Depression – here I use the term in a strictly technical sense – is something very different from sadness; it’s a terrible condition which is always linked to the idea of a final conviction, issued continuously on every moment of one’s life. And here we run immediately into language problems. Far more understandable are the pains of bereavement, poverty, hunger and unemployment. Although depression itself may result from each of these elements, it’s the idea itself that seems to have something wrong. The commodification of the word ‘depressed’ has really destroyed most of its medical semantic value. - Giorgio Fontana, Berfrois.com
Image: John Constable, The Sea near Brighton, 1826. (Click to enlarge.)
On Berfrois's Facebook page, the above by Giorgio Fontana is beautifully accompanied by the Constable painting seen here.
Fontana is correct, depression is not sadness. It's not quiet, either. It's a distracting mental static that at best is mercilessly stupefying, like the sound and motion of waves that are slightly too big to be gently lulling or mesmerizing in effect. quite crashing, but they don't crash like stormy seas, either. Collectively, they are a seemingly inescapable ocean, always ominous, sometimes slightly so, sometimes dreadfully so with occasional swells and fits. A gray sea without sight of land. It is not "feeling a little blue," it is not "having a bad day," and when one is in its shore-less midst ones mood can pitch back and forth at times between desperation and lassitude.