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In the modern society, the concept of depression has become a common phenomenon akin to a cold. Stresses and depression are the real scourge of the modern world. The nervous system of people who live in constant emotional and physical stress does not always cope successfully with stresses. Against this background, various diseases can occur. Depression is usually understood as a bad mood, despondency, and apathy. However, from a medical point of view, it is a mental illness caused by constant changes and mood disorders. Depression is increasingly considered as an inevitable attribute of the modern society as a consequence of constant stress.
Two Types Two Causes
Depression is a mental disorder characterized by several factors the loss of the ability to experience joy, a decrease in mood, impaired thinking, and motor inhibition. It is hard to cope with this state because a person with depression has a reduced self-esteem and lacks interest in life and habitual activity (Coleman 3). In some cases, a person suffering from the condition can begin to abuse alcohol or other psychotropic substances. The term depression is often used not only in medical literature but also in everyday speech. This concept is so diverse that it allows describing the feeling of internal discomfort. In some cases, depression is a sense of melancholy a severe mental disorder that leads to a complete loss of ability to work. In others, it is a term used to refer to deterioration in mood due to the loss of a favorite football team. Describing their condition, patients can complain of a sense of anxiety and simultaneously a depressed mood. It is extremely difficult to understand these contradictory complaints not knowing the circumstances of the patient's life, such as his/her social position, personal and family analysis.
Even a healthy person is prone to apathy and a bad mood. It is a perfectly normal state and is not considered a deviation. After all, a bad mood disappears in a couple of days. Nonetheless, a protracted apathetic state is a bad sign. If a person constantly experiences a depressed mood and a feeling of anxiety along with mental insomnia and retardation, it is usually a deviation from the norm and is called depression. Such a condition can last for weeks, months, and years. A depressed state can often be caused by the loss of a loved one, a tragedy, or other grief (Hammen and Watkins 18). In this case, a person can also be in a state of apathy for a long time. However, everyday life with its worries and bustle gradually supplants sad thoughts and makes a person continue a usual life, and the state of depression ultimately disappears. If it does not happen, it is necessary to think about the treatment of major depression.
From a medical point of view, two types of depression should be distinguished depression of exogenous and endogenous origin. As a rule, exogenous depression is caused by the impact of negative external factors such as nervousness, constant stress, and even intoxication of the body (Hammen and Watkins 27). In some cases, certain diseases can be the cause of depression, for example, gangrene, atherosclerosis, and hypertension. All these external factors lead to a state of depression and apathy. In turn, depression of the endogenous type is caused by disorders as well as abnormalities and diseases of the human psyche (Hammen and Watkins 30). Therefore, to begin treatment, it is necessary to determine the type of depression.
Depression can mask into a disease and disorder of the body. There is even a term masked depression, by which doctors imply latent depression that masks various kinds of somatic disorders. This type of depression is more difficult to diagnose and identify. Many people with a depressive disorder are concerned with persistent headaches, nausea and dizziness, pain in the heart, joints, and abdomen, disappearance of sexual desire, and other abnormalities. All these diseases can indicate masked depression. Depression is a disease that must be treated. Therefore, if a person feels that he/she has depression, it is highly recommended to consult a specialist. After all, during the state of depression, the mechanism responsible for mood adjustment is violated. It is extremely significant that this mechanism works appropriately.
Today, a huge number of the worlds population suffers from depression. Prolonged depression that is not identified leads to suicide (Moragne 80). Thus, about 60% of suicides occur against a background of depression (Moragne 80). Currently, 10% of the population over the age of 40 suffers from depression, two thirds of whom are women (Klein 97). Among people older than 65 years, depression is three times more common (Klein 97). While several decades ago, mostly people aged 30 to 40 years suffered from depression, younger people are also affected by the condition these days (Klein 97). Teenage depression is one of the most terrible deviations of the modern society. Approximately 5% of children and adolescents aged 10-16 years are affected by depression and depressive conditions (Klein 97). The general prevalence of depression in adolescence is between 15 and 40% (Klein 97). Even preschool children can be depressed. According to doctors, depression can lead to serious health outcomes such as cardiovascular diseases and oncology (Klein 97). Older people, divorced and single men and women are all at risk.
Causes of Depression
Currently, there is no unified theory and understanding of the reason why depression occurs. More than ten theories and many scientific kinds of research try to explain the causes of this painful condition. All available theories and paradigms can be conditionally divided into two groups biological and socio-psychological. Among biological theories, the most credible for today is the theory of genetic predisposition (Schnittker 229). The essence of the theory is that depression is a result of a failure at the genetic level (Schnittker 229). This erroneous predisposition is inherited and may occur under a certain confluence of life circumstances such as a prolonged conflict, stress factors, alcoholism, and chronic illness. The second more studied side of this disease consists in understanding the operation of the brain and studying the chemicals and mechanisms that ensure its proper work. All the medication therapy is based on this theory and understanding of the disease, as the most proven and promising one.
Another group of theories of understanding the disease refers to the so-called psychological or socio-psychological group (Schnittker 230). The explanation of the onset and course of the disease is based on the study of the patient's communication problems, the peculiarities of the personality, the psychological problems of growing up, present life, and a level of stress. These theories are based on psychotherapy. They were created by psychotherapists, who see the causes of depression in wrong thinking and behavior, the basic model of which is embedded in childhood (Schnittker 230). Theoretical developments of sociologists explain the causes of depression in the existence of contradictions between the society and an individual. In such a way, it can be argued that any persons health and experiences, including painful depression, have two bases physiological, which partially depends on the presence of certain chemicals in the brain, and psychological one, which depends on the events occurring in life.
It is necessary to study both physiological and psychological causes of depression. Physiological causes of depression include violation of the balance of chemical elements of the brain neurotransmitters, infectious diseases, for example, a viral infection that affects the brain, and problems in the work of the endocrine system, including hormonal imbalance due to thyroid and adrenal gland dysfunctions (Schnittker 234). Besides, there can be a violation of the balance of certain chemical elements, for example, calcium and iron, in the blood. Certain medications such as steroids or narcotic analgesics can also lead to depression (Schnittker 234). It is worth noting that after the withdrawal of treatment with these drugs, the manifestation of symptoms of the disorder disappears.
Psychological causes of depression include the impact of social stressors, forced stay in critical and life-threatening situations, some personal characteristics such as accented lines, and abuse of narcotics, toxic substances, and alcohol (Schnittker 235). In women, depression can be caused by the birth of a child. According to experts at the Northwestern University of the United States, the propensity for depressed states is influenced by public cultural values. Studies have shown that the highest percentage of cases of depression occurs in cultures where the individuality of a person is higher than agreement in a team (Schnittker 239). This fact explains the prevalence of depression in individualistic cultures such as American and European.
Depression is not just a depressed sad state. It is a disease that requires active treatment. As a rule, it arises under the influence of strong negative experiences. During depression, the nervous system is exhausted after severe stress, the reserves of the body are emptied, and there is a deviation from the hormonal functioning, which entails severe physical and mental consequences. In some cases, a physical ailment or trauma can serve as a cause of depression. Regardless of its cause and type, it is necessary to treat depression to lead a normal life.
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