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Free «Depression: Causes and Treatment» Essay Sample


For the best part of documented history of human race, they have existed with the depression disorder. For instance, it is indicated in the Bible that renowned faithful like King David were victims of this disorder and by then, it was known as black bile or melancholia and among others such as blood, phlegm and yellow bile formed the earliest group of fluids that well illustrated medical science of living things and how their body parts worked during those periods (Dryden-Edwards, and Lee 1). In addition, depression was known as clinical depression when illustrated in literature and art for over several thousands years in the past. It then brings the question on the current understanding of a depression disorder. Considering the start of the 19th century when majority understood depression only as inherited, later understanding in the following half century, brought forward by a researcher known as Freud related depression to the feel of having done an offence and state of opposition (Beck, and Alford 3). From then, another scientist John Clever understood depression on the basis of what good and bad challenges he himself experienced when he was under the care of his parents and how this correlated in developing depression. Further research in the mid twentieth century expressed depression in to two different types, one being endogenous and the other as neurotic (Dryden-Edwards, and Lee 2). All these efforts were to understand depression however, there has been a long debate on the causes, symptoms, treatments and prevention but the current understanding constitutes what majority of medical experts agree on the issue. Depression disorder is understood as a collective group of symptoms that illustrate the excitement to eager feelings that are well above the normal unhappiness or sorrow.



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Latest understanding of depression is based on what majority of health professionals agree on the condition

Revisiting the two types as earlier understood, which later became three as later discussed in this paper, the first type, endogenous illustrates that the body is the source of depression meaning depression results from genetic inheritance, or typically from the body mechanisms. On its part, neurotic depression or in other terms reactive depression strongly is influenced by the surrounding happenings/events. For instance, a death of a dear friend or lose of a most valued belonging like a nice job or home can lead to neurotic depression. Due to the eager to understand more about depression, the 1970s and 1980s lead to the interest of not only what causes depression but also how it affects the victims based on its type. This implicated that research wanted to understand how each of the two types of depression affected human beings, the symptoms (Price, “What is depression”). In this regard, the depression definition is what majority of medical scientists agree and despite several disagreements/oppositions, depression implies that the unhappiness caused by depression exhibits with higher intensity for longer periods having rigorous and harsh symptoms and feasible body malfunctioning compared to normal situations.

In addition, the symptoms of  and any indications of depression do not exhibit as the negative reasoning, feelings and characters but will also involve particular changes in how certain body parts functions. For example, such characteristics include pains on some parts of the body, lack of necessary energy, lack of appetite, weight fluctuations and sleep problems. On the functional modifications, where in clinical perspective are referred to as neuro-vegetative symptoms, they lead to changes in the functioning of the nervous system within the brain leading to several visible symptoms that comes in form of lack of interest to participate in normal tasks as well as general decrease or increase of activity level. Clinical experts also agree that individuals who are victims of the depression disorder such as bipolar depression also known as manic depression have greater potentials that they inherited the disorder.

It also comes to the understanding of majority of health professionals that depression disorders are great problems to health sector. This is because statistics indicate that millions of people continue to suffer from this condition where at least 10 % of adults experience or experienced the condition, 8 % teenagers, and 2 % young children are or have been victims of this condition, either direct or indirect (Dryden-Edwards, and Lee 1). In addition, other statistics indicate that for instance in the United States of America, the implications of depression has translated to various significant costs, some direct as in treatments and medications while others indirect like in reduced production levels due to reduced interest at work or total failure to attend work (Price, “What is depression”).

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Adolescents who have this condition are vulnerable to other problems like obesity. Others studies have indicated that depression has more impact and frequency in causing malfunctions in the body compared to other disorders like arthritis, high blood pressure, chronic lung diseases and even heart problems (Beck, and Alford 7). Moreover, depression conditions makes individual vulnerable to developing health problems such as coronary artery ailments, HIV and other related medical illnesses not forgetting that it increases the negative health effects of prevailing medical ailments leading to fatalities.

Moreover, it is understood in medical field that depression is compatible to many other mental disorders worsening the conditions of those who have the two conditions, depression and mental illness. On grown up people, depression links to chronic conditions hence having difficulties in treatments and this fact is not emphasized a lot and has led to some amazing discovery that elderly white men have greater potential of committing suicide than other people (Dryden-Edwards, and Lee 5). Concerning diagnosis, current professional understanding in diagnosis perspective indicates that most depression conditions are mostly diagnosed in basic procedures compared to the specific clinics. Despite the above facts from medical research and guidelines, depression remains undertreated generally and this is coupled by some myths about the condition.

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Myths about depression

Irrespective of scientific evidence available on the depression disorder, myths still exist about the condition and how it can be treated. For instance, some people believe that depression is a weakness as opposed to a sickness and that a victim can heal from just going strong on the condition. In addition, if one ignores depression, it can disappear. Funny enough, there is a belief that wealthy and intelligent individual are free from depression and only those with development problems are the potential victims (Dryden-Edwards, and Lee 2).

Types and symptoms of depression

As stated earlier, depression conditions are related to mood and can exhibit in various kinds just like other ailments. In the three types of depression, they will exhibit varied characteristics in terms of the number of occurrences, degree of the condition as well as the severity of the symptoms. It will also be seen that age is a factor of the disorder. First type is the major depression. This kind of depression will have symptoms that will be experienced in over a fortnight continuously. These will include the mood character fluctuations that will end up affecting the capability to undertake tasks like in one’s occupation, sleep, feeding and other preferred events/activities. Any problems that relate to sleep and eating will take the both extremes, either at reduced rates or at the extreme levels. The major depression can at times occur at times during a lifetime of an individual causing disability (Price, “What is depression”).

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The second type of depression is the dysthymia. This is the kind of depression that does not exhibit as a severe condition but will be persistent for longer periods comparing it to major depression. It will basically constitute chronic symptoms that do not possess disabling capabilities but will limit the level of functionality of an individual as well as the mood. In addition, there are circumstances when individuals having a dysthymia conditions can experience major depressions and whenever this happens, then the condition becomes a double-depression (Price, “What is depression”).

The third type is the bipolar condition also referred to as manic depression. This type includes a combination of the state of the mind and feelings and it has a certain order that correlates positively with inheritance. It is not common as the other two disorders and will constitute recurring periods of mood variations which can include one or more mania conditions which can at times combine with depression conditions. In addition, the bipolar depression symptoms are mostly long-lasting and repeating where in extreme conditions they can be vividly striking and fast but generally the changes remain steady (Beck, and Alford 90). During the depressed cycle, a victim will experience some or majority of depression symptoms. On manic cycle, the manic symptoms will be experienced either as particular signs or majority of them. The manic cycle will influence reasoning, judgment and social characters in a manner that will result to serious troubles and a feel of awkwardness and shame. For instance, unbalanced or dangerous decisions that include unsafe sexual activities, and poor critical business decisions can happen when someone is in manic cycle.

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There exists a varying form of bipolar disorders which takes the form of a bipolar II as opposed to the initial bipolar condition (bipolar I). The bipolar II condition is a group of occurring symptoms where the victim will experience recurring depression situation with hypomania or mini-highs interrupting the depression episodes. However, these intense feeling of excitement in bipolar II do not qualify as significant manic conditions that happen in bipolar I.

Symptoms of depression

The symptoms that accompany depression and mania do not necessary exhibit in every victim thus some individuals will experience less symptoms compared to others. In addition, the degree of intensiveness will also vary with different individuals affecting the occurrence of the early signs of the condition. Nevertheless, the major symptoms that accompany major and manic depressions include, intense sadness, anxiety, irritation, a feel of hopelessness, tendency of being gloomy and worse expectations, lack of interest of once enjoyed activities as well as social isolation where a victim will do his/her best to avoid associations with close family members and friend. In addition, a victim will experience insomnia, unusual sleep periods, lack of or excessive appetite that affects weight, suicidal reasoning, difficulties in concentrating, poor making of decisions and experience persistent symptoms that fail to respond to medication like headaches. As much as the above symptoms prove general to depressed victims, young children and teenagers will have a specific class of symptoms that may or may not include the above symptoms (Price, “What is depression”). These include poor performance in school, continual boredom, unrelenting headaches and stomach problems. In addition, some of the general symptoms may fail to typically exhibit in young children as expected and these include varied sleeping behaviors, sadness and funny feeding characters. For teens, depression can lead to the lack of concern of one’s safety. On its part, manic depression has its own symptoms and they include unnecessary delightfulness, irritability, lack of sleep, poor speech, rapid reasoning, increased sexual urge, high energy level, inappropriate judgments and unacceptable social characters (Dryden-Edwards, and Lee 2). This then leads to the need to understand what causes depression.

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Causes of depression

There have been speculations on the causes of depression but later discoveries indicate that some types of depression are inherited indicting the potential feasible for one to acquire the disorder through the biological risk present (Price, “What is depression”). With regard to this, bipolar depression mostly links to inheritance. For instance, research conducted on victims from families in each of their generation has shown that these sick individuals have generally a different genetic character compared to the normal individuals of the same family. However, this does not indicate that all individuals with genetic character similar to those with bipolar depression disorder will eventually develop the condition. On the other hand, obviously stressful situations can contribute to bipolar depression with the understanding of the environment helping in prevention (Griffith et al. 251). On its part, major depression also link to inheritance but not as persistent as bipolar conditions. Contrary to bipolar, major depression can affect individuals in families that have no history of the condition.

In other circumstances, external influences contribute to occurrence of depression. For instance, as mentioned earlier, a significant loses of like a family member or relative can initiate depression. Other socioeconomic factors can also contribute to depression. For example, in the United States of America, immigrants are at higher risk of being in depression in cases where there are language barriers (Dryden-Edwards, and Lee 3). Irrespective of moral principals, men will have higher chances of developing stress due to employment factors, social status, separations compared to women. On their part, women who are victims of emotional and physical abuse like rape will mostly be at risk of developing stress (Beck, and Alford 44).

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Diagnosis of depression

To majority of people, they will hesitate in deciding whether to visit a health professional concerning depression and as some may opt to take depression self tests, there will be questions on the symptoms. Nevertheless, an individual can start by considering for instance, whether sadness lasts for more than fourteen days affecting capacity to work and association with others. This can however fail to bring out proper diagnosis results. For proper diagnosis, thorough physical and psychological examinations should be undertaken to establish any presence of depression and what type if present. In addition, proper diagnosis will inquire about when the symptoms started, the duration they have been present, how severe they are and whether the symptoms have occurred in the past (Price, “What is depression”).

Treatment for depression

There exists different medication for depression but medical experts later came to realize that varying ethnic communities will have varying response to these medications which also has varying side effects (Dryden-Edwards, and Lee 5). All the same, medications like antidepressants will work to increase serotonin levels in the brain that reduces due to depression. It works to inhibit serotonin uptake by the brain. The increasing concentration of serotonin ends up activating dormant cells made so by depression hence relieving the frustrating depression symptoms. As all individuals are biochemically different, they will respond differently to this kind of treatment. The other medication is the use of dual-action antidepressants. Despite the effect of most of depression medication like MAOIs, TCAs and Selective Serotonin, reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), other antidepressants, will affect nor epinephrine and serotonin concentrations, others will differently influence brain’s chemical transmitters (neuro-transmitters). New discoveries indicate promising success in treating depression as they activate serotonin and ner pinephrines specifically for individuals with chronic conditions. These dual-action antidepressant medications include venlafaxine and duloxetine (Price, “What is depression”).

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Apart from the chemical medications, psychotherapies exists to treat depression and these help patients in understanding their problems hence managing them better. Psychotherapies can run between 10 and 20 weeks touching on the interpersonal and thinking/character aspects, and for example psychodynamic therapies help in treating childhood acquired characters (Dryden-Edwards, and Lee 6). Prevention measures majorly features having positive lifestyles that include healthy diets, counseling, exercises and avoiding idleness (All-on Depression-Help n.d.).


Based on the above research, depression disorder is understood as a collective group of symptoms that illustrates the excitement to eager feelings that are well above the normal unhappiness or sorrow. This understanding is based on the agreements that medical experts arrive at concerning the disorder. However, irrespective of the existing medical evidences on the condition, myths and opposing arguments affect efforts made to manage the condition. On the different types of depression, major depression, dysthymia depression, and bipolar depression are the major types caused by inheritance and external effects. To treat the condition, antidepressants, dual-action antidepressants and psychotherapy procedures exist to manage the condition


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