Quote: The Word “Depression”



It’s a strange poverty of the English language,and indeed of many languages, that we use the same word, depression, to describe how a kid feels when it rains on his birthday and how somebody feels a minute before they commit suicide.

Andrew Solomon, from Depression, The Secret We Share

This is probably my favourite Andrew Solomon quote, of which I have many, some of which will be posted here. It cuts right to the chase, zeroing in on why people have so many different confused ideas about what we call depression. The word depression is used when talking about different ideas -sadness, grief,  situational depression, clinical depression (MDD), SAD, and postpartum depression, among others. Each of these is different and should conjure up a different picture in our mind which becomes associated with the word.

Maybe we should eschew using the word depression unless we use a qualifier with it. After all, do we say we suffer from pain? No, we say we have arthritis, fibromyalgia, polymyalgia,rheumatoid arthritis, stomach ulcers or AIDS.

Words are important. Words have power. Until we start using the correct words when talking about depression, the confusion around its meaning will continue.


image from stevepb on pixabay


  1. Depression is more widespread than we realize because usually we don’t talk about it. I’m not sure what I hope to accomplish in this blog – it was started as a form of therapy. It’s always an eye-opener when someone says they have experienced depression because it is indeed “a secret we share” . Unfortunately, we share an experience but we do not share usually share our thoughts regarding it.

    Liked by 1 person

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