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Major depression is the most common chronic condition facing the primary care physician today.

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Introduction

PSYCHOLOGY ASSIGNMENT. Depression. Introduction. Major depression is the most common chronic condition facing the primary care physician today. Of all patients visiting their doctor, 5-9% suffer from this disorder. The prevalence of major depression has increased since the 1950s in all age groups and psychiatrists have for many years debated whether this condition is caused by biological or behavioural factors. The debate has been between the use of drugs or therapies to combat this disorder. This debate has been misguided in so far as many diseases have both a biological and behavioural cause, including major depression. Paul A Kettl, MD Major depression, the forgotten illness. The characteristic features of depression are feeling low, lethargy, and negative thought processes; sleep disorders and loss of appetite. Depression is more intense and sustained than ordinary sadness and involves feelings of 'worthlessness, guilt and pessimism. 'Unipolar depression' can occur at any age and may appear gradually or suddenly. In Britain around fifty percent of adults between eighteen and seventy-four will experience serious depression. The number of people seeking help from their GPs for depression was nine million in 1998, (Bps 1999). ...read more.

Middle

(1978). According to Abramson et al, people who look at failure as their fault with no way up so to speak are more likely to become depressed. The negative attribution to their plight reinforces their feelings of helplessness. This attributional style derives from learned histories such as family and school. According to questionnaires that looked at the way people interpret adversities in their life, to some degree, were able to predict the future susceptibility to depression of those who took part, Kinderman & Bentall, (1997). However once a depressive episode ends the cognititions of helplessness ends also. Gotlib & Colby, (1995), suggest that an attitude of helplessness could be a symptom rather than a cause for depression, they found that there is no difference between people who where formerly depressed and people who have never been depressed, when it came to viewing negative events with a helpless resignation. Overall the capacity of people to experience sadness & joy is probably related to the punishment reward system within the realm of reproductive success. Unipolar and bipolar disorders are the extremes of this system. There are a number of reasons to associate the capacity for sadness as an adaptive trait elicited by certain cues, specifically by a loss of reproductive resources, such as money, a mate, health or relatives. ...read more.

Conclusion

This treatment has been portrayed in films as cruel, barbaric, inhumane and almost torture like in the way it has been used in the care of people with depression. However it still remains one of the most effective treatments for major depression. Simply it works by disrupting the long-term memory through he introduction of short bursts of electricity to the person's brain, creating in effect a 'seizure' or resetting the brain to its factory setting. In conclusion, the research for this essay suggests that there is a bright future for people who suffer this debilitating disorder. Innovation in humanistic therapies and the use of effective drugs are beginning to win the battle in helping people with this disorder. The world and the problems facing us all in the future are serious enough to make anyone depressed at some time or other. It will continue to effect people of all ages and cultures until such time as we can resolve some of the more destructive elements in our make up as human beings. Paul A Kettl, MD. Major depression, the forgotten illness Psychology, A new introduction. Hodder and Stroughton, (2000). Study of Recurrent Unipolar Depression.htm The American Journal of Psychiatry. Embargo: January 1, 2003 (Toronto): http://www.medscape.com/. Is a glass half full or half empty? ...read more.

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