Depression or mental illness. Which comes first?

Lincoln, Nebraska
April 17, 2007 4:20pm CST
I want your opinion. Do you believe that depression is a mental illness in itself, or do you believe that it is a symptom of mental illness, or do you believe that depression can lead to mental illness? Or is it a little bit of both?
3 people like this
8 responses
@meholl (510)
• United States
18 Apr 07
When the term mental illness is used it covers such a broad area in general. Depression is a mental illness. So if you are suffering from depression, hence you have a mental illness. Mental illness covers such a broad range of illnesses that the term "DEPRESSION" would certainly be more appropriate than "MENTAL ILLNESS". One who suffers from many different emotional and mental diseases, the term mental illness is appropriate. But for someone who only suffers from depression, depression in and of itself is the best description. While I have 2 children that suffer from a variety of emotional and mental issues, I realize that they are both mentally ill, but more emotional tramuatized than anything. Mental illness in this society is a scary thing, because it doesn't tell you anything except that it could be emotional, or mental, or this person may have totally lost it and is really crazy. I think the best term for any mental illness is the actual term used in diagnosis, such as ADHD or depression or psychotic. If I said I was mentally ill, would you be able to tell what was the real issue, or would you be left to wonder.
@bruxedo (773)
• France
21 Apr 07
I agree with you. I have a mental illness, because I suffer from depression, but I wouldn't like that someone talked about me as a mentally ill person. I would be angered.. because it could leed the others to think that I'm not personaly responsable, that I could be a danger to others.
@makaira (1159)
• Philippines
17 May 07
i think it's depression... cheers!
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
16 May 07
I am of the opinion that depression is a symptom that if not dealt with properly can lead to mental illness. I once heard someone define depression as 'anger turned inward'. Unprocessed anger especially when turned inward is bound to lead to mental illness. The state of feeling depressed should not be confussed with being in depression.
@VotreAmie (3037)
• United States
16 May 07
I believe depression is a symptom of mental illness. I don't think hat depression can lead someone to the kind of mental illness like some people loose their mind and they don't know what they are doing anymore like Alzheimer's. What am I saying? I am gone from depression to Alzheimer's. Well I guess I am not an expert on this matter. I just wanted to say that most people have had depression at a certain time in their lives, but they are perfectly sane and never developed any serious mental illness.
@okn0tok (569)
• United States
21 Apr 07
I believe that life situations cause mental illness and depression is a result of the mentally ill not having the proper coping abilities to make their lives happy and whole for themselves.
@onerygirl (549)
• United States
18 Apr 07
I believe depression is not a mental illness but can be a sign of one. Depression is a normal reaction to some of lifes ups and downs. It is usually not long term and is it is, there can be some type of mental illness behind it. I have bi-polar disorder that was diagnosed when my depression just wouldn't go away.
• Pakistan
18 Apr 07
i think that depression is a mental illness in itself because it disturbs uy whole life...u are not able to think clearly or work properly.it should be taken seriously .
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
18 Apr 07
It totally depends on the length of time, and degree to which a person is depressed. Everyone gets a bit down and sad, but most people bounce back. It's when the person's mind won't let them bounce back and they spiral within this state of depressed feelings that it manifests into the true essence of a mental illness. The state of being depressed is our body and minds mechanism that helps us cope and deal with many different stressors in our lives--it cues us that there is something wrong in our lives or allows us to reflect on a situation that has unfolded in our life. But, if we can't work through the sadness and it just veils over us and engulfs us, well then, the mental illness side of depression sets in. In other words, being depressed is like being sad and down, just another name for the emotion--but when that emotion cannot be controlled we lose control and the emotion becomes a severe hinderance. Just like other emotions that a person may not have the capability to control the severity of. So, I guess the feeling of being depressed can lead to depression, which is a mental illness, and the mental illness of depression has way more too it then just a feeling of sadness. Here's a good link on depression:http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-basics