The Characteristics and Real Benefits of Depression Forget the old ‘wisdoms’; depression, like all other human functions, serves a very useful role in the human experience. Emotional pain characterizes the depressed condition. Like its physical counterpart, emotional pain is the result of a negative stimuli acting on the individual; like a hand that touches a hot pan and pulls away, the psyche that is hurt by an event indicates a pulling back, a rethinking of one’s actions. Pain focuses the mind. With it, any other feeling, any other emotion is pushed aside. The object causing one’s pain must be addressed.