Major Depression Across Atlantic: Diagnosis and Treatment Essay

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Major Depression Across Atlantic: Diagnosis and Treatment In this day and age depression is a catchword. It is applied to all imaginable situations, from grieving after the loss of a loved one to simple foul moods. Although such a loose usage of the word is hardly warranted, the statistics of the World Health Organization suggest that there is some real basis behind it: about 4-5% of the world's population suffer from depression, and it is the reason behind about 60% of all suicides (1). United States is ahead of the world's quota in this sad race: according to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 9.5% of the population (or about 18.8 million adults) experience a depressive disorder in any given year (2). With such…show more content…
Since this situation is beginning to raise some concerns among the general populace and physicians, it would be beneficial to compare and contrast the diagnosis and treatment of depression in America and in a country, whose historical conditions shaped a different attitude towards this illness and towards the methods of dealing with it. Russia, being akin to the U.S. in both size and population, but sharply different in the organization of its medical system, could become a suitable subject for such a study. Without focusing on minute details, one can undertake a brief overview of the situation in both the United States and Russia and develop a general, but by no means definitive list of pros and cons for both systems. Although multiple variations of depression can be considered, we will focus on major depression in this study in order to keep the argument succinct. Major depression, a combination of symptoms such as sadness, hopelessness, feelings of guilt, loss of interest in life, decreased energy, sleep and appetite disruptions, difficulty concentrating, etc. that interfere with one's daily life (2), has a long history of being recognized as an illness in America. Before 1960s, the methods of its diagnosis and treatment were largely left to the

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