What is the opposite of depression (+According to psychology)

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Page last updated: 10/11/2022

This article will discuss what is the opposite of depression when talking from a psychological perspective. For that, the article will explain what depression is, and compare it to some of the possible antonyms of depression. Along with that, the article will discuss what are ways to bring those concepts to your life.

What is depression? 

When trying to discover what is the opposite of depression, one should first understand what depression is. Depression is a mental illness that affects a person’s mood. 

The person feels intense sadness, loses interest in this they used to love, and it can cause people to have lower self-esteem, and decreased sense of self-worth.

People with depression can lose all sense of hope in their life and have such a lack of energy that it can make it hard for them to do even the most basic things. It also changes the person’s eating and sleeping patterns, and causes them to feel extremely guilty, and isolate themselves. 

A person with depression may feel irritable and can consider self-harm, and even have suicidal thoughts. You are considered depressed when they experience its symptoms for more than two weeks, and it causes some disturbance in their daily life. 

What are concepts people may consider to be the opposite of depression?

Now that you have a better notion of what depression is, let’s discuss what is the opposite of it. People may often think that happiness is the opposite of depression, but what they need to understand is that believing that life should always be happy, is a recipe for getting even more depressed. 

People need to understand that life comes with its ups and downs, it has its sad moments and suffering. For this article, we will discuss the opposite of depression from various perspectives. Let’s discuss them.

Euthymia

Euthymia is the psychological state that is the opposite of depression. When a person is in a euthymic mood they are living without any mood disturbance. They can feel calm, cheerful, and content. 

Having euthymic humor usually indicates you have an increased level of resilience. A good way to understand what euthymia is is by putting it in line with bipolar disorder. This condition makes people go through depression and mania. Being euthymic means you are in between those two states. 

When you are in a euthymic mood, you don’t experience the hopelessness that comes with depression, nor the extreme peak of energy that happens when in mania. The most common signs of euthymic humor are: 

  • Happiness
  • Calm
  • Contentment
  • Congruent humor
  • Moderate enthusiasm

A person can experience euthymic mood in two ways. It can happen in a reactive state, which means that a person is responding adequately to a conversation. A person can also experience euthymia with a congruent effect, that shows you are having an emotional reaction that matches the situation you are in.

Hope 

Another possible opposite to depression is hope. And this is not only the opposite but also a way to prevent depression. As long as you are hopeful, you will hardly get depressed. One of the most common symptoms of depression is hopelessness, it touches every aspect of your life, and your ability to see anything positive in the future.

When a person loses their sense of hope, their brain thinks that there is very little chance they will survive. And it starts to save up the energy you used to make decisions or move, that’s when your body avoids doing anything to stay alive. With that, depression sets in. 

When treating depression, you may begin to feel hopeful again, which can change the way your brain works, and cause you to do anything to survive, giving you back the energy that depression took out of you.

What is the opposite of depression (+According to psychology)

Vitality

According to Andrew Solomon, in a talk about how dark depression can get, the opposite of depression is vitality. In this context, vitality is understood as the energy a person has to go on with their lives and be part of their activities and relationship. 

Solomon refers that through his depression he felt completely without energy to do the even most simple things. Getting out of bed, answering a phone call, all that can seem too hard. Depression can feed off of your vital energy, and it doesn’t leave any left. 

To improve your vitality, and energy level when you are depressed, it can be necessary to go through treatment, but also some lifestyle changes. Maybe a small walk can give you back some energy, the same is possible by being around people you love, that can make you feel supported, and connected.

Sense of security

When talking about depression, another perspective is discussed, when determining its opposite. The opposite of depression can be a person’s sense of security, confidence, and satisfaction. It can also be related to knowing they will have their needs met. 

That is because when a person is depressed they tend to believe they are worthless. If you think you don’t deserve anything good, you can start to believe that your needs are also not important. This can create such a state of insecurity and fear that makes you even more depressed.

You think it is impossible to feel security, connection, and acceptance, so you stop looking for it. Which can cause you to isolate yourself. So having the sense of security that you can express yourself and your needs in an environment, is the opposite of depression.

If you don’t feel a sense of satisfaction with your life, it might be important to stop comparing yourself to others. Each person needs something different. Validate the events you went through in life, and learn to cope with the impressibility of life, which can, sometimes, bring you some hard moments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What is the opposite of depression according to psychology?

What is dysthymia? 

Dysthymia is a form of depression. It is usually a milder form of depression, but it lasts longer, usually more than 5 years. It is also called a persistent depressive disorder. In it, people can experience moments of major depression, followed by milder ones.

Women are twice as susceptible to dysthymia as men. And the same way as other depressive episodes, it can be caused by a series of factors, including genetics. Because it goes on for a prolonged amount of time, people might need medication and therapy to feel better. 

So the first thing you should do if you think you have dysthymia is look for professional help. You may also benefit from some lifestyle changes. You can take up exercising, don’t expect too much of yourself, and set goals that seem realistic to your moment in life.

Try to live a healthy life, and be close to people that love you and make you feel supported. Aside from that, try to do things that make you experience positive emotions. 

It can be reading a book, going to the movies, or being a part of religious activity. Try to keep in mind that, although it doesn’t seem like it, this won’t go on forever.

What is seasonal depression? 

Seasonal depression is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. It happens when a person feels extremely sad, less energetic, or emotionally moved by the change of seasons. It is most common for people to experience it when the seasons change from summer to fall and winter.

When it gets darker earlier, and it gets too cold, some people can feel like they don’t have the energy to get out of the house. They can become isolated, sleep too much, feel hopeless, lose interest in doing things, and some might even consider how it would be to not be alive anymore.

Some factors make it easier for people to develop seasonal depression. The first thing is having a family history of it. It is also easier to develop seasonal depression if you are going through a major depressive episode, or if you have bipolar disorder.

Along with that, a low level of vitamin D can make a person develop seasonal depression. It can take a lot of their energy, and lower their level of serotonin, which is higher when people are exposed to the sunlight. Aside from social isolation, it can make it harder for people to maintain their work or school schedule.

What causes depression? 

Depression can be caused by a few factors. It can be related to genetics, meaning that when a person has a history of depression, they can develop it easier. A person with a history of depression also has a higher chance of experiencing a new depressive episode.

Along with that, people that are going through traumatic situations, such as the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or some financial or legal problem, can also experience depression. 

Another factor that causes people to get depressed is their brain chemistry. If a person’s brain is experiencing a chemical imbalance, they might start to feel depressed.

What is a major depressive disorder? 

Major depressive disorder is a form of depression. This can impair the person’s ability to maintain a normal life. The symptoms of depression can be so intense, that sometimes even doing simple things, such as getting out of bed, can seem impossible. 

In a major depressive episode, people will experience the same symptoms as other people with depression, such as sadness, low self-esteem, and loss of interest in doing even the things they used to love. But along with those, they can develop hallucinations, become delusional, and even experience psychotic symptoms.

To treat major depression the person needs to look for professional help. A combination of medication and therapy might be needed. With the medication, the person may feel an improvement of the symptoms of depression, and in therapy, they will have support to learn how to handle their emotions.

What is unipolar depression?

A unipolar depression, differently from bipolar disorder, is one in which the person experiences their depressive episode in just one extremity. It can also be known as a major depressive episode. 

It contrasts with bipolar disorder in which the person swings from depression to mania. A person with unipolar depression also doesn’t have a hypomanic episode or a mixed one.

Conclusion

This article discussed what are the possible antonyms for depression when considering psychology. It showed what depression is, and how euthymia, hope, sense of security, and vitality can all be considered opposites of depression. Finally, the article discussed what are ways to bring those into your life.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the section below.

References

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/depression-management-techniques/202001/is-happiness-the-opposite-depression-or-its-enemy?amp
https://www.healthline.com/health/euthymic#The-bottom-line
https://upliftconnect.com/opposite-of-depression-is-vitality/