In the book Feeling Good ,
David Burns, MD, the author, outlines certain
cognitive techniques an individual suffering from depression could use in combating
He begins the book by briefly describing the pertinence and the
prevalence of depression.
The author captures the audience's attention in the
first paragraph: " In fact depression is so widespread it is considered the common
cold of psychiatric disturbances" (Burns, 1992) p. 9.
Burns(1992), continues to
suggest that the difference between the common cold and depression lies in the fact
that depression is lethal.
and Barbara Serason (1996) suggest that at
least 90 percent of all suicide victims suffer from a diagnosable psychiatric
disorder at the time of their death.
Irwing and Barbara Serason (1996) also state
that one of the risk factors in committing suicide is the presence of mood
Silverman (1993) states that suicide among young people 15 to 19 years
of age has increased by 30 percent from the years 1980 to 1990.
In my opinion David Burns brings up a valid issue in addressing the
pertinence of depression as it pertains to peoples tendencies of committing a
suicide; other academics have agreed with the same findings.
academics have not specifically stated that depression is the only risk factor of
committing a suicide.
They did not even suggest that depression is the heighest
weighted risk factor in committing a suicide.
The impression the reader gets after
reading the introductory paragraph of the Feeling Good book is that severe
depression will inevitably result in suicide unless it is cured.
Implying that if
a person has a depressive disorder,
it will lead to a suicide can be dangerous and
counterproductive for a person who already feels hopeless;
this may reaffirm their
of hopelessness and the inevitability of the disorder.
Once the first paragraph is passed the author indicates that there is hope in
curing depression, giving the reader an encouragement to continue with the book.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-
IV), mood disorders are classified into two broad categories, bipolar and unipolar
The book Feeling Good only talks about the unipolar
depressive disorders, thus, I will only concentrate on that one category.
mood disorders are classified under axis I of the DSM-IV.
disorders are further classified into two categories: dysthymic, and major
Even though both of the disorders are mood disorders they
have some fundamental differences and similarities.
According to DSM-IV people
experiencing major depression must have depressed moods and/or diminished interest
for at least two weeks, for most of the day, and for most days than not.
also experience four additional symptoms, such as: weigh loss or gain, insomnia or
hypersomnia, psychomotor retardation or agitation, feelings of worthlessness,
feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, difficulty concentrating, or suicidal