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Depression, the dark evil of the 21st century

After the numerous cases of suicides recorded in recent days by young adolescents, middle-aged men and even people over the age of 80, the spotlight is back on one of the most common diseases in the world: depression. According to the WHO, the World Health Organization, 800,000 are the people who in one year decide to commit suicide. And the suicide rate is expected to grow exponentially within the next decade. Lives nipped within a few minutes, thoughts that in a matter of seconds push to make seemingly crazy, absurd, inexplicable gestures.

Accomplice of the increase in “choices” so extreme the economic crisis, that ghost that has hovered over our country for years now and seems to have no intention of leaving. Desperate fathers of families who lose their jobs and are no longer able to provide for the needs of their family unit; elderly people with really derisory pensions who, after a lifetime of sacrifices, are forced to rummage in the trash to settle for the leftovers of others; jobless kids who can never build something concrete because of the precariousness of their existence. Many, too many problems to face, no way out, no concrete help from institutions, families, friends and here the mind starts to make bad jokes. You see everything black, perhaps even blacker than the situation really is, the first negative thoughts, the first obsessions appear. You no longer want to get up in the morning, you no longer have stimuli, you no longer feel able to react; there is no desire to live! The person closes in on himself, detaches himself from the reality that surrounds him and enters that phase that we all know by the name of depression. Cleared in the past as a form of “nervous breakdown” or treated as a minor manifestation of psychological distress, depression has proven to be a real record pathology; in fact, it has been called “the disease of the new century”. The depressed person feels inadequate in the face of the continuous and multiple demands of contemporary society; he lives with difficulty, with growing anxiety, daily life until he reaches the classic tiredness of himself that empties him from within, blocks him in anguish and immerses him in negative feelings. It is as if the depressed person, although leading an apparently normal life, is stuck in a dimension that his brain has created ad hoc. Depression does not always result in suicide; there are treatments that can heal or otherwise improve mood disorders. There are innovative therapies, both pharmacological and of simple psychological support, which manage to provide valuable help to the patient. Yes sick, because depression is a disease in all respects and must be treated as such. No more taboos on mental disorders, the mind is an organ like any other; can get sick. Indeed, due to its enormous complexity, it is more prone to have problems. The first signs are not always easy to recognize. Normally the triggering factor is easily identifiable in an external event that the person evaluates and feels as an important and unacceptable loss, but in the subsequent relapses the triggering events are difficult to identify because they are often “internal” issues to the individual. Therefore, particularly sensitive subjects should be kept an eye on, in general only those most predisposed to experiencing an acute depressive crisis at least once in their life.

WHO also said that in 2020, depression will be the most common in the world among mental illnesses and in general the second most common disease after cardiovascular diseases. The mechanisms that are triggered in the brain of the depressed are not yet well known and perhaps it is this aura of mystery that envelops them to draw the attention of the scientific world, of cinematography and even of literature. Defined by the writer Giuseppe Berto The dark evil, from which the book of the same name takes its name, depression strikes indiscriminately without distinguishing between age, race and social background.

Definitely defeating depression has long been a goal of modern medicine. Scientific research makes enormous progress and the field of psychiatry, psychology and psychotherapy also continues to obtain increasingly satisfactory results. We should also evaluate the hypothesis that this remains only a mere utopia but you know, hope is always the last to die.

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