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What Is Depression?

什么是抑郁症?



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.

每个人都会间或感到沮丧。分手或者考试获得低分都会导致情绪低落。有时候悲伤并没有明显的原因。这些转移中的情绪和所谓的抑郁症有什么区别吗?任何经历过一段时间抑郁症的人都可能会回答“有”。与普通的不快乐相比,抑郁症的特点是更长久和更深的沮丧感以及出现某些特征性症状(见下文)。这种区别很重要,因为在严重的情况下,抑郁可能危及生命,出现自杀的可能。抑郁的人也可能无法发挥他们的潜力,在学校表现不佳,逗留在社会的边缘。抑郁常常被忽视或得不到治疗;人们常常没有采取自救的条件。这是不幸的,因为有效的帮助是可以提供的。

Signs of Depression

抑郁症的迹象



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?

什么导致了抑郁症?



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.

对于轻度抑郁症患者,朋友和家人可以提供所有需要的支持。是否有一个愿意倾听和询问相关问题的人会有很大的不同。然而,当抑郁症更严重时,即使是最关心的朋友或家庭成员也可能不够。在这种情况下,寻求专业帮助就很重要。

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.

可以咨询心理健康专业人员,包括精神病医生、临床心理医生。一些人可以首先寻求普通医生或宗教顾问的帮助。每种类型的专业人士都有自己的观点和专业知识,并且各种从业者都有处理抑郁症的经验。重要的是当症状严重或长期存在时要寻求专业帮助。事实上,即使症状不严重,寻求帮助也是明智的,因为可以帮助防止抑郁症恶化。



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.

自杀是年轻人死亡的第二大原因。自杀的一个主要原因是精神疾病,通常是抑郁症。有自杀倾向的人被痛苦的情绪淹没了,他们认为死亡是唯一的出路,而没有意识到自杀只是对一种临时状态的所谓永久“解决方案”——大多数试图自杀但没有成功的人说他们很高兴自己没有死。大多数死于自杀的人本来都是可以得到帮助的。正在考虑自杀的人会经常向朋友吐露秘密,朋友可以说服他们去寻求治疗。当他们的自杀风险较高时,有关亲友应寻求专业的指导。

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.

自杀的念头可能是短暂的或更频繁的,消极的(例如,“如果我死了会怎么样?”或积极的(例如,考虑自杀方法,制定自杀计划)。为死亡做准备,如赠送财产或获取枪支,应该引起极大的关注。抑郁的人突然精神振奋可能是他们打算自杀的一个警告信号。任何程度的自杀想法都应该被认真对待。



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.

这一论点有时被用来为“不干涉”的态度做辩护。这是一种误解,因为自杀不仅仅影响死者,还影响其他人。

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

“关于自杀的询问可以把这个想法放在某人的脑子里。”

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.

研究证明,问某人关于自杀的问题不会“把这个想法放在他们的头脑中”。事实上,当有人问起自杀时,许多有自杀想法的人通常会感到释然。想自杀的人正忙着同死亡的想法进行私人斗争。与他们谈论自杀的可能性可以减轻他们斗争的孤独感,并且这可以是让他们获得帮助的第一步。

How Can I Help a Depressed Person?

我如何帮助抑郁的人?



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.

如果一个人威胁在近期内要自杀、正在积极地试图自杀、或者刚刚进行了自杀企图,请拨打电话报警。