Progression of Depression

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Mental disorders are defined as “any of various conditions characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by social, psychological, biochemical, genetic, or other factors, such as infection or head trauma”. Many mental disorders can progress into other disorders. The progression of depression, into bipolar disorder, into schizophrenia is what this paper is going to deal with. There is no known cure for any of these disorders, just ways to cope.

Clinical depression, also known as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), is among one of the leading mental disorders. Like many disorders it is not fully understood. Depression can arise in any age group, from kids to teens, young adults, middle age adults, and even elderly people. There is also something called situational depression, but this paper will not touch on that. “The exact cause of depression is not known. Many researchers believe it is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, which may be hereditary or caused by events in a person's life” (A.D.A.M.). Symptoms of depression include feeling sad, hopeless, worthless, or pessimistic. They can also include irregular sleeping and eating habits. These are only a brief over view of the beginning of depression. The list of symptoms goes on. Depression is a serious illness and has effects on the patient and their loved ones. Depression can be treated in several different ways, normally with a combination of medications and counseling. It is found to be more beneficial combining the two treatments. “Some studies have shown that antidepressant drug therapy combined with psychotherapy has better results than either therapy alone” (A.D.A.M.). From my experience, a combination of medication, combined with individual therapy as well as group therapy, works very well. Therapy, at least from what I understand, is the first thing they try with patients of depression, to understand if it is just the subject being depressed or an actual case of clinical depression. From there the doctor makes the most logical decision of whether to put the individual on medication. Medication for mental disorders is not an exact science like pain medications. It is a trial and error process. Several medications can be tried before the right one is found. When it is found, the proper dosage must then be found in a similar fashion. For patients struggling with depression it is not as easy as just taking some pills and having it be done. That is where therapy comes in. Talking over personal issues and getting advice for everyday life has proven to be greatly beneficial. Depression is a scary and ominous disorder. When life is only seen from a pessimistic outlook, all purpose seems lost. The fear of not knowing why life seems so bleak before becoming diagnosed is almost as bad as the knowledge of being diagnosed and understanding, at least partially what the disorder is. Even with all the medications out there and numerous psychologists, mental disorders can still progress and open the door for new and even more horrifying disorders. This, I believe, is what scared me the most. Bipolar disorder, “once known as manic-depressive illness, is a mood disorder” (HHL, 4). It, like most mood and mental disorders, has not been linked to any one happening which causes the disorder to take effect. Bipolar can be looked at as a coin, most of the times. On one side there is mania, the happy and energetic portion, and on the other side there is depression, being sad and sloth like. The special thing about this coin is that both sides can show at once. “The depressive and manic aspects of bipolar disorder sometimes overlap so people are tense, restless, and despondent at the same time. This combination goes by several names: mixed state, mixed affective state, dysphoric mania” (HHL). Doctor Steve Bressert in his article The Causes of Bipolar Disorder mentions a few ways this disorder is passed along. He...
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