Chronic Depression Essay

1344 words - 6 pages

According to recent research, about 3% of Americans – some 19 million- suffer from chronic depression. More then two million are children. Along with that Manic depressive illness afflicts about 2.3 million and is the second leading killer of young women and the third of young men (Solomon, 2001, p.25). According to Andrew Solomon author of The Noonday Demon; “An Atlas of Depression, “Worldwide, including the developing world, depression accounts for more of the disease burden, as calculated by premature death plus healthy life-years lost to disability, than anything else but heart disease. Depression claims more years than war, cancer, and AIDS put together. Other illnesses, from ...view middle of the document...

1). These symptoms and feelings are persistent and severe. Many people find it difficult to enjoy activities they once found pleasure in. They become distance from friends and family members. Victims of depression often feel alone and helpless, making it difficult to reach out for help.
Depressive episodes are usually caused from a change or stressful event in ones life. This event is referred to as the ‘trigger’. Many things can trigger a depressive episode. Events such as graduating, divorce, failed relationships, lose of a loved one, lose of a job, and even financial problems can lead to depression.
Luckily for those who suffer from major depressive disorder, there are many different treatment options to overcoming this illness. Psychotherapy is one of many treatments used. This is a regular meeting session between a trained therapist and someone seeking to overcome psychological difficulties or achieve personal growth (Myers, 2007, p.G-8). Therapy allows the patient to talk openly and privately with a doctor or trained professional about their illness and how it affects their daily lives and those in it. This professional is usually referred to as a psychologist. This means that they are certified to give psychotherapy, but are not able to prescribe medications of any kind. In most cases a licensed clinical social worker (and others) is also able to give therapy to patients (without prescribing drugs). A psychiatrists, however, is able to give

the same, possibly more advanced, therapy, but with the ability to prescribe medications for the patients illness.
Another treatment option of depression is medication. Mood stabilizers, such as anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety are usually prescribed for major depressive disorder. Two anti-depressants that one may be familiar with are Cymablta, and Zoloft. Anti-anxiety medications, such as Xanax, can help to alleviate nervousness and feelings of severe anxiety, which can lead to panic attacks. Also, along with these medications, sleep aids can also be prescribes to those who experience the symptom of sleep loss. Sleep aids, such as Lunesta and AmbienCR, help patients fall asleep, and fell rested.
In the case of a severely depressed person, electroconvulsive therapy, also known as ECT is one therapy option. According to David G. Myers, in Exploring psychology, ECT “is a biomedical therapy for severely depressed patients in which a brief electric current is sent threw the brain of anesthetized patient (Myers, 2007, p.521).
Hospitalization is another, more intense, treatment option. When a patient is hospitalized they experience intense group therapy sessions numerous times a day, medications, private therapy sessions, and daily meetings with an assigned psychiatrists. The stay of the patient is determined by the severity of their illness and their progress with recovery. According to Meghan Alderson (2007), a manic depressant once hospitalized for her disorder, “Hospitalization was...

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