Depression and the Emotions

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behaviour, feelings, and sense of well-being. In its extreme form, depression leads to a state where one no longer feels one’s emotions, which is ultimately meant by the term ‘depression’, an overall decrease in feeling one’s emotions, including ‘negative’ ones, such as sadness. A clinically severely depressed person usually feels less happiness, but often also less sadness, resulting in a sense of emotional emptiness and disconnectedness.

In most mild to moderate forms of depression, there are pronounced sadness, guilt, hopelessness, helplessness and other emotions. Often it is associated with anxiety and sometimes OCD. Depression is usually used in terms of a state, but there is also a depressive trait as part of a personality disorder.

The loss of motivation and initiative are important criteria, as are loss of appetite and/or sleep, or overeating and/or oversleeping. Various psychosomatic symptoms, such as pains and aches and disturbances of digestion also occur more commonly.

Depression is often accompanied by low self-esteem, loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities, low energy, and pain without a clear cause.

For more articles on depression on this website, you can use this link. For more information on emotions in general, you can use this link.

MedBroadcast published a table showing how depression can affect emotions. You can look at the article here.

Depression numbs emotions, especially grief, fear, anger and shame. The emotions begin to “loop back on themselves”. One has feelings about feelings, which can become limitless, leading to even greater feelings of helplessness and despair. The emotions not only become more painful, but one also gets a sense of losing control, which triggers even more helplessness. You may be interested in an article in Psychology Today, which looks at how one can work with emotions by finding a safe distance from these emotional vortices, which makes it easier to observe and work with them in healthier ways. You can just click on the article: Emotions and Depression – Finding and facing intense emotions.

What Does Depression Feel Like? published by VeryWellMind gives many examples of what depression feels like to the individual. They are quite familiar to many therapists and healthcare professionals working in the field.

Some of the approaches commonly used to treat depression, including psychotherapy, medication, and other supportive therapies and activities, are discussed on this website. Some strategies against emotional numbness can be found in the articles Emotional Numbness | Beyond Sadness: Emotionally Numb published by BetterHelp and I Feel Nothing: How to Cope with Emotional Numbness made available on PsychCentral.

Since emotions are information from inside oneself, the following article looks at depression from a communication perspective:

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