Depression is defined as a mental state typically involving the feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, and great sadness (Psychology- Principles in Psychology, 2003). Many doctors who have patients who show signs of these symptoms may ask for a psychical examination of the patient, a psychiatric evaluation, and in some cases even lab tests (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018). There are many causes of depression, these causes can range from abuse, certain medications, conflict, death or a loss, genetics, major events, personal problems, serious illness, or even substance abuse (WebMD LLC, 2018). Along with many causes of depression, there are also many types of depression. The types are major depression, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, psychotic disorder, postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, situational depression, and atypical depression (WebMD LLC, 2018).
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Depression can sometimes be obvious to people around you or it can be disguised and hidden from outside viewers. To be diagnosed with depression, one must have five or more of the following symptoms present for at least two weeks, including either a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The apparent symptoms used to diagnose depression include depressed mood, lack of interest and pleasure in activities otherwise meant to be enjoyable, significant weight loss or weight gain when not dieting, increase or decrease in appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day, cognitive delays, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and even thoughts of suicide (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Depression can be caused by many ways as stated before. In some cases, abuse of a person can lead to depression. People who receive any kind of emotion, physical, or sexual abuse can have an increased chance to developing clinical depression later in their life (WebMD LLC, 2018). Traumatic events in one’s life such as a death of a loved one or even a serious illness being diagnosed can lead to the development of depression (WebMD LLC, 2018).
Of the many types of depression most people suffer from major depressive disorder (Merz, 2018). Major depressive disorder is the feeling of having a depressed mood and loss of interest and even thoughts of suicide lasting for about two weeks (WebMD LLC, 2018). The second most common type is persistent depressive disorder (Merz, 2018). Persistent depressive disorder has the same symptoms as major depressive disorder but occurs when the symptoms are recurring for over 2 years (WebMD LLC, 2018). Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is next on the list of most common types of depression (Merz, 2018). With bipolar disorder a patient experiences up mood and low moods (WebMD LLC, 2018). When the patient is in their up-state they have a great amount of energy, but when in a low state they have the symptoms as a person with major depressive disorder (WebMD LLC, 2018). Seasonal affective disorder also known as (SAD) is the fourth most common type of depression (Merz, 2018). Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression common during the seasonal changes especially during the winter months when days are shorter and sunlight exposure is limited (WebMD LLC, 2018). There are also two types of depression that are specific to females. The two types are peripartum depression, also known as postpartum depression, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (Merz, 2018). Peripartum depression occurs in women who have major depression after a few weeks or months after giving birth (WebMD LLC, 2018). Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a type of depression that occurs at the start of a woman’s period.
Although depression is hard on a patient, there are multiple treatment options to help recover and treat symptoms associated with the many types of depression. Treatment of this disease includes medications and psychotherapy, also some patients may need a hospital stay to help symptoms (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018). Medications used to treat depression are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, atypical antidepressants, tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, along with other medications to help along with other antidepressants (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018). Along with these medications, patients go to psychologists and receive treatment for symptoms (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018). Also, in some cases of SAD people are to sit in front of a special light box to help with the seasonal depression (WebMD LLC, 2018). Along with other treatments, some patients may benefit from brain stimulations from ECT’s and TMS’s (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018).
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Lastly, depression relates to psychology in the ways it can come about and afflict a person. The two ways that psychology views depression is the psychological view and the biological view (Psychology- Principles in Psychology, 2003). With the psychological view, people with depression have experienced a traumatic event or a drastic change in their life and instead of speaking about their anger or feelings they just keep it to themselves (Psychology- Principles in Psychology, 2003). By doing this, the feelings overwhelm the patient and eats away at them leading them to feel hopeless, guilt and even the thought of killing themselves to escape the feelings (Psychology- Principles in Psychology, 2003). While the biological view of depression views that patients with family members with similar disorders share a genetic trait explain why they experience these types of mood disorders (Psychology- Principles in Psychology, 2003). Psychologists who believe in the biological view also believe that the specific neurotransmitters of serotonin and noradrenaline affect the patient’s mood and thoughts which will lead to the development of their mood disorder (Psychology- Principles in Psychology, 2003). These are the ways that psychology view depression and its effects on patients.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Arlington: American Psychiatric Publishing.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018, November 27). Depression (major depressive disorder). Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20356013
- Merz, B. (2018, December 2). Six common depression types. Retrieved from Harvard Health Publishing: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/six-common-depression-types
- Psychology- Principles in Psychology. (2003). In S. A. Rathus, Psychology- Principles in Psychology (p. 423). Austin: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.
- WebMD LLC. (2018, November 28). Causes of Depression. Retrieved from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/causes-depression#1
- WebMD LLC. (2018, November 28). Types of Depression. Retrieved from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-types#1
- WebMD LLC. (2018, November 28). What Is Depression? Retrieved from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/what-is-depression#3
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