Essay on Depression

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The common usage of the word "depression" isn't usually in reference to a clinical disease. People most often use it to mean that they have "the blues" or they're just feeling "down." Unfortunately, the disease depression isn't so simple. It's not something that one can just `get over'. It's usually something that must be treated with therapy, and in some cases medication must also be used. There are many different types of the mental illness; clinical depression, bipolar disorder (otherwise known as manic depressive) and dysthymia.

In the period of one year, about 9.5% of Americans, which is about 18.8 million adults will suffer from one of these types of a "depressive disorder." (source 2) Depression affects over 17 million
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(source 2).

About 10-20% of patients with bipolar disorder commit suicide. There are two different forms of this specific depressive illness. There is the unipolar (major depressive), and bipolar (manic). After that, bipolar can be broken down to two more specifications, bipolar I and bipolar II. Bipolar I is a "recurrent mood disorder" which has about one or more manic episodes. Bipolar II is a major depression with about one manic episode. Bipolar disorder doesn't discriminate between men and women and studies show that it is a genetic trait.

Researchers believe that genetics play a large role in depression. In an article from the American Journal of Medical Genetics, printed on July 2nd, researchers said that they found a number of chromosomal areas that hold "genetic keys to a variety of mental

illnesses." (source 3) Although depression is prominent in families, passing from generation to generation, it is also possible for it to show up in families without a history of it. People who are pessimistic, overloaded and stressed and who have very low self esteem are prone to developing depression as well.

Doctors also believe that there are different physical changes that can lead to depression. For example, when a person experiences stroke, or heart attack, cancer or

other disabling diseases, then they are prone to developing a depressive illness. Also

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