It is said that depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain and research suggests that depression doesn’t spring from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemical. Instead, depression has many possible causes, including a faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic factors, stressful life events and medical problems. It’s believed that a number of these forces join together to bring on depression. Many chemicals are involved, working both inside and outside nerve cells. There are billions of chemical reactions that make up the system that is responsible for your mood, perceptions, and how you experience life. Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Psychological symptoms include; continuous low mood or sadness feeling hopeless and helpless having low self-esteem feeling guilt-ridden and tearful feeling irritable and intolerant of others having no motivation or interest in things you used to enjoy finding it difficult to make decisions and not getting any enjoyment out of life feeling anxious or worried having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
Many people with depression also struggle with physical symptoms, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite and complaining of various aches and pains. The severity of the symptoms can vary. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while at its most severe depression can make you feel suicidal and that life is no longer worth living.
One of the main themes that can be seen throughout Dickinson’s poetry is that of death and the grief it brings. It can be hard to distinguish between grief and depression as they share many of the same characteristics, but there are important differences between them. Grief is an entirely natural response to a loss, while depression is an illness. People who are grieving find their feelings of loss and sadness come and go, but they're still able to enjoy things and look forward to the future.
In contrast, people who are depressed have a constant feeling of sadness. They don't enjoy anything and find it hard to be positive about the future. Dickinson uses many poetic techniques to show the mental breakdown that is caused in the mind when suffering from clinical depression or other mental illnesses. For example in her poem, “After great Pain, a formal feeling comes” the final stanza suggests a time of heavy hurt or depression through the quotation “Hour of Lead”. This creates a heavy, dense feeling that is weighing the speaker down and preventing them to move forward, much like the symptoms of depression. The structure of this poem is generally looser than the others as the iambic meter fades in places and the line length ranges from diameter to pentameter. This disorderly pattern represents the disorder you feel in your mind when suffering from a mental illness. The haphazard rhyme scheme represents the lack of organisation and optimism that comes with depression and through this Dickinson is portraying a chaotic mind.
Dickinson’s influence from Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson, May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882, was an American essayist, lecturer and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a critic of the pressures that affected the society of his time. Though Dickinson cannot be wholly deemed a transcendentalist, she can be said to have been influenced by Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1850, she was given a copy of Emerson's first collection of poems. The poems all portray a style and subject resonant in Dickinson's poetry. Emerson's influence can be perceived in these poems, but a big difference between the two poets is that Dickinson does not attempt to be a beacon of change in the American world. She instead