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Philosophy 2044G - Feb. 12.docx

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Western University
Philosophy 2043F/G
Louis Charland

Philosophy 2044G Wednesday February 12 The word ‘depression’ is a relatively new term in the English language. • Previously they used the term, melancholia • Often depression and melancholia are used synonymously, but they aren’t the same thing. • Melancholia is a lighter form of depression • Melancholia = sadness without a cause • Diagnostic inflation – certain diagnostic categories are now expanding to include an increasing percentage of the general population o Depression is one of the best examples of this Major Depressive Disorder • It is thought to be a serious disease of the brain and body • Depression is not the same as a feeling o Feelings may be a part of depression, but depression isn’t a single feeling or mood • Depression is not an emotion – it is a complex disease category • In the early days of psychiatry, people would ‘heal on their own’ o It is a disease that comes and goes • *Just because somebody satisfies the relevant criteria doesn’t necessarily mean that you can correctly apply the label to them o You have to look at the person’s situation and background in detail • In order to satisfy the criteria in the DSM, you have to: o Have 5 or more of the 9 symptoms (depressed mood OR loss of interest or pleasure are required) over a 2-week period • The Grief Exception: Is it a good idea? Does it have a good scientific basis? o It occurs because often when people experience loss, they have many or all signs and symptoms that are characteristic of depression BUT most people would say this is a normal human reaction to loss (the depression has a cause) o No matter how intense the grief is, people get out of it and find happiness again o We don’t want to give people pills for this right away, because grief is a normal reaction o The issue: How much grief is normal?  There are some people who think that grief can turn into major depression, or that grief can exist side by side with major depression  We don’t want to automatically medicalize grief or human sadness o The DSM recognizes that grief is separate f
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