The Italian term "disagio diffuso", which roughly translates as "widespread malaise" or "pervasive discomfort", refers to an ever-increasing phenomenon within today's society, which is reaching epidemic proportions.
Malaise or discomfort can be expressed in numerous ways, beginning with dissatisfaction with one's lifestyle, making do with the bare minimum required to "get by", and leading to more obvious signs and symptoms experienced within ourselves and in our relations with others: addictions to psychotropic substances (alcohol, drugs), addiction to prescription drugs, dismaturity, bipolar disorders and delusions, depression, eating disorders, panic attacks, anxiety, borderline syndromes, social and institutional conflicts, disabilities, asymptomatic disorders, etc.
Disagio, or malaise, be it among young people, adults or within institutions, is increasing evidence of the limitations of the traditional medical-psychiatric epistemology, which is manifesting resistance to traditional psychopharmacological treatment and psychotherapy, emphasising the need for innovation in the organisation of public and private social services (drug rehabilitation centres, mental health and psychiatric institutions, health centres, social services etc.).
Like the word "disease" in English, the Italian term disagio derives from the Latin "dis-adiacens", which means "that which is not adjacent", or "that which is not near to".
Thus, it indicates a "departure" from or a "deviation" from that which was once whole, and refers to the fact that there are forces which cause us to move away from life, from our state of full health and sense of harmony.
As we move away from health and wholeness, life steps in and makes itself heard through signs and symptoms of suffering and pain. We move away from our sense of Yahweh. The original meaning of Yahweh in Hebrew is "I am who I am".
Hence, we move away from ourselves, from "That which only I am".
The English "diffuse" and the Italian diffuso, which means "spread out" or "widespread" derives from the Latin "dis-fundere" meaning "to pour", or to extend".
It indicates something that spreads out, grows and inundates the entire earth.