely in the mind, it is difficult to correctly diagnose it and most people suffer for months, years, or even decades with depression. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines depression as “a mood disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty with thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal thoughts or an attempt to commit suicide.” Most medical definitions are able to explain what happens and why it does, but after carefully examining this one, we only notice that it explains what happens, but not why. Usually, the symptoms of an illness are...


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...ard work, and perseverance. The list of successful individuals with depression extends on and on and there are probably many more people who had amazing accomplishments who were never diagnosed that displayed symptoms of depression. And as Friedrich Nietzsche, a successful German philosopher diagnosed with depression, once said, “to live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”



Works Cited

Burton, Neel. "The Anatomy of Melancholy: Can Depression Be Good for You?" Lecture. TEDx. Narodni Dom, Maribor. 12 Nov. 2013. Youtube. 2 Mar. 2012. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.
Darwin, Charles. From The Origin of Species. New York: P.F. Collier and Son Corporation, 1937. 71-86; 497-506.
"Depression." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2013. Web. 10 November 2013.
Hammen, Constance L. Depression. Hove, East Sussex, [England: Psychology, 1997. Print.

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