Depression types Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 6 May 2016

Depression types

All depression types are not the same, for there are various types of depressions and it’s different for each person that experiences them. Major depression, also known as clinical depression, and chronic depression, also known as dysthymia, are the most common types. But there are also other types of depression with unique signs, symptoms, and treatment. This research paper discusses major depression and dysthymia but mentions the various other forms of depressions. Major depression has many names that it can be referenced by: unipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and clinical depression. It all means the same thing; this type of depression is when the person’s disorder interferes with their everyday life. This makes it difficult for a person to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy activities that they once liked. Major depression last longer than a few days; it takes place everyday for at least two weeks.

It can prevent someone from functioning properly. Symptoms of this type of depression is fatigue, unintentional weight loss or gain, irritability, insomnia, hypersomnia (excessive sleeping), hallucination, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, impaired concentration and recurring thoughts of death or suicide. When one talks about any type of depression, one of the first questions that come to mind is ‘who is at risk?’ According to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depression affects about 6.7% of the U.S. population over the age of 18 and between 20% and 25% of adults may suffer an episode of major depression. Major depression can happen to anyone and surprisingly, it affects older adults, teens, and children, but usually goes undiagnosed and untreated for them- which explains why there aren’t as many statistics for their populations. Almost twice as many women as men have major depression because women go through many hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation and pregnancy that can increase the risk of developing major depression.

Raising a child alone will also increase the risk. According WebMD, depression in men is mostly unreported because men who suffer from major depression are less likely to seek help or talk about their experience. Signs of depression in men include irritability, anger, or drug and alcohol abuse. Some common causes of major depression include grief from losing a loved one through death, social isolation of being deprived, major life changes like moving or retirement, personal conflicts in relationships and physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Major depression is diagnosed by a health professional, like one’s primary care doctor, who will perform a medical evaluation by asking about one’s personal and family mental health history. There are no blood tests or X-rays that can be used to diagnose major depression. However, a doctor may run blood tests to help detect any other medical problems that have symptoms similar to those of depression. For example, alcohol or drug abuse can cause some of the same symptoms as major depression.

Major depression is serious but is still treatable. A doctor may recommend an antidepressant to control symptoms. Certain medicines work better for some people so it may be necessary for the doctor to try different drugs at different doses to determine which medicine works best for that patient. He or she may also suggest psychotherapy or maybe another treatment option, like shock therapy, that can be used if the drugs don’t work or if the symptoms are too severe. Once one has had an episode of major depression, they are at high risk of having another one so the best way to prevent another episode of depression is to be aware of the causes of major depression and to continue taking the prescribed medication. Chronic depression, also known as dysthymia, is less severe than major depression and about 2 percent of the American population suffer from this depression. However, even though not many people suffer from it, it still is a serious type of depression. Dysthymia causes a low mood over a long period of time -perhaps for a year or more.

The symptoms of dysthymia are mostly the same as those of major depression but not as intense, including loss of enjoyment in things that were once fun, major change in weight or appetite, insomnia or excessive sleep, fatigue, feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or excessive guilt and problems with concentration. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1.5% of adult Americans are affected by dysthymia. While it’s not as intense as major depression, dysthymia can keep someone from feeling their best and functioning properly. Dysthymia can begin in childhood or in adulthood and seems to be more common in women. A mental health specialist generally makes the diagnosis based on the person’s symptoms and in the case of dysthymia, one’s doctor will want to make sure that the symptoms are not a result of a physical illness. Like with major depression, there are no blood tests or X-rays that can diagnose dysthymia.

Dysthymia is a serious illness but it’s also very treatable. Early diagnosis and medical treatment can reduce the intensity and duration of dysthymia and can also reduce the chances of developing major depression. Doctors may use psychotherapy (talk therapy), antidepressants, or a combination. Because dysthymia isn’t as common as major depression, there tends to be less information about it. According to WebMD, experts are not sure what causes dysthymia but they believe that changes in the levels of brain chemicals can cause dysthymia. While major depression and dysthymia are the two most common types of depressions, there are minor depressions that last for 2 weeks or longer and yet do not meet full criteria for major depression. Psychotic depression occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, like having delusions or hallucinations.

Postpartum depression is when hormonal and physical changes cause the new responsibility of caring for a newborn to become overwhelming; it is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is when depression occurs during the winter months and stops during spring and summer. Bipolar disorder has cycling mood changes—from extreme highs to extreme lows. The final type of depression is atypical and it’s difficult to explain and comprehend: “[t]his type of depression is less well understood than major depression,” explains Dr. Halaris, “Unlike major depression, a common sign of atypical depression is a sense of heaviness in the arms and legs — like a form of paralysis. However, a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that oversleeping and overeating are the two most important symptoms for diagnosing atypical depression”(

Depression is a health problem because not only does it affect the mental health of a patient, it also affects their overall health because depression places people at higher risks to get abnormal and detrimental diseases that negatively affect the body. There’s a higher risk of getting heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and cancer when one suffers from depression. Under stress, blood produces more clotting factors, which can cause clots to form in the arteries—setting the stage for a heart attack or stroke and eventually heart disease. Also, depression’s link to high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, may speed bone loss, raising the risk of fractures, leading to osteoporosis. An increased level of the stress hormone, cortisol, also raises blood sugar levels, which new research suggests may cause diabetes in those over age 65. Studies show that depressed folks have high levels of immune system chemicals called cytokines, which may hamper the body’s ability to destroy malignant cells, which causes cancer (–and-healthier).

Depression is a significant health concern for older adults, regardless of ethnic or racial status. Previous studies have found racial and ethnic differences in the diagnosis and treatment of depression among the general population. Older racial and ethnic minorities living in the community are less likely to be diagnosed with depression than their white counterparts, but are also less likely to get treated, according to a recent NIMH-funded analysis published online on December 15, 2011, in the American Journal of Public Health. The survey prevails that 6.4 percent of whites, 4.2 percent of African Americans, and 7.2 percent of Hispanics were diagnosed with depression. Among those diagnosed, 73 percent of whites received treatment (either with antidepressants, psychotherapy or both), while 60 percent of African Americans received treatment and 63.4 percent of Hispanics received treatment.

They also noted pronounced differences in socioeconomic status and quality of insurance coverage across ethnicities. Fewer whites reported having low incomes than ethnic minorities. However, these differences did not appear to account for the disparities in diagnosis or treatment rates. The findings are consistent with the notion that depression continues to be unacknowledged and undertreated among older minorities. According to the researchers, future research should investigate cultural factors such as help-seeking patterns, stigma, and patient attitudes and knowledge about depression as potential factors contributing to the disparities. For instance, ethnic minorities may be less likely to seek help for a mood disorder, and those with lower incomes may have more difficulty gaining access to specialized health care. In addition, they may be more likely to seek help from nonmedical providers, such as pastors or lay counselors, according to the researchers.

Other research has suggested that minorities tend to cite stigma or shame associated with having a mental disorder as a reason for not seeking help for depression. Differences in diagnosis rates may also reflect the notion that African Americans tend to have a greater sense of distrust of doctors in general compared to white patients, said the researchers. In addition, minority patients also may be more likely to present with more physical aspects of depression such as sleep problems or pain, rather than mood or cognitive symptoms, which can complicate detection and diagnosis of depression. We hope to end these disparities and help everyone suffering with depression by providing them with the help they need and deserve. Disney Parks and Resorts has agreed to partner with us to aid people dealing with depression right from the happiest place on Earth.

Disney Parks will dedicate an entire day to hang out with people who are dealing with depression to make them grow a happy emotion, even if it’s just for one day. On this day, people facing depression will be allowed access to all and any rides they prefer for a bargain of a price. To make this day of dedication even more symbolic, the park will have reservations so that only people affected by depression can enter and the park will be available for play all day. To apply for this one day special event, one must visit their local hospital or clinic to be diagnosed with depression of any form. Then, the health administrator will provide those patients through mail their tickets for the special event. With the support of Disney’s many sponsors they are able to fund this day of dedication for the positive cause.


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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

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  • Date: 6 May 2016

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