Depression: Major Depressive Disorder and Major Life Changes

Topics: Major depressive disorder, Dysthymia, Bipolar disorder Pages: 5 (1998 words) Published: October 5, 2014

All depression types are not the same, for there are various types of depressions and it’s different for each person that experiences them. Major depression, also known as clinical depression, and chronic depression, also known as dysthymia, are the most common types. But there are also other types of depression with unique signs, symptoms, and treatment. This research paper discusses major depression and dysthymia but mentions the various other forms of depressions. Major depression has many names that it can be referenced by: unipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and clinical depression. It all means the same thing; this type of depression is when the person’s disorder interferes with their everyday life. This makes it difficult for a person to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy activities that they once liked. Major depression last longer than a few days; it takes place everyday for at least two weeks. It can prevent someone from functioning properly. Symptoms of this type of depression is fatigue, unintentional weight loss or gain, irritability, insomnia, hypersomnia (excessive sleeping), hallucination, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, impaired concentration and recurring thoughts of death or suicide. When one talks about any type of depression, one of the first questions that come to mind is ‘who is at risk?’ According to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depression affects about 6.7% of the U.S. population over the age of 18 and between 20% and 25% of adults may suffer an episode of major depression. Major depression can happen to anyone and surprisingly, it affects older adults, teens, and children, but usually goes undiagnosed and untreated for them- which explains why there aren't as many statistics for their populations. Almost twice as many women as men have major depression because women go through many hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation and pregnancy that can increase the risk of developing major depression. Raising a child alone will also increase the risk. According WebMD, depression in men is mostly unreported because men who suffer from major depression are less likely to seek help or talk about their experience. Signs of depression in men include irritability, anger, or drug and alcohol abuse. Some common causes of major depression include grief from losing a loved one through death, social isolation of being deprived, major life changes like moving or retirement, personal conflicts in relationships and physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Major depression is diagnosed by a health professional, like one’s primary care doctor, who will perform a medical evaluation by asking about one’s personal and family mental health history. There are no blood tests or X-rays that can be used to diagnose major depression. However, a doctor may run blood tests to help detect any other medical problems that have symptoms similar to those of depression. For example, alcohol or drug abuse can cause some of the same symptoms as major depression. Major depression is serious but is still treatable. A doctor may recommend an antidepressant to control symptoms. Certain medicines work better for some people so it may be necessary for the doctor to try different drugs at different doses to determine which medicine works best for that patient. He or she may also suggest psychotherapy or maybe another treatment option, like shock therapy, that can be used if the drugs don't work or if the symptoms are too severe. Once one has had an episode of major depression, they are at high risk of having another one so the best way to prevent another episode of depression is to be aware of the causes of major depression and to continue taking the prescribed medication. Chronic depression, also known as dysthymia, is less severe than major depression and about 2 percent of the American population suffer from this depression. However, even though not many people suffer from it, it still is a...
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