This research seeks to investigate how depression affects humans. The research also explores causes, outlooks, treatments and the organs affected when an individual becomes depressed. This study is very important because depression affects many people across the world. There have been various researches carried out by individual researchers, as well as, other institutions on this topic. The scholars have more or less agreed about my topic, and my paper argues for a better interpretation.
A comparative case study is the methodology employed in this research. The comparative case study aids in the topic of discussion, entailing depression, organs affected during depression, its causes, outlooks and the treatments available. The comparative case study fits because of abundance of information, and by referring to previous studies and researches; this research ascertains several points made concerning depression and its causes. In addition, it establishes depression outlooks, organs affected during depression, and the treatments available.
According to research, doctors refer to depression as a "major depressive order". Depression results to a state of low mood and a dislike for activity. It affects a person's behavior, physical well being, thoughts and feelings. The feelings associated with depression include irritability, sadness, hopelessness, restlessness, anxiety, worthlessness and emptiness. Research establishes that depressed people have a tendency of losing interest in things that were pleasurable to them. Sometimes, they suffer from cognitive impairments that entail a difficulty in concentration, decision making and memory (Peacock & Casey, 2000). Many depressed people think of suicide as an alternative and if not carefully monitored, they might end up killing themselves. There is also some weight loss associated with depression. Other effects associated with depression include fatigue, insomnia, excessive sleeping, aches, digestive problems resistant to treatment and a loss of energy (Peacock & Casey, 2000). It is not necessary for all these symptoms to be present. Pygmalion effect is a term used in reference to the poor social performance and ultimate pushing away of people by depressed persons. An individual might not be aware of this effect as it occurs unconsciously.
Poor health featuring depression
Several psychiatric syndromes feature depressed mood as the central symptom. Mood disorders results to disturbances of mood and form a group of disorders. On the other hand, Major depressive disorders also known as major depression results when a person goes for two weeks in a depressed and exhibits a loss of pleasure in all activities. This condition is clinical. The major depressive disorders are also observable to people suffering from bipolar disorder. Research asserts that despite Dysthymia resulting to a state of chronic mood disorders, the symptoms associated with the ailment do not correspond to those of major depressive order in terms of episodes of severity. In addition, Dysthymia has associations to borderline personality disorder. There is also a mood disturbance known as Adjustment disorder associated with the depressed mood. This ailment is a mood disturbance appearing as a psychological response to a stressor not identifiable. The emotional and behavioral symptoms of this ailment are vital although, they do not compare to those of a major depressive episode.
Non-psychiatric illnesses and physiological problems might also result to depression. For instance, Mononucleosis, also known as glandular fever, results because of two viral infections. The symptoms associated with the illness relates to those of depressive psychiatric disorder, which means depression appears as one of the early symptoms associated to hypothyroidism that entails a reduction of activity of the thyroid gland.
Causes of Depression
The treatment of depression is difficult due to its complicated causes. According to experts, depression results due to a combination of psychological, social and biological factors. This means an individual's life choices, coping skills and relationships matter a lot in comparison to genetics (Aaron & Brad, 2009). The following are the risk factors making a person susceptible to depression. Loneliness, health problems or chronic pain, early childhood trauma or abuse, lack of social support, marital relationship problems, alcohol or drug abuse, recent stressful life experiences and financial strain. Arguably, the knowledge on the cause of an individual's depression is significant in the determination of treatment necessary. For instance, a person in a new environment, and feeling lonely or sad, finds a new hobby or makes friend at work thus receives healing (Aaron & Brad, 2009).
Outlooks to Depression
Outlooks to depression help in recognizing and treatment of the problem. This is because depression looks differently on men, young and older adults, and women. According to research, teens face a host of problems especially during puberty. This is because of a host of questions concerning, whom they are, and their rebellious nature towards their parents as they try to assert themselves. The following forms signs and symptoms of depression in teens; changes in eating and sleeping habits, frequent crying, a lack of interest in activities, lack of enthusiasm and feelings of worthlessness coupled with guilt. However, research establishes that there are dominant signs visible more on teens than their adult counterparts. These include irritability displayed through grumpiness, hostility or frustration. Secondly, a teenager has unexplained aches thus frequently complaining about physical pains. Thirdly, the teenager might end up withdrawing from some people, as they prefer isolation. Lastly, teenagers become somewhat sensitive to criticism because of feelings of worthlessness (Strosahl, Strosahl, & Robinson, 2008).
On the side of older adults, depression results due to physical illness. They also end up depressed because of medical problems such as Dementia and side effects of some drugs. The physical illnesses that might result to depression in older adults include Lupus, Cancer, stroke, thyroid disorders, heart diseases and diabetes. The signs and symptoms of depression among the elderly include weight loss, increased alcohol consumption, sadness, loss of self worth, losing interest on hobbies and social withdrawal.
Women on the other hand also have several causes of depression. Research establishes that are more prone to depression. The cause of depression to them ranges from social pressures to reproductive hormones. The significant signs and symptoms of depression in women include difficulty in concentrating, guilt feelings, depressed mood, fatigue, suicidal thoughts and lack of interest in social activities, and hobbies. Research asserts that depression in women varies from depression in men through the following ways. Firstly, women tend to experience certain symptoms more often as compared to men. Seasonal affective disorder explains the difference with women been depressed more during winter months because of lower levels of sunlight. Secondly, in atypical depression, women exhibit the opposite of symptoms expected of them such as excessive eating and sleeping. Women have biological causes of depression such as pregnancy or infertility and premenstrual problems. Their social causes of depression include sexual and physical abuse, poverty, relationship dissatisfaction and role strain. Lastly, psychological causes include changes in puberty, stress response and coping mechanism.
Men do not like to be associated with stress as they find it to be a sign of weakness and excessive emotion. The signs and symptoms of depression in men include complaining of fatigue, loss of interest in work, lack of sleep and irritability. Sometimes men exhibit violence, substance abuse, anger and aggression. Research establishes that men are more suicidal when depressed compared to other categories of people.
Effects of depression on different organs
Depression affects different body parts. The brain and the body are the most significantly affected areas. Researchers observe that depression leads to a smaller key region of the brain. This is in accordance to a research carried out at Washington University of Medicine in St. Louis. The investigators at this institution report that people who have experienced stress periods usually have smaller volumes of seahorse-shaped brain structure referred to us hippocampus, an instrument significant for the brain to learn and memorize. In addition, depression coexists virtually with other mental illnesses and this affects the brain functioning.
The bodily functions end up been affected because of depression. Among the effects include body aches low energy or libido and crying spells. Crying spells is a symptom most significant among children. This is because they lose interest in activities; isolate themselves and the feeling of worthlessness. The aches on the body result due to restlessness and irritability. Arguably, people lose interest on hobbies and activities because of lack of energy. Research reveals that when a person becomes deeply depressed, more energy consumption on makes a person not to function as usual. There will a shift of interest, which explains the lack of energy.
In adolescent who develop depression, research asserts that they have a high risk of developing and maintaining obesity (Strosahl, Strosahl, & Robinson, 2008). This is because they tend to isolate themselves, and lose interest in activities and hobbies. This is hazardous to the body of adolescents due to the hormonal changes occurring in their lives at that moment. In addition, depression increases risks of the body developing asthma and other medical illnesses.
Treatment of Depression
Doctors do asses a patient before prescribing a treatment. This evaluation consists of facts relating to a full patient medical history, thorough evaluation of symptoms and physical assessment aids in identifying the causes. The use of standardized questionnaires in this assessment helps a lot. The questionnaires include the Beck depression inventory and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. The assessment involves doctor carrying out medical examinations and selected investigations essential in ruling out other causes of depression. The tests performed include blood tests measuring TSH and thyroxin. These two tests help in exclusion of hypothyroidism and basic electrolytes. A full blood count done includes ESR, and this helps in ruling out chronic disease. Evaluation of testosterone levels occurs for diagnosing hypogonadism, which causes depression among men (Aaron & Brad, 2009).
The treatment of depression takes several forms. We have types of depression requiring talk therapy while others require a person to undergo medication. Patients need to consult a doctor before stopping a certain medication on depression. Antidepressant drug therapy assists many people suffering from depression. Research establishes that antidepressants lead to diminishing of negative thinking. Although it takes time for a person to feel better, presence of day-to-day improvement is visible. The medicines used as antidepressants include "serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors" such as sertraline, fluxamine, citalopram and escitalopram. The antidepressants work for a period of about 4-9 months before a person becomes well. Talk therapy also assists in curing depression. People suffering from depression need some guidance and counseling. There are three talk therapies; joining an experienced support group of people, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychotherapy (Aaron & Brad, 2009).
Recommendations and Conclusions
Depression has association with a person's behavior, physical well being, feelings and behavior. Different signs depict from different individuals. The causes of depression vary from psychological, social to biological. Therefore, the following recommendations are essential for prevention and treatment of depression. In home settings, people should take medications correctly and knowledge of managing side effects is essential. Secondly, volunteering and involvement in activities reduces chances of becoming depressed. Thirdly, exercise is essential as it refreshes the body and brain. Fourthly, it is vital to avoid abusing drugs such alcohol and bhang as they worsen depression. Lastly, been keen on early signs of depression will assist in a person to know how to react in preventing it from becoming worse.