Welcome to the Depression mini wiki at Scratchpad!
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The mental illness of depression is qualitatively different than sadness. It is constant mental pain, impossible to recreate once you recover, just as the pain of a broken ankle can
not be felt again when your injury is cured.
As William Styron says:
Depression is a disorder of mood, so mysteriously painful and elusive in the way that it becomes known to the self—to the mediating intellect--as to verge close to being beyond description. It thus remains nearly incomprehensible to those who have not experienced it in its extreme mode, although the gloom, "the blues" which people go though occassionally and associate with the general hassle of everyday existence are of such prevalence that they do give many individuals a hint of the illness in its catastrophic form.