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Running head: INVESTIGATED DISEASE DEPRESSION 1Investigated Disease Process: DepressionPathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice Task OneWestern Governors University
Running head: INVESTIGATED DISEASE DEPRESSION 2Investigated Disease Process: DepressionInvestigated Disease ProcessThe disease process I have selected to investigate is major depression. As a nurse, I feel depression is often misunderstood and mistreated and see an overwhelming need for a better understanding of the disease. Although there is a shortage of mental health professionals across the country, I feel there is relevance in today’s healthcare. Learning more about depression will help me to have a positive impact on possible changes and improvements in my healthcare setting. Pathophysiology Although it has often been said that major depression is a result of a chemical imbalance, research suggests many complex factors contribute to depression occurring such as medical problems, medications, defective mood regulation, genetic weaknesses, and stressful life events.Researchers believe a strong genetic component has been determined to factor into whether or not depression occurs and in what individuals. A person with a family history of depression is at a 1.5%-3% risk of depression and has encouraged researchers to study abnormalities in genes. An increased risk of depression has been associated with the combinationthe 5-HT system and life stressors. The 5-HT-T (a serotonin transporter) has a variant that causes the transporter to exist as either a short or s allele or a long l allele. In people that have a duplication of the s allele, depression was more likely to develop in those individuals. If the person experiences more than 4 stressful events the risk of a major depressive state doubles in likelihood [McC14].
Running head: INVESTIGATED DISEASE DEPRESSION 3Stress in moderation can be good for us. It helps keep us alert and motivated. However, in a person genetically vulnerable, too much stress or how one copes with stress can push this system off balance leading to major depression. A person’s response to stress can be linked with the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) system. An increased level of glucocorticoid secretion combined with a continuously elevated HPA secretion were found in many people with major depression and has lead researchers to believe an elevated production of the HPA hormone is a contributing factor in the pathophysiology of depression (McCance & Hueter, 2014). The emotional well-being of a person is regulated by the amygdala and has been shown to be negatively impacted by elevated levels of corticosteroids. The lack of response to stress appropriately is another possible cause for depression to occur (Fekadu, Shibeshi, & Engidawork, 2017).