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has been termed as common, but a serious mood disorder that happensto every individual at least once in a lifetime and others may evenhave multiple episodes. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is defined asa mental disorder that is characterized by at least two weeks of alow mood. This condition makes one to loose pleasure or interest innormally enjoyed activities, loss of appetite and disturbance insleep, difficulty in thinking and making decisions, low self-esteem,suicidal thoughts or attempts, feelings of guilt, low energy and painwithout a clear cause(Lam, 2012). is ubiquitous, and many people may fail to seek medicalattention thus, peopleshould be aware of the importance of their mental health and how tomanage it, which will eventually help to reduce the number of thosewith the condition.

Major Disorder

Thereis a need that people should be more informed about major depressiondisorder because it has increased significantly. Over the years,people have been trying to find out the cause of the mentaldepressive disorder, but to no avail. Despite this, there have beengreat advances in finding out the factors that increase the risks ofdeveloping it. One of the factors that may cause depression may bethat it runs in families. Studies found out that those patientswithout a family history of depression from the genetic point of viewseem to be less vulnerable to depression and they will only beaffected by severe events to precipitate depression compared to thosewho are more vulnerable to it (Ranch,2015).Moreover, people with low self-esteem, the tendency to worry a lot,perfectionists and those sensitive to criticism tend to be vulnerableto depression.

Peoplereact differently to various things in their lives. Studies found outthat many people become depressed after they experience a traumaticevent (Ranch,2015).Painful events that traumatize and cause stress such as the loss ofloved ones, divorce, medical illness, such as cancer, accidents,humiliating or disappointing experiences or loss of property triggersdepression because they cause a major emotional upheaval. A personwith experience of a stressful or traumatizing event may be morevulnerable to clinical depression than those who have no experience.Furthermore, some major changes in life such as losing a job,marriage, retirement, and relocation may also cause depression beforeone could cope up with their new conditions.

Additionally,certain physical illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, heart diseaseamong others and medications such as steroids may cause depression(Keller&amp American Psychiatric Association, 2013). When one is diagnosed of any of these illnesses, they must adjust toits demands and treatments, which affect a person’s mobility andindependence. For these reasons, a person may despair and may alwaysfeel sad, which may eventually lead to depression.

Aphysician must be able to identify some major symptoms so as to beable to give the right diagnosis to a patient. Once in a lifetimepeople may feel sad or hopeless, even those who are rich and may seemto have everything may also have this feeling(Keller &amp American Psychiatric Association, 2013).One cannot be diagnosed with a mental disorder when they experiencesuch feelings for the first time, but continuous events may lead todepression disorder diagnosis. If one shows a positive response totwo essential features of clinical depression, then a physician maysuspect that the patient has a major depressive disorder.

takes a toll of all aspects in a person’s life. It is not justabout experiencing the feelings of sadness or the “blues,” but italso affects the body and the mind. In one way or another, majordepression disorder affects sleep, relationships, work, appetite, andeating patterns. It also damages self-confidence, self-esteem, andthe ability to carry out each day’s activities. People withdepression get tired easily even without working and cannot getthemselves to rest since they cannot sleep. Moreover, they loseinterest and pleasure in activities that they once enjoyed. Thissense of sadness ruins relationships since one cannot be social andwill majorly stay alone or overreact over small issues. makes one to view life differently and behaves like there is a darkcloud that covers their life, world, and the future and these makesthem hopeless. This feeling cannot be ignored or easily willed away,thus people with this disorder should seek the help of a physician.

Signsand Symptoms of

Peopleshould also be able to identify the signs and symptoms of mentaldepression disorder so as to seek help. When one is depressed, onefeels blue, sad and down in the dumps, which is a state calleddysphoria and anhedonia, which is a lack of interest and pleasure inmost activities. For one to be diagnosed with the major depressivedisorder, a patient should experience at least five of depressivesymptoms, which must persist most of the days for at least two weeks.Some of the mood signs and symptoms due to depression includesdepressed moods every day, loss of interest in sexual activities,feeling worthless and guilty for no reason, sadness and loss ofinterest and enjoyment in most activities that were once enjoyable.Some physical symptoms include irritability, a decrease in appetiteand sleep, lack of energy, emotional numbness and pains withoutreasonable cause.

Furthermore,some of the signs that may be seen in a person’s behavior includepsychomotor disturbances, social withdrawal such that it createsdistance in relationships and not being effective in completingtasks. Additionally, it may result in psychological disorders, somesigns associated with it include distractibility, loss ofself-esteem, suicidal thoughts, poor decision making, lack ofconcentration and losing memory, hopelessness and lack of motivationto do anything. Some people may even stop bathing or brushing theirteeth and grooming and stay indoors almost every day.

Thedoctors should also try to find out about the major factors that maycause depression such as if it is hereditary. There have been a lotof studies that try to find out about the relationship between thisfactor and depression. Some characteristics run in families such asthe color of hair or height, but some struggle with other hereditaryfactors that are darker such as depression(Ranch, 2015).Having a family member with depression has been termed as a factorthat increases a person’s vulnerability to depression. Researcherscarried out a study to determine these factors by examining a certainfamily that had survived an earthquake in Armenia and its generation(Ranch, 2015).They found out that 60% of the depressive episodes that the familymembers experienced after the traumatic event had a genetic link(Ranch, 2015).According to this study, it suggests that a person’s DNA plays somepart in a person’s likeness in getting mental depression. Some ofthe studies also found out that one specific gene is linked todepression as it determines those who are more vulnerable thanothers. Thus, doctors should be able to find a solution to the linkbetween a person’s DNA and depression disorder.

SideEffects of

Mentaldisorder has a lot of side effects, especially when not treated andpeople should be able to avoid it so as to live a healthy life.First, it greatly impacts a person’s appetite such that a personcan eat too much or binge, which will in turn increase chances forobesity and its related illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes orhypertension. It may also lead to loss of appetite, which may resultin malnutrition, cramps, constipation or stomachaches. Moreover,people with depression may start to hallucinate and experience somedelusional thinking, which is major a symptom of psychosis(National Health Service (NHS), 2016).Patients with severe clinical depression may start to hear voices,see objects, feel or smell things that are not there, but they seemsto be real to the person experiencing them. These hallucinationscause a lot of panics and may make victims hurt themselves or otherstherefore, they should seek help as soon as they realize theircondition.

Sometimesin life, people embrace stress as it keeps them alert and helps themto be mobile, especially when trying to meet deadlines, or preparingfor a competition thus, it improves the way one performs. Despitethis, they should be able to realize that too much and prolongedstressful episodes may lead to the development of major depressiondisorder in people who are susceptible to it. Stress has been termedas one of the main causes of depression and also its side effect. Ina person’s life, there are a lot of demands that causes stress suchas work, financial issues and relationships, which can, in turn,affect how one feels, behaves, thinks, and how the body works.Chronic stress patterns can eventually lead to an increasedsusceptibility to mental depression disorder and people should beable to avoid it.

Whatis Known about

Accordingto the National Institute of Mental Health, major depressivedisorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United Statesthat affected about 16 million adults who are 18 years and older(as cited in Pratt &amp Brody, 2014).As a result, people should be more sensitive about their mentalhealth because the rate at which people are developing depression isalarming. The mental depressive disorder has been termed as a majorfactor that contributes to the disability of most Americans between15 and 44 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that350 million people across the world suffer from mental depression.Another study that was conducted by National Health and NutritionExamination Survey in 2009-2012 found out that Americans of 12 yearsof age and over had depression. The study also found out that personswho were poor were almost two and half times more likely to bedepressed than their counterparts who are well off. Furthermore, italso reported that approximately 43% of people who had severedepression symptoms showed serious difficulties in their work, socialactivities and at home. Among those who had severe symptoms ofdepression, “only 35% reported having contacted a mental healthprofession in the past one year,”which should be increased (Pratt &amp Brody, 2014).

Thegovernment should address issues of mental health because somestudies found out that “by the year 2020, depression is projectedto be ranked at the second place in Disability Adjusted Life Year(DALYs) calculated for every age,” (Saisan,Smith, &amp Segal, 2016).Physicians and caregivers have also associated it with a high degreeof suicide, personal disability, and multiple morbidity and loss ofquality in most of the patient’s life, careers and social life.Additionally, depression has been indicated to be two or three timesmore common for persons with chronic illnesses than those without.

Accordingto the National Institute of Mental Health, 70 percent of women aremore vulnerable to depression than their male counterparts in allaspects of life (Pratt&amp Brody, 2014).Hormones have been majorly associated with this fact because womenexperience hormone imbalance during menopause, menstruation, andpregnancy.

Thosewho use drugs and alcohol should be sensitive about their mentalhealth because it can lead to depression or result from it. Peoplewho use drugs will often notice changes in their moods. Depressedpeople may use drugs and alcohol to help them cope with theirconditions. A report that was published in the Journalof American Medical Association indicatesthat almost 50% of individuals with severe mental disorders aremajorly affected by substance use (Saisanet al., 2016).Also, it indicated that 29% of people with mental illness abusedeither drugs or alcohol and 53% of those who abuse drugs and 37% ofalcohol abusers have at least a serious mental disorder (Saisanet al., 2016).

Overtime, there have been increasing evidence that stress, which finallyleads to depression majorly involves a person’s brain structure,which people should be aware. Some of the brain’s chemical levelsthat increase during stressful moments may remain high and causedepression. According to the brain imaging studies, “the brainparts that are involved in memory, making decisions and mood maychange in size and function in response to depressive events,”(Mental Health America, 2016).Therefore, there is a need that patients get a proper medicaltreatment so as to reverse or prevent the changes in the brain.

TheBest Treatment for

Antidepressantswork differently for every person and doctors may recommend them fortheir patients before they could opt for psychotherapy, which is thebest treatment for depression. Thus, a patient should consult aphysician, so that he/she can get the appropriate medication forhis/her condition. Antidepressants may take up to two weeks beforethey start showing their effectiveness.

Psychotherapyalso known as “talk therapy” is an effective way of trying tohelp people with mental depression and doctors should alwaysrecommend it for their patients because it helps them identify andchange troubling emotions, behavior, and thoughts. Despitepsychotherapy’s effectiveness, doctors tend to recommend otherforms of medication such as the use of depressants because they viewpsychotherapy as a more evolving process which needs a lot of talkingas compared to the nature of their specialization. Doctors tend to doless talking and much writing, which shows that they are lesseffective in carrying out “talk therapy”.Despite this, mostpeople with mental illness will choose to visit their family doctorsbecause of the fear of stigmatization in the society when people findout that they visit psychotherapists.

Psychotherapistsare more specialized to treat and help people with mental illness byuse of “talk therapy” when compared to doctors. Psychotherapistswill always recommend “talk therapy” for their clients beforeprescribing other medications. Therefore, there is a need for doctorsto recommend psychotherapy for their clients if they suspect mentaldisorder since they are not specialized in therapy treatment, whichis more effective than other forms of medication. For therapy to bemore effective, one must find a trained mental health careprofessional, and the counseling session can either be done in agroup or one on one. There are different types of psychotherapiessuch as cognitive behavioral therapy and evidence-based therapy fromwhich the physician will choose the appropriate one for theirpatients depending on the patient’s condition.

Whenother forms of medication fail, doctors should recommend the useelectroconvulsive therapy, which stimulates the patient’s brain andhas been termed to be among the safest and most effective(Mental Health America, 2016).This form of medication “involves electrodes that are placed on thepatient’s scalp, then a controlled current is applied while thepatient is under anesthesia, which then causes a seizure in thebrains,” which relieves the severe symptoms of depression in thepatient(Mental Health America, 2016).The doctors should use this form of treatment to treat persistentdepression disorders, especially those with suicidal thoughts andattempts.


Thereis a need for people to make few changes in their life because it isthe best thing one can do to boost moods and avoid depression. Thebest antidepressants and therapies cannot do as much as having enoughrest, healthy eating, and exercise. Studies have found out thatdepression and sleep are correlated because losing sleep, causesdepression and when one is depressed they lack sleep (Gitalis,2014).Sleep time varies with age, but an individual should at least have 7to 8 hours of sleep every night. This helps the body to relax afterworking or being awake all day, which shows that every person shouldbe able to get enough time to sleep.

Moreover,people should exercise as it is good for physical health and can helpto boost a person’s mood, depression, and anxiety. Researcherstried to study the efficiency of exercise in depressed patients byasking them to pedal a stationary bike (Gitalis,2014).They measured the amount of stress hormones before and afterexercise, and they found out that the amount had greatly reduced.Another way that people should embrace to improve their mental healthis healthy eating. There is a need for people to regulate the amountsof sugar intake, which can help one to avoid depression since highsugar concentration increases the chances for a lousy mood, which mayeventually lead to mental disorder (Gitalis,2014).


Therehave been great advances towards eradication of mental illnesses bydifferent associations, despite this, there is a need for everyindividual to avoid depression by ensuring that they exercise, sleepwell and eat healthy as prevention is better than cure. Additionally,those with depression should seek immediate medical attention so asto avoid severe mental illness. Government should also collaboratewith hospitals to ensure that every citizen is aware of mentaldepression disorder. This will help increase the number of peopleseeking medical attention as a result of depression, which will inturn reduce the number of people with the disorder.


Gitalis,&nbspJ.(2014, March 12). The 5 Best Ways To Prevent Naturally -mindbodygreen. Retrieved fromhttp://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12914/the-5-best-ways-to-prevent-depression-naturally.html

Keller,&nbspM.&nbspB.,&amp American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Clinicalguide to depression and bipolar disorder: Findings from theCollaborative Study(1st&nbsped.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Pub.

Lam,&nbspR.&nbspW.(2012). (2nd&nbsped.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

MentalHealth America. (2016). Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) | MentalHealth America. Retrieved from http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/ect

NationalHealth Service (NHS). (2016, May 10). Clinical depression – psychoticdepression – NHS Choices. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nhs.uk/Conditions//Pages/psychotic-depression.aspx

Pratt,&nbspL.&nbspA.,&amp Brody,&nbspD.&nbspJ. (2014). in the United StatesHousehold Population, 2007-2012. PsycEXTRADataset.doi:10.1037/e565102009-001

Ranch.(2015, December 14). Understanding the Role of Heredity in. Retrieved fromhttps://www.recoveryranch.com/articles/therapy/depression-heredity/

Saisan,&nbspJ.,Smith,&nbspM., &amp Segal,&nbspJ. (2016). Substance Abuse &ampMental Health: Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders. Retrievedfromhttp://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/substance-abuse-and-mental-health.htm