I'm Susan Clark with the Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
Tom Smith is the best hitter on his company's baseball team. For weeks during the playing season, Tom hit a home run in every game the team played. But then suddenly he stopped hitting home runs. He could not hit the baseball at all.
One day he struck out three times in one game. He said, "I am afraid I am losing it."
Mary Jones bought a dress in a woman's clothing store. She felt very happy about buying the dress until she got home. Then she remembered she had left her credit card at the store when she used it to pay for the dress. It was the third time that month that Mary had forgotten something important.
Mary was angry with herself. She said, "Am I losing it?"
Emma Cleveland was teaching a class in mathematics at a college. She began to explain to the students how to solve a very difficult problem. She understood it very well. But somehow, at that moment, she could not explain it. Emma said, "I must be losing it."
Americans seem to have a lot of concern about losing it. At least that is what you would think from hearing them talk. They use the expression when they feel they are losing control. It can mean losing emotional control. Or losing the ability to do something. Or losing mental powers.
Word experts differ about how the expression started. Some believe it came from television programs popular in the nineteen eighties. Others believe it began with psychologists and psychiatrists who deal with how people think, feel and act.
One psychologist said, "We Americans have many concerns about controlling our lives. Perhaps we worry too much."
She continued, "In many situations, to say you are losing it eases the tension. It is healthy. And most people who say they are having a problem are not losing it."
People may feel more like they are losing it when they are "down in the dumps." People who are down in the dumps are sad. They are depressed.
Word expert Charles Funk says people have been feeling down in the dumps for more than four-hundred years. Sir Thomas More used the expression in fifteen thirty-four. He wrote, "Our poor family ... has fallen in such dumps."
Word experts do not agree what the word dumps means. One expert, John Ayto, says the word dumps probably comes from the Scandinavian countries. The languages of Denmark and Norway both have similar words. The words mean to fall suddenly.
Americans borrowed this saying. And, over the years, it has become a popular way of expressing sadness.
This WORDS AND THEIR STORIES program was written by Jeri Watson. I'm Susan Clark.
1.psychiatrist n. 精神病学家，精神病医生
The psychiatrist must learn to maintain an unusual degree of objectivity.
2.depressed adj. 沮丧的；萧条的；压低的；v. 使沮丧；使萧条（depress的过去式和过去分词形式）；压低
She's been very depressed and upset about this whole situation.
1.People may feel more like they are losing it when they are "down in the dumps."
down in the dumps 垂头丧气；情绪低落
She's feeling a bit down in the dumps and needs cheering up.
He was down in the dumps after losing his job.
美国人似乎对losing it很担忧，至少在听到他们这么说时你会这么想。他们在感到无法控制局面时会用到这个表述，它的意思是失去情绪控制，或者失去做某事的能力，或失去精神动力 。
很多人可能在情绪低落时会感到无能为力，处在down in the dumps状态下的人会感到悲伤和抑郁
词汇学家查尔斯·芬克说人们使用down in the dumps这个表达已经有400多年，1534年，托马斯·莫尔爵士使用了这个表达 。他写道，“贫困家庭的情绪陷入低谷 。”