Sunday, March 2, 2008

Word of the Week: Malaise

Erik says this is how he is feeling:
(this is no joke... he emailed it to me when I said I wasnt sure what he meant)
Malaise is a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness, an "out of sorts" feeling, often the first indication of an infection or other disease. Often defined in medicinal research as a "general feeling of being unwell".
Colloquially, malaise has been referred to as "the creeping crud" (especially in reference to the malaise caused by communicable diseases such as influenza and the common cold). This usage may have originated in folk medicine, but it is adopted from the French word meaning "discomfort," "feeling faint," "feeling sick."
The "winter malaise" is another rendition of the term. This is described as feeling run down, depleted, fatigued, "out of sorts", depressed, or a combination of all the aforementioned symptoms. Unlike the colloquial term, the winter malaise is generally not associated with the oncomming of any particular illness. It is the culmination of the body adjusting to cold winter conditions and a possible depressing atmosphere due to either being forced inside due to the cold, or forced into a mundane daily routine because of the winter conditions. It is important to understand the difference between a winter malaise and depression in order to be treated properly for any of the symptoms that are exhibited.
The term is also often used figuratively in such contexts as "economic malaise."

2 comments:

grizaham said...

I guess i could have said i am feeling tireD! Microbes can be really annoying.

Marshall said...

Y'all should read a book called "The Moviegoer" by Walker Percy.. talks alot about the malaise.. good book too.

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