As we have seen in some of the literary works we have studied, such as What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and The Dead Poet Society, depression is a common problem in our society. Many of us have known someone who has suffered from depression. Depression is a condition that affects everyone – not just the person diagnosed with it. It is imperative that depression be recognized and treated at an early stage, before it becomes an endangering factor in a person’s life.
Depression is defined as extreme sorrow lasting at least two weeks. There are many symptoms of depression, as well as varying degrees in the magnitude of these symptoms. There are also different types of depression to consider as well. The two most common forms are called Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Clinical Depression, both of which can be moderate to severe in seriousness. These types do not generally last a great deal of time, mostly because people seek help quickly in these cases. There is also a form of depression called Dysthymia. It is similar to MDD, however, it is less severe and generally lasts longer. A person diagnosed with Dysthymia must usually suffered symptoms lasting one or two years before they are formally diagnosed with Dysthymia (Types). If, along with depression, one experiences mania, or excessive excitement and enthusiasm, they may be diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder.
Unfortunately, depression is often brushed aside. There are those who view depression as simply a cry for attention. Others do not see its seriousness and believe those with depression will eventually get over it on their own. If it is a “mental disease”, it should be able to be cured simply by happier thoughts, and no medication should be needed. The cure for depression, under this theory, is only just an attitude adjustment, and nothing more. It would seem that this theory would also suggest that depression is not even a mental disease, as it provides no actual illness.
Depression has many symptoms, and it is when a person is diagnosed with five or more of these that they are officially declared “depressed.” The main symptoms of depression include constant sadness, irritability, hopelessness, difficulty sleeping, continuous state of fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, feelings of guilt, significant weight change, inability to concentrate, and loss of interest in what once were favored activities (Depression Symptoms). All of these symptoms are nothing compared to what it can lead to. Suicidal thoughts and actions are common by-products of depression and are often difficult to prevent. These symptoms must be recognized at the earliest time possible and dealt with properly. If depression is allowed to linger unattended, not only is the person at risk, but so are those who are close to the person suffering from these symptoms.
Unfortunately, no age group or gender is immune to depression. Among the people most affected are women, who have a clear two to one ratio compared to men....