Impacts of Depression and Its Effects on PeopleIntroduction
Broken marriages, addiction to the abuse of drugs and substance, withdrawal from social circles, loss of sleep and poor performance at school or work, depression has had a heavily detrimental effect on the productivity of the lifestyle of an individual and in part of the people in their social circles. Even with ranking by the World Health Organization as the second greatest reason for disability in the world, only a mere ten percent of the affected actually receive effective treatment. With the larger part in denial of the possibility of having depression, the effects continue to wreak havoc in their daily lives. Most tend to assume that it's a light situation and should eventually fade away. This notion should be replaced by an educated and informed assessment of one's conditions from possible symptoms and if need be, seek a treatment plan.Background and description.
Depression is a treatable condition that is broadly described as a common and serious medical illness that has a negative impact on how an individual acts, feels or even the way they think and perceive things. It leads to a loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities and a predominant mood of sadness (Parekh 2). It lasts on an average of up to six to eight months. From a different perspective the definition of depression is medical and of syndrome-based nature. The use of syndromic approach has largely been applied in multiple fields of medicine to establish an understanding of a health condition. In this approach a common pathophysiology which some presumed set of signs and symptoms that occur together has varied etiologies in different conditions. This helps in describing depression from mild occurrence to severe occurrence.
The two major official classifications that are instrumental in creating clarity and understanding depression on a detailed scope are the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders. Clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines (ICD-10) (Kanter et al. 9). According to these two official documents, depression is a clinical syndrome characterized by a set of clinical features. This is in acknowledgment of both biological and psychological causative factors with no pre set specific etiology.Most common types of depression.
The types of depression have for long been considered to be heterogeneous in nature due to the dynamic scope of depressive disorders (Kanter et al. 13). This has prompted a lot of research and heated disorders debates on how best to classify the types of depressive disorders. The two official descriptive documents are not fully satisfactory and compliment each other but are not identical.
In the DSM-IV there are two main categories; bipolar disorders and depressive disorders. The DSM-IV is the simpler one of the two documents. There are detailed subcategories for both. In light of the subject of this research paper, I am going to place an emphasis on the depressive disorders or what would otherwise be termed as unipolar depression. It is well split into dysthymic disorders and major depressive disorders. The major depressive disorders are further split into recurrent disorder and single episode (Kanter et al. 14). This forms a firm foundational basis of any elaborate official scheme for depressive disorders. Current episodes have further been defined by a number of psychotic specifiers. These specifiers can also be termed as remission or severity specifiers. They include postpartum onset and chronic. Chronic is further defined by atypical features, catatonic features and melancholic features. Additionally, are two broad categories; substance induced disorders and medical disorders.
The major axis of classification in ICD-10 is course; recurrent, single episode and persistent and bipolar-unipolar. The major categories are the manic episode and depressive disorders. They are consequently classified into recurrent depressive disorders, bipolar affective disorders, persistent mood disorders and unspecified mood disorders (Kanter et al. 17). Examples of persistent mood disorders are cyclothymia and dysthymia. Further, the conditions can be subcategorized by level of severity both with or without psychotic symptoms. The approach paid by ICD-10 is more to detail and not the structure of the scheme.
The comparison of ICD-10 and DSM-III not only creates clarity in the understanding of the predominant types of depression that are very often overlooked by patients. This means that such individuals in denial will tend to overlook the extent of impact that depression will continually have on their lives (Kanter et al. 19). Knowledge of the types of depression is key in actually identifying if an individual or patient is suffering from depression.Symptoms of depression.
In most case scenarios, depression only occurs once in an individual's life. An individual can have multiple episodes. During an episode, symptoms occur for most part of the day (Paykel 2). They are pretty diverse. They include feelings of hopelessness, sadness, tearfulness and emptiness. This sometimes takes and agitated nature; irritability, outbursts and frustrations even on rather insignificant issues (Paykel 2). Individual may also show lack of pleasure or loss of interest in all normal activities. A depression patient may also show trouble trying focus, think, remembering things and making decisions (Paykel 2).
A patient may also show sleep disturbances like the lack of sleep or excessive sleeping habits. Continuous fatigue and lack of energy to carry out day to day activities. A patient may also show slowness in body movements, thinking and speaking. On the aspect of diet, an individual may show a lack of appetite and consequent weight loss or could be the other extreme; excessive craving for food and an increased body weight (Mayo Clinic Staff 1). A patient may also show signs of body pains like muscle pains, headaches and back pain. Suicidal thoughts or even suicide attempts are much common amongst people experiencing depression. They tend to have thoughts of death.
Some patients depict a fixation of their thoughts on past failure or self-blame. This normally leaves the patients with feeling of guilt and worthlessness. These symptoms are normally severe enough to be noticed in most patients (Mayo Clinic Staff 1). This is because they tend to impact on how an individual conducts his day to day activities. The severity of a symptom in ne patient to another is varied and an individual should consider visiting a health professional for evaluation to determine whether or not they are on the verge of depression or not.Causes of depression
The cause of depression is largely attributed to a complex combination of psychosocial, genetic, environmental and biological factors. In regards to biochemistry, the presence of different chemicals and their concentration in the brain contribute to the symptoms of depression (Mayo Clinic Staff 1). In genetics, it is possible for depression to run in a family line. Personality difference can also cause depression. Individual's with low self esteem tend to have a pessimistic view of life which contributes to depression (Mayo Clinic Staff 1). In environmental factors, exposure of an individual to poverty, neglect and violence predisposes an individual to depression.
Impact of depression on Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
In the past, cases of the devastating impact that depression has had on individuals and worse still the social circles of the patient is devastating. Depression tends to increase in severity the longer the individual stays untreated (Prasad 1). This has a direct influence on the behavioral, health and emotional state of an individual which translate to further devastating effects in the lifestyle of the individual.
These impacts include are diverse and some are the result of other effects. Depression can lead to excess weight resulting to obesity. This predisposes the individuals to having heart diseases and diabetes. The individual also faces anxiety, panic disorders and social phobia (Prasad 1). This inhibits the ability of an individual to concentrate on the task at hand, this causes to reduction in general productivity of the individual's daily activities, both social and economic. Social phobia leads to withdrawal behavior which could cause further worsening of the condition or worse, other mental conditions.
Relationship difficulties, family conflicts and trouble at work and school. Victims of depression at times have a problem with handling unexpected feedback and frustration from partners, coworkers and friends since most are not at a capacity of rational thinking (Prasad 1). Therefore, they end up perceiving situations wrongly and lose control of their reaction to the situation. This ends up breaking their relationships with partners, friends and coworkers. This tends to result in social isolation.
Premature death from consequential medical conditions. More often than not, depression when left unattended for a long-time, results in severe medical conditions (Prasad 1). They include stroke, heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythms and high blood pressure. This can even exacerbate pre-existing medical conditions to fatal points.
Suicidal feelings, suicide attempts or even actual suicide. Depression has pushed people from the point of suicidal feelings and thoughts to actually committing suicide (Prasad 1). Those that get to survive their suicide attempts are either left with painful physical body damage or an exacerbated state of their previous depression to even further chronic levels. Those that don't engage in suicide tend to inflict body harm on themselves like self-mutilation. This leads to a lot of pain; this does not help in many occasions worsens the situation.
On the aspect of the disturbed sleep caused by depression to an individual's working life, it greatly hinders their ability to lead a quality and effectively carry out their day to day activities. This leads to self-destructive situation whereby the disturbed sleep and at times lack of sleep leads to severe distress (Prasad 1). This makes it really hard to manage one's daily life activities and their depression condition as well. Low energy, loss of interest and poor concentrations have a detrimental collaborative effect on the way an individual handle their daily life activity. Individuals at exacerbated points of depression tend to have a low sex drive and loss of appetite (Prasad 1). This deprives them pf the ability to effectively lead a normal life.
The relationship between depression and an individual's functional disabilities is such each keeps worsening the other. For instance, behavioral suppression, anxiety and persistent depressive mood tend to impede the morale of an individual to continue in social activities (Prasad 1). This is tough since it can lead inability to access the social support required due to the social isolation.Treatment plan
Depression is treatable and patients that receive the necessary treatment get well with a very high success rate. Diagnostic evaluation is the first step in determining the best course of action (Schimelpfening 7). A depression diagnostic evaluation involves both a physical examination and an interview. This is aimed at understand a patient's family and medical history, environmental factors, cultural factors and specific symptoms. This helps the health professional to come to a best fit diagnosis for the patient's condition.Medication:
Antidepressant are crucial in the treatment of depression since brain chemistry plays a significant role to the depression of an individual. Antidepressants modify the brain chemistry of a patient (Schimelpfening 7). It should be noted that antidepressants are not tranquilizers or sedatives. They don't have a stimulating effect on not depressed people and are not habit forming.
Antidepressants are quite effective. Results can be experienced as early as the second since start of using the medication. The full benefits are likely to be noted from around the second month (Schimelpfening 7). If a patient does not note any improvements, they should inform their healthcare professional. The psychiatrist can add or substitute the medication with other psychotropic medication (Schimelpfening 7). Switch to the use of a whole new set of psychotropic medication can also be considered. Medications is normally recommended up to six months after improvements have been noted to avoid a relapse of the symptoms. Patients with severe symptoms are normally taken through long term treatment. This is to ensure there is no reoccurrence of future episodes. In case of any side effects, it is recommended that one informs their psychiatrist.Psychotherapy
It is majorly used in the treatment of mild depression and involves an investigative interview to determine the possible and consequently come up with the necessary treatment plan. It is sometimes used alongside antidepressants to influence their effectiveness. The main type used is cognitive behavioral therapy which focuses on the present and emphasis on patient centered solutions (MacGill 2). It has proven to have such a high success rate. The patient is guided by the psychiatrist to identify distorted and detrimental thought and behavior patterns and traits and therefore come up with solutions or determine a course of action for change. Psychotherapy can be administered to a patient alone or in a group setting for example with family or people with a similar depression condition. This helps to create a support structure which is very effective in the quick recovery of a patient (MacGill 2). The severity of the depression conditions tends to determine the length of treatment from a few weeks to way longer.Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
It is largely administered where other types have failed to give conclusive improvements. It involves electrical stimulation of the patient's brain under anesthesia (MacGill 2). It is largely used on patients with exacerbated bipolar disorder and severe depression. It has been in use since the late nineteenth century and has been refined to a very effective model. It is conducted in the company of specialist in anesthesia, nurse and psychiatrist. A patient receives between six to twelve treatments and can be administered up to three times a week.Prevention.
There is no specific way to prevent depression but there are steps that an individual can take to reduce the chances. Individual should engage in activities to boost their self-esteem and resilience (Prasad 2). This is in preparedness in the eve a catastrophic event occurs in one's life. An individual should always make an effort to reach out to friends and family, this is especially in tough time to enable one to make it through well. Ensure that an individual takes up treatment as soon as they notice any early signs of depression before it worsens (Prasad 2). The treatment should be advisably be long-term to ensure there isn't a relapse of symptoms.
Individuals should endeavor to engage in outdoor activities like regular exercise. It helps in improving one's mood and a positive feeling of oneself (Prasad 2). Enough quality sleep is also crucial in keeping one of a depresses state. Avoiding consumption of alcohol and having of a healthy diet help to minimize the symptoms of depression.Conclusion
The impact of depression on the ability of an individual to carry on with their daily activities varies in severity. Generally, the longer an individual fails to take the initiative to access necessary medical hep, their inability to perform their daily activities dwindles. It is highly recommended that an individual should seek medical help soonest possible to ensure that depression does not ruin their lives to points of marital and family breakdown, pain, suffering and stress for family, friends, caregivers and colleagues. The impact depression has on the ability to keep up with their day to day activities has a direct impact on the quality of life they lead and consequently of those that depend on them. It is important that individual avoid activities and factors that would possibly pre-dispose them to depression. Prevention or taking pro-active steps to safeguard oneself from depression is key.