Depression And The Middle Ages

854 WordsJun 8, 20154 Pages
Over the last century the rate of depression in the United States has increased dramatically. In 1905, just 1 percent of Americans reported a major depressive episode by age 75. In 1955, 6 percent experienced a major depressive episode by age 24. Today, according to some reports, 10 percent of the adult American population, or about 30 million people, experience depression at some point during any given year. (“History of Depression | The Art of Manliness," n.d.) The first signs of depression, used to be known as melancholia, comes from Ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks believed depression was a spiritual curse from the gods. In the Middle Ages, they carried on the idea of depression being rooted in one’s disfavor with the gods, but the gods of this time were those of Christianity. In the early 19 century, the Romantics saw melancholy as a desirable state that inspired creativity and reflection. In the middle of the 19 century, emergent shrinks forwarded the theory the melancholy was caused by a stressed out nervous system. In the early 20 century, melancholy was a depressed mood without a cause, or an unknown, unconscious cause. Today, they learned that both chemicals and electricity make up brain activity, and that different parts of the brain are responsible for different behaviors. (“History of Depression | The Art of Manliness," n.d.) Major depressive disorder is a serious to severe mood disorder causing a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. “People
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