原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.com 翻译:野花你莫采 转载请注明出处

What Is Depression?


Everyone feels down at times. The breakup of a relationship or a bad grade can lead to low mood. Sometimes sadness comes on for no apparent reason. Is there any difference between these shifting moods and what is called depression? Anyone who has experienced an episode of depression would probably answer yes. Depression, versus ordinary unhappiness, is characterized by longer and deeper feelings of despondency and the presence of certain characteristic symptoms (see below). This distinction is important, because in severe cases, depression can be life threatening, with suicide as a possible outcome. Depressed people may also fail to live up to their potential, doing poorly in school and staying on the social margins. Depression is frequently ignored or untreated; the condition often prevents people from taking steps to help themselves. This is unfortunate, as effective help is available.


Signs of Depression


l Markedly diminished interest in sex

l 明显减少对性的兴趣

l Feelings of worthlessness and self-blame or exaggerated feelings of guilt

l 有无用感、自责感或夸张的内疚感

l Unrealistic ideas and worries (e.g., believing no one like them or that they have a terminal illness when there is no supporting proof)

l 不现实的想法和忧虑(例如,相信没有人喜欢他们,或者在没有证据时认为得了绝症)

l Hopelessness about the future

l 对未来感到绝望

l Thoughts of suicide

l 有自杀的想法

What Causes Depression?


Friends and family may provide all the support that is needed in mild cases of depression. Having someone who is willing to listen and ask concerned questions can make all the difference. However, even the most caring and involved friends or family members may not be enough when depression is more severe. In such cases, it is important to seek professional help.


Mental health professionals who may be consulted include psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and masters-level therapists. Some may first seek help from a general physician or religious counselor. Each type of professional has their own perspective and expertise, and practitioners of all kinds have experience dealing with depression. The important thing is to seek professional help when symptoms are severe and/or longstanding. In factl, it is wise to seek help even when symptoms are not severe to help prevent depression from getting worse.


Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people. A major cause of suicide is mental illness, very commonly depression. People feeling suicidal are overwhelmed by painful emotions and see death as the only way out, losing sight of the fact that suicide is a permanent "solution" to a temporary state—most people who try to kill themselves but live later say they are glad they didn't die. Most people who die by suicide could have been helped. An individual considering suicide frequently confides in a friend, who may be able to convince them to seek treatment. When the risk is high, concerned friends and relatives should seek professional guidance.


Suicidal thoughts may be fleeting or more frequent, passive (e.g., "What if I were dead?") or active (e.g., thinking of ways to kill oneself, making a plan). Preparations for death, such as giving away possessions or acquiring a gun, are cause for great concern. A sudden lift in spirits in a depresed person can be a warning sign that they are planning to kill themselves. Any level of suicidal thinking should be taken seriously.


l Previous suicide attempt(s)

l 以前有过自杀企图

l Having a family member or friend who recently killed themselves; multiple suicides in the community

l 家族成员或朋友最近有自杀的;社区中有多次自杀事件

l Other recent, significant losses, such as the loss of a relationship or job

l 最近有重大损失,如分手或失去工作

l Cultural and religious beliefs supporting suicide (e.g., belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma)

l 有支持自杀的文化和宗教信仰(例如,认为自杀是解决个人困境的高尚方案)

l Alcohol and drug abuse (as this can lower inhibitions and increase impulsiveness)

l 嗜酒和吸毒(因为这可以降低顾虑和增加冲动)

l Feelings of hopelessness

l 有绝望的感觉

This argument is sometimes used to justify a "hands-off" attitude. It is a misconception, because suicide doesn't just affect the person who dies; it affects others also.


"Asking about suicide can put the idea in someone's mind."


Research proves that asking someone about suicide will not "put the idea in their head." In fact, many people having suicidal thoughts often feel relieved when someone asks. Suicidal individuals are engaged in a private struggle with thoughts of death. Talking about the possibility of suicide can alleviate the loneliness of the struggle and can be a first step in obtaining help.


How Can I Help a Depressed Person?


If a person is threatening to kill themselves in the immediate future, is actively trying to kill themselves, or has just made a suicide attempt, call 911.