Depression

Depression - Professor Linker English 101 12/06/06...

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Professor Linker English 101 12/06/06 Depression Depression is an illness that affects the way people think, feel, and act. However, it is more than just a passing feeling of depression; it is a diagnosable medical disorder involving genetics, stress, and changes in body and brain function (Tuscano 1), and can be treated with medication or psychotherapy. Depression is one of the most common medical problems in the United States that affects almost 18 million Americans. Furthermore, statistics show that at some point in their lives, one-fourth of all Americans will experience at least one episode of depression (Kramlinger 7). Worldwide, depression ranks fourth as a cause of disability and early death according to the Global Burden of Disease Study done by Harvard School of Public Health, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank (Kramlinger 8). Also, according to the authors of the Global Burden of Disease Study, by 2020, depression could be the second most serious health threat worldwide, behind heart disease (DePaulo 6). Furthermore, depression is known as an episodic illness which can last for weeks, months, or even years, and is generally intermixed with more or less symptom-free periods (DePaulo 10). Also, people often don’t know they have the disorder. However, one in five women, as well as one in ten men experiences it (Klein and Wender 2). Depression can affect anyone, although women seem to be more susceptible to it. It usually occurs between the ages of 25 and 44, and is lower among married people and those in long-term relationships (Kramlinger 7). Also, it is unknown why, but it appears to be more prominent in creative people. For
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example, in one study, people like artists, writers, and musicians had twice the rate of serious depression than in other fields (Kramlinger 7). A depressive illness is usually characterized by four things. First, it generally lasts at least two weeks, although it usually lasts longer (Kroenke 528). Second, those who are affected exhibit specific symptoms related to mood, behavior, thinking, and outlook on life. Third, depression impairs one’s ability to function on a daily basis. Finally, a depressive disorder requires medical and/or psychological treatment (Kramlinger 5). Moreover, depression presents itself in four major ways. It first presents itself in mood changes, characterized by a depressed mood, in addition to feelings of sadness, helplessness, and hopelessness. Also, crying spells are normal, as well as feeling bored, irritable, or annoyed. Next, cognitive changes can be seen in depression, such as interference with one’s memory and thought process, like having trouble concentrating or making decisions (Kroenke 528). Also, one might notice physical changes in someone who is depressed. These could include sleeping and eating habits, diminished sex drive, and loss of energy (Kroenke 528). Last, depression can be seen in behavior changes. For example, one may withdraw from people, neglect their
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Depression - Professor Linker English 101 12/06/06...

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