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Depression — Causes, Prevalence, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Depression— Causes, Prevalence, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Depression— Causes, Prevalence, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Depression,also known as depressivedisorder, is a mental condition in which people experience low moodsin various situations that can last for even more than 10 days.Victims of depression exhibit low energy levels, low self-esteem, andpain from unclear causes, and loss of interest and withdrawal fromenjoyable activities. Besides, others may see or hear sounds thatother people around them cannot. These symptoms may vary amongvictims and can negatively affect the social life of the subject, forexample, work life, family relations, eating and general health.According to Pattonand Lauren (2015),persons with depressive disorders stand at a higher risk ofcommitting suicide. This paper will talk about the causes,prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment of depression.

Thereare various explanations for the causes of depression.Accordingto Lynchand Barber (2014),bio-psychosocial and diathesis-stress models have been used toexplain causes of depression. Based on the biopsychosocial model,various causes of depression include biological, psychological, andsocial factor. Based on diathesis-stress model, depressive disordersoccur when vulnerabilities are exacerbated stressful experiences. Inthis case, pre-existing vulnerabilities can recur due to nature,nurture, genetic factors, or the interaction of nature and nurture.Lastly, physical injuries to the cerebellum can also causeincapacitation of cognitive coordination resulting in depression.Therefore, the process of dealing with depression should considerthese various causes.

Depressionis highly prevalent. According to Fournier,DeRubeis, Hollon, Dimidjian, Amsterdam, Shelto and, Fawcett (2014),a significant 3.6 percent (270 million) of the global population isaffected by major depressive disorders, but which vary acrossregions. For instance, in China and France, the statistics ofaffected populations are 7 and 21 percent respectively. As Driessenand Hollon (2013)notes, the lifetime prevalence of depressive disorder tends to behigher in developed countries (16 percent) than developing countries(11 percent). In most cases, the mental complications set in whenindividuals reach the ages 20s and the 30s. In this regard,depression is indisputably a serious problem that needs to beaddressed.

Varioussigns and symptoms are applied in diagnosis of depression. Peoplewith depression disorder experience low mood that affects other lifeaspects, for example, lack of interest in events that the victimfound pleasurable before. Besides, they may experience lowself-esteem, unnecessary regrets in life, self-hatred, lowconcentration, and fatigue. Severe depression can lead to psychosis,whose symptoms are hallucinations and delusions. Besides, the mentaleffects of depression include loss of concentration, poor memory,suicide ideation, irritability, reduction in sex life and withdrawalfrom social activities. Victims have also been observed to sufferfrom insomnia and hyper-insomnia (Lynchand Barber, 2014).Clearly,the signs and symptoms can be easily noted.

Variousmodalities to depression exist. Patton and Lauren (2015)note that there are three treatment modalities for depression. Thesemodalities are psychotherapy, medication, and electroconvulsivetherapy. Psychotherapy has been preferred for medication of victimsbelow the age of 18 years old. However, other modalities such asexercise and transcranial magnetic stimulation have been lauded to beeffective. Besides, medication guidelines recommend that psychosocialinterventions and antidepressants combination treatment should onlybe adopted if the victim has a history of severe, moderate, and longmild depression, as a first line intervention with present moderateto severe interventions, and as a second line intervention for milddepression that persists after exploitation of all otherinterventions. According to Gilbody,House and Sheldon (2015),treatment of depression should focus on eliminating dysfunctionalbehavioral attributes exhibited by victims and consider the severityof the symptoms, pre-existing disorders, and victim’s preferences.Based on this discussion, successful treatment for depression shouldobserve this protocol.

Inconclusion, depression is a mental condition in which victimsexperience low moods in various situations. Victims of depressionexhibit low energy levels, low self-esteem, pain from unclear causesand social problems.Depressive disorders are attributed to biological, social, andpsychological factors, whose treatment modalities includepsychotherapy, medication, and electroconvulsive therapy. Therefore,any interventional approach should consider these causes.


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FournierJC, DeRubeis RJ, Hollon SD, Dimidjian S, Amsterdam JD, Shelton RC,Fawcett J (2014). &quotAntidepressant drug effects and depressionseverity: a patient-level meta-analysis&quot. JAMA.303(1): 47–53.

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