Depression Essay

1122 WordsOct 22, 20095 Pages
Depression is often described by, complaints of sadness, hopelessness, and despair. This can occur at any age and if left untreated it can result in suicide. A person feels helpless, thinks their life does not matter. A major depressive disorder consists of at least one episode of serious mood depression accompanied by a number of changes in behavior. Complaints frequently include a loss of interest and pleasure, and withdrawal from activities. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, anxiety, and shame are reported because individuals with major depression view their illness as a moral deficiency. Physical symptoms that suggest emotional distress include unexplained weight loss or weight gain, disturbed sleep, decreased energy, poor eye contact, monosyllabic speech, and indifference to pleasure or joy (Human Diseases, 2006). Subcategories of depression include seasonal affective disorder, postpartum depression, dysthymia, and premenstrual dysmorphic disorder. Seasonal affective disorder is believed to be due to decreased sunlight exposure during the winter months. Postpartum depression usually occurs 2 weeks to 6 months following the birth of a child. Persistent care of the newborn, sleep deprivation, social stresses, and hormonal changes all play a role in the development of postpartum depression. Chronic depression or dysthymia is diagnosed when symptoms persist for more than 2 years. Cyclic depressive symptoms prior to menstruation may occur regularly for some women. Heredity is currently the most important predisposing factor for major depression. The risk for major depression is higher in families with a history of mood disorders. Depression in a parent contributes to depression in genetically vulnerable children, via modeling, emotional unavailability, and decreased capacity for caregiving activities. While stressful life events trigger sadness, despair,

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