Lately, and unfortunately more and more frequently, depression (also known as Major depressive disorder – MDD) is consider as the plague of this century.
Researches by the WHO (World Health Organisation) report rather alarming data: 322 million people worldwide suffer from depression, with an increase of 18% in the decade between 2005 and 2015. In a few years, depression will be the second cause of illness.
In Italy the situation is not different from the rest of the world and, in a study conducted by AIFA (Italian Drug Agency), it seems that about 11 million Italians suffer from depression, with a percentage of about 20% above the European average. Another alarming and scary factor to consider, it’s the increase of this pathology among children and adolescents, and therefore between the future generations. To be depressed will become normality in a not too distant future?
I’ve already fought depression, perhaps I still suffer from it, and I know very well what it means to struggle with a disease so subtle, yet ruthless, that manages to twist your life until you lose completely interest in living. And this doesn’t mean thinking about kill yourself, or even really doing it, but it’s that continuous strive to just be able keep going in existing, and not living, day after day, without stimulation, without joys, without emotions. A Calvary, a conviction. A vegetative state. My depression did not depend on any particular event (an accident, an important loss or anything else), but rather from a congenital malaise, the pain of living that I always felt because of the inability to adapt to that kind of life, the apparently “common” one, around us. And I think this is the main problem of the continuous exponential growth of people affected by this disease: we are increasingly distant from each other, isolated from the others through the inevitable barriers of always-on screens; we are increasingly dissatisfied and repressed, in precarious economic situations, forced to do what we do not like, or perhaps even hate, for the sole purpose of being able to survive; and we are forced to put aside dreams and ambitions, because the world around us does not give a damn about us, our happiness, our personal satisfaction. And then we live in a situation of imbalance, of decompensation, of lack of stimulations. We exist, we do not live. And not living is not a symptom of depression?
In the book “The man who trembles” (unfortunately at the moment still not translated in English), Andrea Pomella writes:
The world breaks my heart. This is the truth, the last degree to which I can reduce reality. The question that I ask myself now is not “Why am I depressed?”, but “How can you not be all depressed?”
And in fact, little by little, we are becoming that. Maybe it’s time to reconsider things and values?