Mental Illness: Understanding Depression

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Understanding Depression
Cassie McFadden
General Psychology

Understanding Depression
Many mental health disorders may affect one’s life to a point of not being able to function. However, one of the most common is depression which is a mental illness causing continuous lethargy, sadness, and even thoughts of suicide.

Like many other health conditions, there are several possible symptoms and the disease is not exactly the same in any two people. According to the National Institute of Mental Health common symptoms include, but are not limited to sadness, anxiety, or a hollow feeling, feelings of guilt, irritability, lack of interest or participation in previous hobbies or sex, fatigue, lethargy, increased difficulty remembering or concentrating, insomnia or hypersomnia, eating too little or too much, persistent headaches or body aches. Depression can occur in anyone at any point in their life. “Most likely, depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain. Longstanding theories about depression suggest that important neurotransmitters—chemicals that brain cells use to communicate—are out of balance in depression. But it has been difficult to prove this.” (National Institute of Mental Health, 2012) Although depression is not prejudice and can occur in anyone, women are most commonly affected by the illness. “Biological, life cycle, hormonal, and psychosocial factors that women experience may be linked to women's higher depression rate. Researchers have shown that hormones directly affect the brain chemistry that controls emotions and mood.” (National Institute of Mental Health) In conclusion, depression is a very serious illness that affects many people every day. Especially for people suffering from chronic or severe depression, it may seem like there is not any hope. However, depression can be managed with proper medications which will promote a...
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