What is Depression

Depression is characterized as a condition whereby an individual highlights aversion to activities, apathy, or low moods consequently affecting their thoughts, sense of well-being, emotions, and behaviors. Over the years, research into this area of study has increasingly become important with the rising cases of persons being diagnosed with the condition. Researchers classify depression as clinical depression or a major depressive disorder that may adversely influence one’s state of living. Historically, various clinicians have studied the various causes, characteristics, and consequent repercussions of the illness, however, continuous studies continue to present as the stimuli influencing it to continue to change. Moreover, various researchers continue to make different claims of the condition, based on cultures, occupation, family setting, drug consumption, and life-events among others. Depression is a medical ailment that may negatively influence one’s moods, thinking, and behavior ultimately resulting in sadness, mood swings, hopelessness, feeling of unworthiness, or death.

Depression as clinical ailment may affect one’s feelings. Research by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), argue that this condition may develop from various circumstances including dysthymia, perinatal depression, seasonal and variating affective disorders, psychotic depression, or bipolar disorders. Furthermore, the Institute suggests that individuals with depression may often feel anxious, angry, guilty, or irritable. In other cases, other people may showcase feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, worthlessness, helplessness, restlessness, or shamed. Arguably, according to Skillman, people diagnosed with being depressed may lose interest in undertaking certain activities that they once deemed as pleasurable. They may also lose appetite or begin overeating, while other display problems with concentration, making decisions, or remembering details. Skillman suggests that additional symptoms r characteristics of depression may invoke insomnia, reduced energy levels, fatigue, excessive sleeping, digestive complications, pains, or aches. Moreover, individuals with medical depression have difficulties experiencing relationships, and in grave situations, may anticipate, attempt, or even commit suicide. 

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According to Randolph, depression may result from various psychiatric syndromes including major depressive disorders. In other instances, depression may result from “normal reactions” so long as these responses do no persist to long-term ones or life events. Randolph suggests that conditions such as symptoms of bodily ailments, bereavement, or unexpected result of medical treatment or drug may be arising from long-term depression cases. Notably, certain individuals may have depression as an ‘episode’ while others may have it as a ‘habitual trait’ depending on their personality. Persons with varying mood swings, often having bipolar disorders, often exhibit such personality traits. According to NIMH, bipolar disorder may also be termed as a maniac depressive disorder. This form of ailment “is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.” The Institute suggests that there are four types of bipolar conditions involving variations in activity degrees, moods, and energy levels. These types of bipolar conditions include bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymia, or other “specified or unspecified bipolar conditions”. Ultimately, such variating mood swings may influence one’s depressions, consequently rendering them as depressed or often leaving them with conditional traits. 

Depression may be a result of life events that often leave them with the consequent feelings of depressions. According to Baldwin individuals who may have encountered life tragic life events that often leave them traumatized may experience feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness among other, and consequently lead to depression. According to research by the National Center for PSTD US Department of Veterans Affairs, a study on the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) reveals that PTSD was the primary cause of depression among veterans. Notably, not every individual who is exposed to dangerous, scary, or shocking situations experiences chronic (ongoing) or acute cases of PTSD, nevertheless, not every person with PTSD has undergone a traumatic event. For one to be considered as to having PTSD, the symptoms must be lasting more than a duration of one month or must be severe enough to obstruct one’s work or relationship. Different causes of PTSD may include the death of a loved one, exposure to dangerous or life-threatening situations including wars, accidents, kidnappings, and rape, or the gradual development of the ailment due to a past event in their lives. Persons with the condition often exhibit re-experiencing symptoms, flashbacks, frightening thoughts, or bad dreams, which may ultimately lead them to withdraw to themselves and consequently being depressed. 

Additionally, the NIMH argues that depression may develop from one having a psychosis. Such form of psychosis occurs when one has “disturbing false fixed beliefs” (delusions) or when they hallucinate (one hears or sees things that others cannot). Research by Monroe and Anderson argues that having psychotic characteristics may often result in one having delusional “themes” that may include illness, poverty, hopelessness, or guilt. Monroe and Anderson also note that the mind comprises of different components including ideas, concepts, stories, skills, and theories, all of which contribute to its functioning and thought to process. The alteration of the balance of the mind may lead to excessive delusional thoughts and hallucinations that may consequently tamper with one’s thinking. Therefore, for one to avoid such, one must have some level of emotional intelligence.

Goleman defines emotional intelligence as “having a set of critical skills, abilities, and competencies that can be learned by anyone.” For one to utilize their emotional intelligence, they must be able to motivate themselves, have persistence in facing challenges and obstacles to achieving their goals. Furthermore, such persons must be able to control their reactions to impulses or gratifications, monitor their moods, be in a position to provide hope, and be capable of empathizing with others. Additionally, having emotional intelligence helps persons fight depression as they can build stronger, more private relationships and have elevated levels of confidence and optimism. More so, these people have a better quality of well-being and health, and finally, such persons have greater career success rates.  

According to Reardon, drug abuse may lead to cases of depression. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that some of the most commonly abused drugs include cannabinoids, depressants, dissociative anesthetics, hallucinogens, stimulants, opioids and morphine derivatives, and other compounds. Furthermore, the Institute argues that the over-reliance, abuse, or addiction of certain drugs may ultimately result in depression once the person continues to use them, stops, or lacks them. In other instances, some people turn to substance abuse when they feel lonely, sad, angry, or are mixed with emotions, ultimately, contributing to their level of depression. One can recognize an intoxicated individual from their speech, appearance, attitude, behavior, or other factors. Notably, one needs to realize that intoxication not only occurs from alcohol use but also from other drugs as well. For example, one might have bloodshot eyes, body tremors, be argumentative, have difficulties remembering, disoriented, unique walking style, or repeated restroom trips. Since these drugs affect one’s moods and behavior, they may also trigger outbursts and flashbacks of life events or emotional conditions one might have and consequently expose to depressive mood swings.

Nonetheless, Lenze argues that there are various medical approaches of dealing and handling depression. Scientists suggest that even the most severe cases of depression are treatable, noting that the earlier the treatment is administered, the better the outcome would be for the patient. One of the most common ways of dealing with it is through medications. Lenze while evaluating the treatment methods of depression, suggests that using antidepressants helps one improve the way their brains utilizes certain chemicals to control mood swings and stress levels. Notably, a professional physician would have to conduct various tests to conclude the best medication to administer; nonetheless, most of the prescribed ones take two to four weeks to take effect. On the other hand, Chaudron suggests that psychotherapy may be an effective way to dealing with episodes of depression. These psychotherapy procedures may include counseling or “talk therapy.” Some of the best therapy-induced techniques are the CBT, problem-solving therapy, and interpersonal therapy (IPT). 

Additionally, other medical practitioners may employ the use of brain stimulation therapies involving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). ECT is critical as it helps relieve symptoms in severe cases of depression, may be an alternative where medications fail to work and are not painful. Nonetheless, patients should be aware that ECT might cause certain side effects including memory loss, disorientation, and confusion. Even though most of these effects are usually on a short-term basis, in particular cases, memory loss may linger. Finally, Hunter conclude that some beyond-treatment strategies that may work to handling depression might include one being active through exercising, setting realistic goals, spending time with other people and people one can confide in perhaps a friend or relative. Additionally, one can be optimistic that their moods will gradually improve, postpone life-changing decisions such as divorce or marriage, avoid isolation, and continuous education.  

Depression is a clinical condition that affects one’s moods, in hand, highlighting aversion to activities, apathy, or low moods consequently changing their thoughts, sense of well-being, emotions, and behaviors. Moreover, sad and scary events, continued drug abuse, and psychosis may be reasons for depression among certain people; nevertheless, continued research is invaluable to help make precise and early diagnosis. Additionally, more research is required in this field to find ways of dealing with and helping those diagnosed with it. Currently, scientific research offers various solutions including medication, therapy, and beyond treatment techniques to help those with the ailment.