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Depression Essay, Research Paper

In today s society, we are faced with or placed in many unpredictable and stressful situations. However, many of us manage to properly analyze the situations and maintain our sanity, experiencing only a mild form of depression, if any. Others may encounter similar situations and become mentally depressed. Some reasons for being depressed are normal, such as, a death of a family member, parents divorce, or loss of job; but, depending on how long you are depressed, as a result of these misfortunate situations, can determine weather or not you are emotionally depressed. Depression is the most common psychological disorder that affects both the young and old, rich and poor, or even successful and unsuccessful people. Although depression occurs most often in individual who have little education, the truth is, we all are targets.

One form of depression that plaques our society is called major depression. Major Depression is a mood disorder characterized by extreme and persistent feelings of despondency, worthlessness, and hopelessness causing impaired emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and physical functioning (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 1998). Major Depression affects about 12 million American a year (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 1998). Individuals who suffer from this form of depression is overwhelmingly sad. Often, sadness is accompanied by feelings of quilt, worthlessness, inadequacy, emptiness, and hopelessness, even though these individuals are surrounded by friends and family, they feel along and disconnected from others (A. Schwartz, & R.M. Schwartz, 1993). Some behavioral characteristics that can exit are crying for unknown reasons, stop participating in activities that were enjoyable at one time, suffer from low self-esteem, memory might become impaired and what once an easy task is now difficult task to perform. Some physical aspects of individuals lives are affected, as well. Physically, the individuals can suffer major depression lose mental and physical energy, along with vague aches and pains. Also, individuals experience restlessness and anxiety which is exhibited through fidgeting and aimless pacing Liebowitz, 1993; Witchen & Others). Other changes include no energy, sleep disorder, and changes in eating habits which can cause weight loss or gain.

A less familiar form of depression is called SAD. Seasonal affective disorder(SAD) is a mood disorder in which episode of depression typically recur during the fall and winter and remit during the spring and summer (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 1998). During darkness, the pineal gland in the brain secretes larger amounts of the hormone melatonin, associated with drowsiness and lethargy. Light suppresses the secretion of this chemical. Although the extra melatonin secreted in winter doesn t disturb the body s chemical balance for most of us, people with SAD suffer from an overdose of their hormone (Bootzin & Acocella, 1988). This form of depression is predictable since it only occurs in the fall or winter. Women are affected by this form of depression than men.

Next, we look at bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder involving period of incapacitating depression alternating with period of extreme euphoria and excitement; formerly called manic depression (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 1998). Individuals who suffers from bipolar disorder usually will have mood changes associated with both ends of the spectrum which mean these individuals can express feeling of extreme happiness or sadness. If you do not personally know an individual who was experiencing extreme happiness, you would probably think that the individual was just overly enthusiastic. Another symptom of bipolar disorder is exaggerated opinion of oneself or false beliefs about oneself. For example, an individual suffering with bipolar disorder might think that he is someone else or think he associates with famous people that he doesn t know. Often, the individual has grandiose plans for obtaining wealth, power, and fame (Mondimore, 1993). Also, individuals suffer fast-forward speech and are frenzied. An description of fast-forward speech is loud rapid speech while shifting from topic to topic. A frenzied individual or extremely unorganized because try to perform many task simultaneously. A milder form of bipolar expression that occurs often, but is not sever enough to hospitalized an individual, is called cyclothymic disorder. In cyclothymic disorder, individuals have mood swing over a period of two years or longer.

In conclusion, we learned about three different forms of depression. One of which is associated with the fall and winter seasons. Also, we learned that some forms of depression are preventable while other forms are not so easily avoided. These forms of depression can be treated and prevent in some cases. But, the truth is, if you are an active member of society, there is chance, you can become a victim of depression. On certain occasions, depression can be closer to home than we may want to admit or think. Many of us experience depression because of certain misfortunate situations that occur in day to day living, but somehow we manage to survive the depression didn t. Maybe, because our minds are chemically balanced or because we are emotionally strong, we have survived; I not sure, why. But, remember the next time when you are depressed about a particular misfortune that it s okay to cry, be sad or angry. But, after a given amount of time, you are expected to stop crying, be happy and less angry before becoming depressed.

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