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Recognize cognitive depression

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dr. Santi Yuliani, Sp.KJ, M.Sc.
dr. Santi Yuliani, Sp.KJ, M.Sc. (Special Doc.)

Jakarta, IO – Nowadays, many people self-diagnose about anything, up to and including depression and other mental and psychological problems. They claim to be depressed, they accuse others who are being gloomy or having problems they know nothing about, of being “depressed”. All without consulting experts. This is actually unsafe. 

And the first thing we need to ask, before we try to diagnose, “What is depression?” 

“Depression is a mood disorder. It is when you suffer from prolonged feelings of sadness, gloominess, and loss of interest in even daily living –for two consecutive weeks at a minimum. Depression affects a person’s thoughts and behavior, therefore triggering various physical and emotional issues. It is an actual, physical disease, just like diabetes or hypertension, wherein one of your bodily organs becomes ill. In this case, the problem is in the brain, not the ‘heart’, as we say,” declares dr. Santi Yuliani, Sp.KJ, M.Sc., a psychiatrist practicing in Prof. DR. Soerojo Hospital, Magelang, Central Java, in the “Cognitive Depression” live IG held on Monday (03/10/2022). 

CT scans of the brains of depressed people show that they have a “darker” image in their brain, compared to people who are not depressed. And this “darkness” covers all of the brain’s areas. All parts of the brain have their own specific function: the front lobe is used for thinking processes, the amygdala at the base of the brain recognizes threats and triggers a flight, fight, or freeze response for survival, etc. Depressed people tend to have lowered – even minimal – response to any condition that they are facing. 

“Depression causes hypoactive disorder in all areas. Depressed people are not being lazy or rebellious, they are literally unable to move. They want to become active, productive, they want to have fun, but their brains are incapable for it. Please differentiate ‘unwillingness’ and ‘inability’ in these cases,” dr. Santi said.