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Depression Essay, Research Paper


Everybody has “the blues” or “feels down” from time to time. It’s normal

to feel sad for short periods, especially if something bad had happened in our

lives. But those of us who suffer from depression have much more than “the

blues”, and our feelings can last for a long time.

There are many sufferers of this illness; at any one time, 5% of

Canadians are depressed, and 10-20% will suffer from it at one point in their


But family and friends who’ve never experienced true depression can have

trouble understanding what it’s like. Many people find it difficult to think of

depression as an illness because their are no obvious physical symptoms. But

depression is an illness, which is caused by chemical changes in the brain. Few

people think that a physical illness is the sufferer’s fault-and no one should

think depression is, either.

Like any other illness, depression has certain symptoms. Once these have

been recognized, you can take measures to treat them. Some are: feeling sad,

worried or depressed; feeling as if your life is dreary and unlikely to improve;

had crying spells; become irritated over little things that didn’t used to

bother you; find you no longer enjoy hobbies and activities that once made you

happy; feel a lack of self-confidence or feeling like a failure; lost your

appetite, or are eating more than usual; have had trouble sleeping, or been

sleeping too much; had trouble concentrating and making decisions; and thought

about death and/or suicide.

Knowing the causes for depression can help depressed people, friends,

family understand how painful it is and why it’s not possible to “snap out of

it”. It’s still not completely clear why depression happens to some of us and

not to others, but their are some triggers: stressful events or a loss, physical

illness, hormone levels, and use of certain medications, drugs, or alcohol.

Most of us think sadness when we think of depression, but there are

other physical, emotional, and mental effects, too. Many depressed people feel

helpless, and as if this is the way that they are going to feel forever. They

have a lack of energy and a lack of interest in life. It’s hard for them to ever

imagine feeling happy or excited again. Some may withdraw and be less sociable.

They may also become short-tempered and difficult to please. No one can do

anything right. The world of depression is a lonely place to be.

Physical problems can also occur. Some may have trouble getting to sleep

or wake up a lot during the night. Others just want to sleep all the time. It

can also cause someone to lose his or her appetite, or want to eat all the time.

They may crave sweets, and have stomach pains, constipation, headaches, sweating,

a racing heart, or other symptoms.

But these days, there are many ways to treat depression. That means no

depressed person should suffer needlessly. Medical care, antidepressant

medications, counselling, and the support of family and friends are all

effective in treating depression. Keep in mind that the most important step in

treating depression is SEEKING HELP. If you are depressed, please take a few

minutes to call your doctor today, so you can start feeling better as soon as

possible. And remember… there is hope.

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