Medical and mental health practitioners trained in analyzing people’s behavior related to a depressive condition know the difference between a depressive mood episode and clinical depressive state. Everybody can go into a mild fit of depression, but it may not be a serious one. The stresses of daily living make everyone vulnerable to depression. If the episode is short-lived, then there is no real problem.
Just the same, thoughts of suicide can be entertained by any person especially if one has encountered an incredibly disappointing and frustrating situation. These thoughts and feelings are quite reasonable given today’s stressful lifestyle, relationships, expectations, and schedules. But when such ideas persist over time, for weeks and months, there is already a top sign of depression.
Most celebrated cases had their lives ended as a result of depression. Can thoughts of suicide not be controlled? Such feelings can be controlled at an early stage. It becomes uncontrollable once other factors come in to complicate the mental illness such as extreme sadness, persistent anger, even psychotic episodes.
The clinically-depressed person may show a change in one’s physical condition, including changes in appetite, tiredness, a loss of weight or a gain, including changes in sleep and sexual problems. A person under a clinically depressed state would generally have some trouble in making decisions, concentrating on specific tasks, and remembering. In the case of severe depression, hallucinations or delusions may occur together with thoughts of harming oneself.
Is poverty a social factor in the onset of depression? Experiencing extreme poverty could lead to depression, although it does not necessarily follow since, in many emerging or developing countries, the factor of resiliency has prolonged the survival capacity of low-income families in poverty.
In the case of the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh, his last years of prolonged poverty and depression led him to commit suicide at the young age of 37. Van Gogh shot himself with a revolver on his chest, despite his self-therapy and medical treatment at a hospital. This type of depression is one of the most severe.
The celebrated case of the recent death of the famous chef and CNN storyteller Anthony Bourdain who died in Paris in June 2018 could be an indication of a top depressive state. The cause of Bourdain’s death was suicide. Was Bourdain also a victim of severe depression?
Watching the chef’s interview at CNN just before his death, he seems to have shown an extremely low level of energy with a countenance that is quite different from the Bourdain when on an adventure for CNN. At 61 Bourdain could have sought medical help for his depression, but he is the one who only knows what has happened inside of him. While the pattern of death is similar to other suicides as a result of depression, we can only surmise at this time regarding Bourdain’s death.
Other top signs of depression include loss of appetite, a loss of interest in everything that is exciting and interesting in life, a loss of vibrancy in one’s personality and relationships and persistent irritability combined with acute sadness. When it becomes ‘institutionalized’ in the individual, its termination is sudden. It’s a strange type of mental illness.