A few days ago I read an article in Komsomolskaya Pravda, the title of which read:
“Tomorrow record low pressure will befall Moscow. Doctors are warning:people with heart conditions and hypertension need to be especially careful.”
And immediately happy memories of the word давление ensued!
Before I went to Russia the context I would use давление was usually such:
Я под давлением быть пятёрочницей.
“I am under pressure to be a straight A student”
Родители оказывают много давления на меня быть верующей.
“Мy parents put a lot of pressure on me to be religiously observant” (My dad is kind of a priest or pastor in our religion and I went through a very rebellious stage in my youth. Going to Russia was part of trying to escape that pressure).
But then living in Russia I discovered the давление as in the ominous and powerful барометрическое давление (barometric pressure) that has the power to make or break your health and mood.
Russians are very aware of the atmospheric pressure and blame it for everything from fatigue to headaches to depression to inexplicable behavior.
Anytime I came to class not feeling very well my teachers would say, “Наверно из-за давления” (probably because of the pressure). And they were referring to the weather pressure not religious or social pressure.
As a person who suffered lots of depression in my angst-full teenage years I went to many psychologists and was put on medication at a very young age. When autumn started to set in in Moscow and I started to feel a bit of depression I would tell this to my teachers they wouldn’t say, “Welll, you need to see somebody about it.” or “You need to start taking your Prozac again” they would just nod understandingly and say, “Наверно из-за давления…пройдет.” (Probably because of the pressure…it will pass).
I found this so liberating. Nothing was deeply wrong with me. I was just one of many suffering because of the weather. Not a big deal. No need to dig through the depths of your soul trying to figure out why you’re feeling slighty less than chipper.
So ever since then when I wake up in a bad mood I just assume it’s из-за давления. (Because of the pressure). Even though I have no clue about the science behind it I like having a vague excuse to just feel like crap sometimes.