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Major Depression - Essay Example

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Name: Title: Course: Tutor: Date: Major Depression Introduction Major depression is a debilitating and prevalent psychiatric disorder, also known as unipolar depression or clinical depression. According to Lam, major depression affects over 15 million American adults, this representing 5% to 8% of the adult population every year (8)…
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Major Depression

Download file to see previous pages... Cuijpers, Pim et al. cite major depression as the leading cause of disability in the world (137). Whereas antidepressant medication effectively corrects the imbalance in neurotransmitters, it only suppresses symptoms but does not cure and also has a varied range of side effects. Psychotherapy is a safe and efficacious approach to correct maladaptive thinking and unsatisfying behavior but is less effective than medication. Problem Major depression risks not just the health but the lives of millions of people around the world. As observed by the National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, this disorder causes disability and even death if left untreated. A combination of environmental, biological and psychological factors contributes to the development of the disorder. Whatever specific cause could be linked to depression, Lam (12) observes that scientific research firmly considers major depression as a biological medical illness. There are three neurotransmitters associated with major depression: dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. A chemical imbalance in these neurotransmitters results in major depression. ...
Illnesses such as cancer and heart disease and some forms of medications also trigger episodes of major depression. A majority of major depression episodes occur spontaneously and not as a result of being triggered by physical illness, life crises or other risks. Its onset could be mild thus not obvious. Major depression causes persistently irritable or bad mood (DeRubels, Slegle and Hollon 789). Patients exhibit pronounced changes in appetite, energy and sleep with their interest or pleasure in activities they enjoyed slowly fading away. It makes remembering, concentrating and thinking difficult. The persistent symptoms such as chronic pain, digestive disorders and headaches fail to respond to treatment. Moreover, major depression causes a feeling of emptiness, hopelessness, worthlessness and guilt and promotes recurrent death or suicide thoughts (Lam 10). These effects, especially when occurring at the same time and for longer periods, interfere with normal functioning. There is strong evidence to link major depression to biological and environmental factors. The higher prevalence of the disorder among women than men could be attributed to the psychosocial, biological, hormonal and life cycle factors that affect women more than men (Cuijpers, Pim et al. 138). Furthermore, the impact of hormones on the brain to control mood and emotions clearly points towards the biological causes of the disorder. For instance, women would be more likely to develop major depression after birth. Additionally, women facing more stress at work and home would be exposed to the disorder more than men. The medical condition associated with old age explains the biological cause of major ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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