Depression is a
prevalent mood disorder among hum...
Depression is a
prevalent mood disorder among human beings that can turn out to be deadly. The
illness can also be referred to as clinical depression or major depressive
disorder. Depression is usually characterized by loss of interest, a constant
feeling of sadness and a persistent low mood. The illness is mental, and it
causes serious symptoms that may affect how the victim thinks, feels, or how
they handle their day to day activities including eating, working, and
sleeping. Depression is a serious issue since it affects innumerable
individuals across the globe. The World Health Organization considers
depression as the leading cause of disabilities and the world’s most common
illness ("Depression", 2017). According to the organization’s
estimation, depression affects over 350 million individuals worldwide. The CDC
indicates that in any two-week period, 7.6% of persons over 12 years of age
suffer from depression("FastStats",
do not experience all the symptoms related to the illness. Some may experience
many symptoms while others may experience just a few. Those with severe
symptoms can be diagnosed with major depression whereas those with few but
acute may receive treatment for “subsyndromal” depression. Symptoms may vary
depending on an individual’s stage of illness. One has to experience the
following symptoms for around two weeks before they’re diagnosed with
depression ("What Is Depression?", 2017);
• Loss of weight and appetite
• Feeling worthless and guilty
• Memory loss and difficulty concentrating
• Depressed mood or persistent sadness
• Fatigue or loss of energy
• Restlessness and anxiety
• Extreme pessimism and hopelessness/helplessness
• Insomnia or trouble sleeping
• Persistent digestive problems, pains,
headaches, and cramps without clear cause
• Reduced interest in activities or hobbies
• Suicidal feelings
different forms of depression, all of which develop under unique circumstances.
These forms of depression include the following;
depression - Refers to a severe depression accompanied by a form of psychosis
such as having hallucinations or delusions (fixed beliefs) of illness or guilt.
depressive disorder (dysthymia) - Characterized by a depressed mood that
usually persists for around two years. Dysthymia includes both episodes of less
severe symptoms as well as major depression.
disorder – Prevalent during seasons where there’s less natural sunlight like
winter months. The depression is usually accompanied by weight gain, social
withdrawal, and too much sleep. The pattern is predictable annually during the
depression – This is a severe major
depression that mainly affects women when they’re pregnant or after they
deliver (postpartum depression). It’s usually characterized by feelings of
exhaustion, anxiety and extreme sadness that make it hard for new mothers to
take care of themselves or the newborn babies("NIMH » Depression", 2017).
likely to affect other issues. For instance, clinical depression is closely
associated with other mental illnesses affecting millions of Americans. These
include social phobia, panic disorders, and generalized anxiety disorder.
However, all these disorders can be treated. Depression can also adversely
affect an individual’s work, productivity, or relationship. A previous national
survey indicates that around 6 percent of workers encounter symptoms of
depression annually. This leads to poor motivation and even absenteeism at the
workplace("Mental health problems in the
workplace - Harvard Health", 2010).
psychological theories relate to the issue of depression. First, we’ll look at the
Beck’s theory (1967). The theory was suggested by Aaron Beck, a cognitive
theorist who studied individuals with depression and discovered that they
analyzed events in a negative way, be it about themselves, the world or the
future (McLeod, 2014). He pointed out that three main factors led to depression
• Negative self-schemas
• The cognitive/negative triad and
• Errors in Logic
triad is a pessimistic and irrational view whereby individuals are ruled by
automatic negative thinking whereas errors in logic involved individuals
processing information wrongly. Beck discusses that the negative self-schemas
are normally acquired in the early stages of life when traumatic events happen
such as exclusion from a peer group, rejection from parents or abuse ("Overview
of Beck's Cognitive Theory of Depression", 2003).
Another one of
these theories is the psychoanalytic theory by Sigmund Freud (1917) in which he
suggested that most cases of depression were as a result of biological factors (Psychoanalytic
Theory, 2017). Fred also indicated that some cases of depression could have
resulted from rejection or loss of a parent. He proposed that depression can be
compared to grief such that it often erupts from a broken or lost relationship(McLeod, 2014).
According to my
personal experience, I would say that most instances of depression arise from
psychological and psychosocial issues. I’ve witnessed most people in the
society languish into depression because of life events including; acute stress,
work issues, divorce, financial problems, grief, medical concerns, and poor
relationships with family and friends. I also noticed that people with a
childhood or previous life trauma, weak coping strategies, and poor attitude or
personality are more susceptible to depression than their counterparts ("Depression
| NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness", 2017). Experts indicate that
other risk factors include;
•Prescription drugs – such as interferon,
corticosteroids, beta-blockers among others.
•Genetics – The risk increases if one has a first-degree
relative suffering from depression
•Previous head injuries
•Past cases of a major depression
•Abuse of recreational drugs including amphetamines and
alcohol among other drugs related to depression
•Chronic conditions such as diabetes among others
Depression is not
a simple issue and should be taken seriously. It’s crucial for individuals to
understand that depression is an illness that is easily treatable. Other than
drug treatment using antidepressants, other possible ways to manage depression
include psychotherapy (cognitive behavioral therapy) and support through
educating family members, counseling, and discussing other practical solutions ("Depression
| NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness", 2017). Moreover, people
should learn to adopt a positive attitude in life to avoid being depressed.
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