Depression Essay

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August 17, 2011 Clinical 3 What is Depression? Clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for a longer period of time. Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods. Symptoms Depression can alter or change the way a patient see himself, his life or those around him. Often patients with depression usually see everything with a more negative attitude, unable to imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way. Symptoms of depression can include: • Agitation, restlessness, and irritability • Dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss • Very difficult to concentrate • Fatigue and lack of energy • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness • Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt • Becoming withdrawn or isolated • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed • Thoughts of death or suicide • Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping Causes The exact cause of depression is not known. Many researchers believe it is caused by chemical changes in the brain. This may be due to a problem with your genes, or triggered by certain stressful events. More likely, it is believed that it’s a combination of both. Some types of depression run in families. But depression can also occur if there is no family history of the illness. Anyone, even children can develop depression. The following are possible causes of depression: • Alcohol or drug abuse • Certain medical conditions, including underactive thyroid, cancer, or long-term pain • Certain medications such as steroids • Sleeping problems • Stressful life events, such as: o Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend o Failing a class o Death or illness

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