Serious Medical Conditions: Depression Essay

2098 words - 9 pages

Depression is a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a normal way. It brings together a variety of physical and psychological symptoms which together constitute a syndrome. At least 10% of people in the U.S. will experience major depressive disorder at some point in their lives. Twice as many women as men experience major depression and is known as the common cold among psychological disorders. Like the common cold, there are many types of depression.
Depression comes in many shapes and forms. The different types of depression have unique symptoms, causes, and effects. Knowing what type of depression you have can help you manage your symptoms and get the most effective treatment. The most general and popular depression is the major depression. “Major depression is characterized by the inability to enjoy life and experience pleasure,” (Smith 1). The symptoms are constant, but range from severe to moderate. Most of the time major depression is a recurrent disorder, but some people, though rare, experience only one episode. Dysthymia is a recurrent, mild depression, where you find yourself for many days “mildly or moderately depressed, although you may have brief periods of normal mood,” (Smith 1). The symptoms are not as strong and evident as major depression, but they last longer-- as in two years long. A condition known as “double depression” is when people have both major depression and dysthymia. People diagnosed with dysthymia feel like they’ve always been depressed or they may believe that having that low mood is normal because they lived that way for a long period of time. On the other hand, cyclothymia is another type of depression where it’s also similar to bipolar disorder, in which the sick person has moods of depression, not as severe as major depression, and they are quick and short and then usually switch to an elevated mood. Cyclothymia is not a full blown bipolar disorder (Smith 1). Bipolar disorder also has depressed moods and elevated moods, but also has “normal” moods in between. Depression has many different types, and so the causes are in no surprise numerous as well.
With so many different types of depression, the list of causes is endless. However, the most common causes include abuse, medications, conflicts, death or a loss, genetics, major events, serious illnesses, substance abuse, and other personal problems. Abuse, which could be physical, sexual or emotional, in the early stages of life can cause depression in the later years of someone’s life. Researchers believe that abuse harms parts of the hippocampus, part of brain, which causes him to be more vulnerable to depression. Specific medications have side effects that is or can lead to depression. Medications can off balance the chemicals levels in the brain, producing depression, An example would be the acne treatment, Accutane or the antiviral drug, interferon-alpha. Someone can also...

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