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> How Do You Define:, a) Conforming and b) Depression
lygophilia
post Oct 28 2004, 12:00 AM
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My lunch table has become a philosphy and debate table. We got onto the subjet of being a nonconformist. Forget whatever the dictionary says. I want to know how you use the term. Three friends were debating about what it is. I watched, understood both sides, and helped them understand the other person, maintaining a neutral position. They both had an argument; it just depends on how you define it.

1) Two friends were saying that there's no such thing as a nonconformist because you're always doing something someone else is doing. Example I always use: If you're wearing clothes, you're conforming (or even if you're not).

2) Another friend (well, aquaintance that acts like I have cooties...except for the past week) believes that the person is only a nonconformist if the person knows that someone else is doing it. He said that if someone was living outside of society by himself, no electricity, no contacting people, etc., then he's not conforming because he doesn't know that someone else is doing it.

3) I think he also said that it's only conforming if you're doing it to purposely to be like another person/group, which I think would me another view on its own.

4) I continued thinking about it on the way to my next class, and decided that generally people use nonconformity to describe a person that is different than society ('society' being the majority, I suppose). Although I do think you could use the term either way.

How do you define being a conformist? Does nonconformity exist?

The next day I got into a debate with on of those friends about what depression is. His mom's a psychologist, and he's taken classes on psychology, but I have first-hand experience.

1) He said that true depression is the chemical imbalance in your head, which is true. That's how it works. The part I disagreed with is when he said anything else is merely sadness.

2) This may just be my definition, but I think there are two types of depression: a) the chemical imbalance and b ) being extremely sad without the neurotrons (or whatever they're called) being messed up. I think his friend, who was partially in the debate, agreed. The imbalance can cause depression, but other things help: bad relationships with friends/parents, stress with school/work, etc.

My friend disagreed, saying that if there are any other factors, then it's just sadness. I don't think so. I've been diagnosed with depression (but then again, some stupid-ass doctor said I was anorexic), as does his friend, but he's fine now. I know for a fact that the diagnosed depression can cause you to be sad (depressed), even when nothing in particular is wrong (which I suppose is how he uses the term). But often you're depressed (the same kind) when other factors play a role.

They said it's all in your brain. You're convinced that you're depressed (which is probably true, at least in my case. I have been depressed a lot, and now I even use that as a part of who I am). The believed that it's possible to force yourself to be happy. Maybe so, but that ain't happenin' with me. It's extremely difficult. You have to completey change the way you think, since most depressed people probably think negatively. I'm not positive you can. His friend said he did it. Yes, you can do all this stuff to better your life, but I don't think that would be "forcing" yourself to be happy. You can't just say "be happy" and suddenly you're happy. That's just the normal way you get better (along with pills, which leads to another question I'll get to).

I think that you could use the definition as being sad, but sad to the extreme. It could be a sadness that's even pretty temporary, but it's like extreme suicidal-ish sadness (I don't really use the word that way, but I guess you could.

Once we got onto talking about medication, he said that medication does more harm than good. You become dependent on them, and you're body is trained to deal with stuff on its own. I think that's true; you do become dependent on them, just like other drugs. After four years of paying attention to patterns of sadness, I've noticed that many days I get really sad just "happens" to be a day that I didn't take my medication. It doesn't happen every time I don't take them. Factors play a role. If I have an easy day, no hard school work, no one says anything that bothers me, etc., then there's a good chance that I'll be fine, even if I haven't taken them. But it's still possible. And it's possible to get sad when I have taken it. So yes, I agree that you become pretty dependent on them. I guess medication is a quick, easy fix. You don't have to try as hard to be happy. Do I want to stop taking them? Probably not. Especially since I've become dependent on them.

The last thing my friend said before we went to our classes was that doctors and those stupid Prozac/Welbutron/whatever commercials make you think that you have a problem. He believes it's just another part of your personality, I think. I'm not quite sure they say it's a "problem," but I agree they say it's abnormal. Although having been depressed, I think that it can be a problem. A huge problem. A living or dying kind of thing. Without getting meds or being able to change enough to make yourself happy (I bet being able to that is pretty dang rare), then you're likely to be forever sad, and might end up killing yourself. Suicide week at school has long passed (sounds kind of funny, doesn't it? "Hey, kids, it's suicide week! Go on, kill yourself! Everyone's doing it!" hehe), but I've recently seen a "poster" that says suicide is the third leading cause of death for teenagers (probably a US statistic).

So how do you define depression? Do you think if there are any other factors, then it isn't really depression? Do you think medication just makes it worse? What about those Prozac commercials?


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