Depression - Research Paper Example

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Depression Class Title March 9, 2013 Depression Introduction and brief history The earliest writings associated with depression describe the disorder as being an unstable and disturbed mental state that caused fear and despondency in the patient…
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Download file to see previous pages Depression is split into categories based on the cause of depression and the intensity of the symptoms that an individual experiences. These branches of depression, which will be discussed herein, include manic depression, seasonal depression, and postpartum depression. Our knowledge of depression dates back as far as ancient Greece. In those days, due to the lack of understanding of what depression and its causes were, depression was referred to as melancholia. It was a dark mood that people would succumb to, but it was believed that it was a state of mind that could be overcome with proper treatment. Given its depth in history, it has never been determined who originally discovered depression. However, it was approximately around the fourteenth century when the disorder was no longer being referred to as melancholia as physicians began to understand the consequences of the mood disorder. In 1665, English author Richard Baker used the word depression to describe the emotions and physical symptoms that accompany the medical condition as we know it today. As the existence of depression dates back many centuries, there is a plethora of studies and literature at our disposal that have allowed us to gain a better understanding of depression’s many aspects. ...
Who is at risk? Depression is among many of the mood disorders that has no defined demographics. While depression is most common in African Americans, females, and persons between the ages of forty and fifty-nine (Johnson & Miller 246), there is not a single person exempt from the possibility of developing this disorder. The risk of becoming afflicted does not center so much on one’s age, gender or ethnicity, but on their mental state, the environment in which they live, and the circumstances surrounding their life. For example, individuals who work in law enforcement, the military, as an emergency responder, or in a hospital or emergency room are at a high risk for developing many of the aforementioned types of depression. Symptoms Regardless of the type of depression that an individual has been diagnosed with, the symptoms are primarily the same for each subtype. The criteria outlined in the DSM-IV TR for depression states that individuals “must have a total of five symptoms for at least two weeks and represent a change from previous functioning. At least one of the symptoms must be depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure” (American Psychiatric Association 591). These symptoms include a consistently depressed mood; a lack of interest in activities or hobbies that once held pleasure; significant weight loss or weight gain, or an increase or decrease in daily appetite; insomnia; restlessness; loss of energy; feelings or guilt or worthlessness; an inability to concentrate; and thoughts of death, or contemplation of or attempted suicide. Other characteristics need to be taken into consideration before a diagnosis can be made. One such characteristic is that the symptoms that an individual is experiencing must be causing distress or otherwise impairing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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