Depression today is one of the most common mental illnesses in the world. But despite this, many people who are faced with this disease are sorely lacking knowledge about it. Without understanding the nature of depression, it is difficult to find a way out of it, and therefore discussion of this topic is of great importance for fighting the disease.
Depression is not just a bad mood or a cold, which periodically overtakes everyone, but then invariably goes away. Depression is characterized by the fact that it lasts not a week or a month, but for many years. This is a chronic disease that seriously affects the body and mind of a person, interfering with his or her life every day.
In the following depression essay example, the author attempts to tell what depression is. Please, don’t copy this paper to your academic papers, as it will be a violation of the author’s rights. However, you can use the ideas and sources presented in the text below. Also, check out another depression essay example about how to deal with the winter blues on our blog.
What is Depression?
Depression is many things: a state of mind; a reaction to something upsetting or disappointing; a mood disorder. Perhaps it is because the term “depression” is used in such a broad way that people are often left confused on what precisely defines depression in today’s modern world.
Nowadays, a large proportion of the world’s population associates depression with the condition major depressive disorder (MDD) rather than simply the state of mind. MDD is characterized as a minimum period of low mood (typically at least two weeks), often in tandem with other symptoms, such as anxiety and low self-esteem (Gilbert, 2016).
Major depressive disorder can further be characterized into several sub-categories, depending on the source of the disorder. Such sub-categories include postpartum depression, wherein a woman becomes persistently depressed after the birth of her child; psychotic depression, where a person also suffers from delusions (often of a negative nature); seasonal affective disorder, in which depressive periods are correlated to the lower light and temperature associated with the winter months, and dysthymia, defined by depressive periods lasting over two years (Gilbert, 2016).
Whilst postpartum depression is most likely caused by hormonal changes as a result of pregnancy, and seasonal affective disorder is a result of lower sunlight conditions, MDD as a whole does not seem to have a known cause. Many possibilities have been explored – in some cases, MDD can be viewed as a genetic disorder. Several studies have shown that the inheritance of the short allele for the transporter promoter for the “happiness” gene serotonin results in MDD (Caspi et al, 2003). For others, it can be a result of childhood trauma or substance abuse (Saveanu et al, 2012).
This results in an overall consensus that depression is a complicated neurological disorder; one which we may never fully understand nor be able to effectively treat.
Caspi, A.; Sugden, K.; Moffitt, T. E.; Taylor, A.; Craig, I. W.; Harrington, H.; McClay, J.; Mill, J.; Martin, J.; Braithwaite, A.; Poulton, R. (2003). “Influence of Life Stress on Depression: Moderation by a Polymorphism in the 5-HTT Gene”. Science. 301 (5631): 386–389.
Gilbert, P. (2016). Depression: The evolution of powerlessness. Routledge.
Saveanu, Radu V.; Nemeroff, Charles B. (1 March 2012). “Etiology of Depression: Genetic and Environmental Factors”. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 35 (1): 51–71.