What does degradation mean: concept, definition, types, causes and stages of regression

December 30, 2020

Hello, dear readers of the KtoNaNovenkogo.ru blog. We often pronounce words borrowed from another language with ease and some bravado.

But do we always understand exactly what we are talking about?

Therefore, today we will partially fill the gap in our knowledge and find out what degradation is and what processes are characterized by this word.

About degradation

Many psychologists do not recognize the use of the term “degradation” in relation to personality. However, this does not prevent the phenomenon from happening: sometimes people first slowly, and then more and more quickly, slide down the slope of life. Overall, it's a decline. To lose valuable qualities is what it means to degrade.

The brain and man have something in common - they are both lazy. They try to reduce energy costs for any activity by creating unique programs that are carried out according to a template. According to biologist Richard Simon, these programs are called engrams—a physical habit or memory trace from repeated exposure to a stimulus.

If you fantasize, you can see engrams in the form of paths that neurons lay in the brain while performing the same action. Performs longer - less energy is wasted. Sometimes paths become roads, and then entire highways. And this is an excellent superpower, but only on one hand. The other side of the coin is a decrease in brain plasticity.

The longer people use engrams, the less the basal ganglia function. And their main function is the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps neurons navigate new paths among information noise (this is approximately what happens after reading this paragraph).

It is enough to remember the way to school or work. Typically, people walk or drive along the same route. And if the latter is more than six months old, the “autopilot” turns on, and in parallel with walking or traveling, people can already listen to music, read or respond to messages. It is quite difficult for a best friend to hide his anxiety behind a smile, just as it is quite difficult for the person communicating with him to decipher such communication signals. The same thing happens with the menu at your favorite restaurant.

And it seems that there is no point in changing all this. But life is a constant source of changes (downsizing, falling in love with a Spanish woman, new tasks at work), most of which are not under people's control. You have to adapt to them and it is a matter of survival.

This is why brain plasticity needs to be maintained and trained. You can imagine the brain as concrete, which will harden after a certain period of time. You can also look at old people who are not able to send SMS, do not accept new things and prefer the same type of actions year after year. To cope with degradation, you need to constantly stir the mixture in your head, under no circumstances allowing it to harden.

Option 1

(468 words) What makes people degrade? This question has been relevant at all times. Today we also need to find an answer to it in order to maintain the ability and desire for development. Fortunately, the writers made our task easier. Many of them believe that the cause of degradation is idleness. Anyone who does nothing stops self-improvement. This statement can be proven using examples from the literature.

So, I.A. Goncharov in the novel “Oblomov” represents a hero who degraded due to his own laziness and the peculiarities of the social structure in the Russian Empire. Ilya Ilyich did not work and lived off the income from his estate, which he inherited. This means that he himself did not lift a finger to earn money. Therefore, the master was not used to work and considered it something completely unnecessary for himself. Having received an education, he entered the service, but soon left it without achieving anything. Every failure hurt him painfully, and the need to strain and get up for work every day soon became disgusting to Oblomov. He preferred a reclusive lifestyle: wrapped in a cozy robe, Ilya Ilyich lay on the sofa and daydreamed. And that's all he did. No reading, no theater, no creativity, no scientific activity - nothing. The hero had no interests or hobbies except sleep, lunch and dreams. Therefore, the reader is not surprised that soon Oblomov could not remember anything from the university course and, at the slightest need, called a scribe, since he himself could no longer fill out a single paper. Its degradation is a consequence of an inactive lifestyle.

We find an equally convincing example in the poem by N.V. Gogol "Dead Souls". The landowner Manilov also lived on everything ready-made and did not care about his daily bread, so he became an infantile, empty and not at all interesting person who lived off his inherited capital without a goal. The hero only reasoned and dreamed about doing something, but in the end did not do anything that he planned to do. Either he was going to dig an underground passage, then he was thinking about a large stone bridge across a pond, then he intended to read a book bookmarked on page fourteen... for two years now! There was always something missing in this gentleman's living room. So, among the furniture covered with beautiful fabric, there were two armchairs covered with simple matting. From the very moment of his wedding, Manilov told the guests that they were not ready yet. Time passed, and the landowner did nothing to fix it. He also did not touch the farm, because the money appeared by itself, without obliging him to anything. Therefore, the author writes about him: “The devil knows what it is!” - and move away; If you don’t leave, you will feel mortal boredom.” The reason for Manilov's degradation is his idleness. He doesn't do anything, so he doesn't develop.

Thus, we degrade because we do nothing. Work may not make a man out of a monkey, but it will certainly help people keep their muscles and thoughts in good shape. If a person is mired in idleness, he is unable to develop and move forward. Her main driving force, her will, is atrophying.

Signs and causes

In order to understand how to stop degrading and start developing, it is very important to understand the causes and symptoms of the phenomenon. Signs can be varied and related to all aspects of life:

  • Decreased interest in the lives of loved ones.
  • Loss of communication and social skills. The person does not want to communicate as before, and if he decides to make contact, then its quality is unsatisfactory for any participant. Most of all, a degrading personality avoids communicating with those who point out mistakes and talk about the importance of changing life.
  • Deterioration of intellectual abilities, as well as a cooling of interest in reading and learning, learning new things.
  • Loss of interest in work, even if it was previously a favorite activity.
  • Poor vocabulary, speech mainly consists of filler words and obscene expressions, and answers are monosyllabic.
  • Clutter at home and/or workplace.
  • Negligent attitude towards one's own health and the well-being of others.
  • An abundance of laziness, irresponsibility, indifference. Absent-mindedness, irritability, fears, pessimism and lies.
  • Bad appearance. Such people stop taking care of personal hygiene and cleanliness of clothes, do not get their hair cut on time, and so on.
  • The emergence or worsening of bad habits, dubious connections, gambling, and a tendency to commit criminal acts.

A person may have all the symptoms, most of them, or just one. Important: all signs individually do not necessarily indicate degradation. For example, a person who works in trade may well get tired of people during the day and need time alone with himself. Writers who are passionate about books (or other representatives of creative professions and people simply in love with their work) may forget about appearance while working. Degradation can also be confused with professional burnout and the need for a vacation.

There can also be many reasons. Some of them:

  • All kinds of addictions (gaming, alcohol or drugs).
  • New circumstances to which a person is not yet accustomed. For example, this happens after retirement. People don't know what to do. Some never find suitable ways to spend their time and succumb to indifference and laziness.
  • Crises (age and others).
  • Feeling guilty about something you have done.
  • A traumatic incident.
  • Achieving the main goal, after which people feel that there is nothing more to strive for.
  • Mental disorders.
  • Loneliness.

Degradation as a chemical process

All organic and inorganic compounds have their own structure. The process of interaction of various substances occurs at the level of chemical reactions (redistribution of nuclei and electrons of the starting substances).

The consequence of the chemical reaction that has occurred is the destruction (destruction or degradation) of the previous structure of the compounds and the formation of a new structure.

If we talk about the destruction of polymers, then as a result of this process the degree of polymerization or molecular weight of the polymer decreases. The process of destruction (chemical degradation) can be activated by the following factors:

  1. warmth;
  2. radiation;
  3. mechanical stress;
  4. oxidation (exposure to oxygen);
  5. water;
  6. enzymes of biological organisms.

The impact of these factors can occur either individually or in combination. For example, exposure to water and alkali initiates a hydrolytic reaction, which results in degradation of the original structure of the substance.

And enzymes (what are they?) that are produced in the human body lead to the destruction of certain cells and, as a result, body tissues.

Without going into medical nuances, we can say that some of the destruction processes are positive for the normal functioning of the body, and some have a negative effect.

The process of destruction (chemical degradation) is used to obtain new properties and characteristics from substances. For example, mechanical-oxidative destruction (as a result of mechanical deformation in the presence of oxygen) of artificial rubber improves its technological properties.

Foreign languages

Learning new languages ​​is a great way to stop degrading. Everyone can find their own incentive to exercise, for example, related to a hobby, work or travel. A good motivation is the opportunity to read your favorite author in the original, listen to a musical group or become a polyglot.

Learning other languages ​​is the most effective tool for training brain plasticity, since words and the semantic fields associated with them are usually different from the native language. This works especially well if you look beyond tourist vocabulary and delve into cultural specifics.

Degradation in different areas of life

It is quite difficult to understand what degradation means if there are no real examples and associations. Let us present several varieties of the phenomenon that will help to understand its essence.

  1. Soil degradation is a change in the condition of the soil, which is observed in the gradual deterioration of properties, depletion, and loss of useful microelements. That is, the soil becomes unsuitable for cultivation, it stands in disrepair, and nothing really grows on it. It does not implement the functions assigned to it.
  2. Environmental degradation is the most pressing issue in the modern world. This is due to the extinction of many animal species and the destruction of plant populations and other living beings. The difficult environmental situation with deteriorating water quality is also associated with degradation.
  3. Chemical involves a transition from a complex substance to a simple one; in this case, molecules decompose into simple particles. As a result, a complex chemical substance turns into a simple one - a clear example of degradation.

Now you understand what degradation means using examples from various areas of our life and nature. Let us note that the phenomenon affects everything, including culture, spiritual values, and society as a whole. You can find out more about this phenomenon here: https://businessman.ru/new-chto-takoe-degradaciya-osnovnye-prichiny-degradacii.html.

No repetitions

Refusing various repetitions is one of the most effective ways to stop personality degradation. Psychologists do not recommend rereading books you have read previously. Even if it is Haruki Murakami’s favorite or one of the best books in the history of world literature. Equally, you should not re-watch TV series and films that you have already watched (even if they are “Friends” or “Sherlock”).

It’s a very pleasant and universal feeling to plunge into the cozy and familiar world of Harry Potter or the masterpieces of Max Fry: familiar characters, lack of surprises, knowledge of the ending and the opportunity to enjoy those little things that were missed the first or previous time. But by watching a season over a weekend or devouring a book in an hour, people are robbing other literary and cinematic works of their chance to discover something completely new to them. There is no need to deprive the brain of the formation of alternative neural connections.

Option 2

(430 words) Today, the problem of personality degradation is especially relevant, since new technologies and the rapid pace of renewal in all areas of activity place high demands on people. To find a promising job, you need to meet regularly changing standards and constantly develop. Therefore, it is important to know why a person degrades? What makes him unable to be prepared for anything? Many writers have answered this question.

For example, M. Gorky in his play “At the Bottom” showed that people degrade due to bad habits. He drew attention to the fact that all the inhabitants of the social “bottom” often drink and gamble. Among them there are many lazy people and vagabonds who do not want to work on principle. Satin even utters a beautiful monologue about how it is better to simply burden the land, and not toil in the service, because money can also be obtained dishonestly. And someone would be happy to work, but addiction to alcohol deprives him of the opportunity to realize himself. So, the Actor, who used to be a famous artist, became an alcoholic and went downhill. Because of his addiction, he lost the ability to remember the lyrics he performed. Now he could only beg and beg for money, although he had nothing to give it back. All these heroes, bound by lack of will and laziness, have a bad influence on each other. In their environment, a person withers and sinks to their level. This happened to Kleshch, who sold his tool and abandoned the idea of ​​honest work. This example convinces us that bad habits, idleness and bad company contribute to human degradation.

A similar example was described by A.P. Chekhov in the story “Ionych”. The main character in his youth was a gifted, intelligent and active person. He dreamed of becoming a doctor, received the appropriate education, but was only able to take the place of a zemstvo doctor in the outback. In this outback, residents had nothing left but drunkenness, gossip and the pursuit of profit. There was no cultural entertainment, no intelligent society, no interesting leisure time. The local inhabitants were narrow-minded and life-obsessed philistines. They did not strive for anything, did not live, but vegetated in boredom and routine. In their environment, the ambitious and active Dmitry gradually began to turn into a flabby and rude Ionych, obsessed with personal income. He did not have enough will to resist the negative influence of the environment, so he adapted to it and degraded. This example allows us to conclude that a person falls under the influence of the environment, trying to meet the standards that are accepted in his company. Bad habits also play an important role in this process: the hero overeated, drank a lot and moved little.

Thus, people degrade due to bad company, bad habits and idleness. Under such conditions, a person loses the incentive to develop and is content with what he has. That’s why it’s so important to lead a healthy lifestyle, communicate with interesting and spiritually rich interlocutors, and work on yourself.

Forget about shortcuts

One of the significant answers to the question of what to do in order not to degrade is to stop labeling people. Yes, it's very convenient. There is no need to understand a person and the motives of his actions; you can simply succumb to weakness and brand him:

  • drinks with friends - alcoholic;
  • cheated on her boyfriend - a girl of easy virtue;
  • mentally ill – dangerous;
  • does not say hello - impolite;
  • reads cheap detective stories - has no taste, and so on.

Each person is perhaps pressed by an even greater number of life circumstances than the same Rodion Raskolnikov. But many consider his thoughts interesting, and a divorced neighbor with three children as something unworthy of attention and vulgar.

The secret to a happy life is the right motivation

Why do we live? This question has worried humanity since time immemorial. Don't try to answer it for everyone, but try to find meaning in your own life. Set goals for yourself and make plans. It is advisable that your aspirations be varied and diverse. It is unreasonable to desire only material success, expressed in the acquisition of some valuable things. Strive to acquire new knowledge and skills and achieve professional heights.

It is also useful to make plans for each day. This will help you organize yourself. You will never know what human degradation is if you look forward to another interesting day.

New routes

The next popular way to learn from your own experience how to stop degrading is the novelty of routes. Finding new paths is a great development; it makes sense to reconsider the usual route to work and home, find another supermarket and bookstore, change your favorite billiard club to something new. This may cost time, but will pay off in other ways - lower prices or fewer people in the establishment.

How to protect yourself from this?

First of all, it is necessary to educate and constantly develop your personality. People often don’t even understand what’s happening. The moment he stops being interested in something new, developing his interests and spending time productively, he begins to degrade.

As a rule, we are busy obtaining material goods and resources, so there is simply not enough time for spiritual ones. Don't forget to read, listen to classical music, go to the theater, cinema, museums, and exhibitions.

No criticism

Stop criticizing - this is how you can stop degradation. Negative reviews about new furniture, design or the ending of a novel, overflowing social networks and all kinds of conversations are all about resistance to changes that have come so suddenly and at the wrong time in life. As a rule, we are talking about things that people cannot change. Or they can, but it will require a lot of effort that is simply not worth it. There are more interesting things to do than keeping records in complaint books.

If we talk about the benefits for development, then it is advisable to accept the changes and engage in motivation in order to continue living in the new reality. This is what it should look like:

  • “Road repair? Great, because in a month there will be no more holes here. In the meantime, you can learn something new about the area.”
  • “New menu? Great, the old dishes have long since become boring.”
  • “New work tablet? Why not treat it like a quest instead of being nervous?”

How to understand that a person is deteriorating

To understand whether everything is okay with a person, it is enough to talk to him once. If a person does not immerse himself in the dialogue, but responds so that you can quickly get behind him, you should think about it.

Emptiness in the gaze, indifference, lack of emotion during conversation are bad signs. The appearance will not be ordinary, untidiness, lack of composure, lack of a sense of style - all this speaks of indifference to life. especially susceptible to degradation.

Children or animals

One of the important methods that will help prevent degradation and/or get rid of it. Children are an eternal source of chaos and uncertainty. Children are living “concrete mixers” in the head; they destroy all stereotypes. Sons or daughters contribute something new every day through their behavior, questions and experiments. Parents often don’t even notice how their thinking is liberated, and they begin to think completely differently.

If you can’t (yet) have children or don’t want to, then you can try the option of having pets. For example, dogs. They need to be walked, and fresh air is good for the brain. Dogs can be just as much of a source of chaos as children. And they involve owners in communication with other dog lovers.

Playlist update

New music is just about how to stop degenerating and start living. Scientists can frustrate even music lovers with tens of thousands of tracks in their playlists. Most often, people listen to 50-100 familiar compositions. They are pleasant for the same reasons - people have adapted to them, and the brain does not need additional resources to process and comprehend these works. But there is so much music in the world that even if you change the radio station every day, your life will still not be enough to listen to everything. However, striving for this means taking care of your own development.

Who is a degenerate

There is no definition of this concept in Wikipedia.
Its analogue is the word “degenerate”, meaning a psychopathic person who despises social norms. In everyday speech the word sounds rude and obscene. And people often replace it with a softer one - “degradant”. It is often used in relation to drug addicts and alcoholics, since their signs of degradation are quite clearly expressed: narrow intellectual thinking, meager emotional needs and a strong predominance of physical needs over spiritual ones. The lives of people susceptible to these diseases are simple and limited. Their interests are focused on finding the next dose. They are no longer capable of objective self-esteem and can harm others without feeling pity or remorse.

Circle of friends

You need to expand your list of acquaintances and friends in order to find out how to stop degrading and start developing. It’s very cool when you have your own company, with whom it’s nice to get together every Saturday at your favorite bar (probably the same one) and discuss basketball or new outfits of famous singers. It's about psychological comfort.

But at the same time, most people live in big cities and it is absolutely not clear why limit your social circle to 5-6 people. By the way, most often people do not choose their comrades themselves, they are imposed by geography, school, higher education institution, work.

Man is a product of his environment. Society greatly influences people and they often change not only their opinions and interests because of their friends, but even such significant nuances as their type of activity. Is it worth talking about the influence of your social circle on your way of thinking?!

Unfortunately, degradation is an almost universal problem, and many people are concerned about how to stop degrading. The most important thing you need to do for your salvation and development is action. There are many ways to stop the process of decline. Among the most common and effective are learning foreign languages, experimenting with scents, giving up repetition, shortcuts and criticism, new roads, animals or children, updating your friends list and playlist.

What causes soil degradation?

Land (soil) degradation is a process that leads to deterioration of soil fertility. Soil degradation causes huge economic losses.

Reasons that can lead to the destruction of the original soil characteristics:

  1. exceeding the dose of nitrogen fertilizers → changes in soil structure → increased erosion (destruction);
  2. exposure to pesticides → decrease in beneficial bacteria → decrease in fertility;
  3. artificial irrigation → accumulation of insoluble salts, waterlogging, waterlogging of the soil → decrease in fertility;
  4. illiterate reclamation (actions aimed at draining soils), intensive logging, uprooting of forests, fires (including deliberate burning of grass and straw in fields) → reduction of the humus layer (layer containing nutrients) → decrease in fertility;

  5. absence of forest and artificial barriers along the fields → weathering of the top layer of soil → decrease in fertility (up to the transformation of arable land into desert).
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