Depression


Hundreds of years ago, humans were plagued with "crazy fear". Then the Greeks blamed an imbalance of black bile for the melancholia suffered by so many people. Centuries later, in a country where Prozac and PMS jokes are part of the cultural landscape, we have a new term for our "craziness", our melancholy-, or major depressive disorder. And along with our relatively newfound label, the heightened interest in has opened up a host of theories, myths, and treatments that seek to explain the oldest mental illness in written history.
Affecting over 17 million Americans each year (that's one in seven) and representing the number-one cause of suicide, is one of the foremost concerns of the ...

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term, being used to describe everything from deep grief to daily frustrations. But to start with the most rigorous definition, Western psychiatry has a fairly standardized way of diagnosing . Coming from the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association", the following are the nine most common symptoms:
- extended, unexplained sadness
- loss of pleasure in formerly enjoyed activities
- sleeping problems
- significant weight loss or gain
- feeling extreme restlessness or slowed down
- loss of energy
- feelings of worthlessness, guilt
- indecisive, unable to concentrate
- suicidal thoughts

Depression may also be accompanied by other physical signs, such as poor energy, insomnia, chronic pain, or self-inflicted mutilation. To reach a diagnosis of major depression, a physician or mental health provider will look for at least five of the listed symptoms or simply the suicidal symptom alone, suffered daily for a ...

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spiral that Hartley describes is only one form of depression. Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is far less prevalent, affecting around 2 million people in this country. Manic depressives experience the same depressive symptoms, but with alternating cycles of mania-extremely elevated moods and grandiose self-perceptions. Mental health practitioners also distinguish between major depressive episodes and dysthymia, a term that translates to "ill-humored". Dysthymia is a less intense form of depression, but one which is both more widely experienced among the population and more chronic, typically lasting over two years. Many people with dysthymia have lived so long with a gnawing sense ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 9/9/2006 02:52:46 PM
Category: Health & Medicine
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2627
Pages: 10

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