Depression: The Best Course of Action
Many people occasionally feel “the blues”, but luckily, it is usually temporary. Unfortunately, “temporary” is not always the case. As characterized by the National Institute of Mental Health, “a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat and enjoy once-pleasurable activities” is defined as depression (“Depression”). Depression is an extremely common, widespread “psychoneurotic disorder” that affects 13 to 14 million adults in the United States each year (DeRubeis, Siegle and Hollon). Among a list of symptoms provided by the National Institute of Mental Health, difficulty in thinking, “empty” feelings, hopelessness, loss of interest, and in more severe cases, thoughts of suicide, could all be signs of depression (“Depression”). This disorder is an especially prominent topic because most episodes are brought on by negative life events, meaning anyone is susceptible to the disorder at any point in their lives. This contrasts disorders that are genetically acquired, and makes depression a disorder that is much more common and dangerous. Despite it’s prevalence today, depression is very responsive to treatment; the only argument surrounding the disorder is which course of treatment is the most effective, both short-term and long-term. Since the late 1950s, depression was most commonly treated through medication, such as antidepressants. Although prescription medication is predominantly used as the first course of treatment for major depression, many scientific studies have shown that therapy, such as cognitive and behavioral therapies, are much more effective, due to a change in patterns of thinking and behavior.
Currently, depression is one of the most common psychological disorders and is increasingly affecting more and more people each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, “an estimated 1 in 10 adults report depression,” and that those with the following backgrounds/conditions are more susceptible for meeting the criteria for major depression:
persons ages 45-64 years old, women, blacks, Hispanics, non-Hispanic persons
of other races or multiple races, persons with less than a high school education,
those previously married, individuals unable to work or unemployed and persons
without health insurance coverage (“An Estimated 1 in 10 U.S. Adults Report
Although it is more likely to have major depression when you are older, other types of depression affect those of various ages. Because of the disorder’s ability to affect an abundance of people, the courses of treatment taken to help are extremely significant. However, once diagnosed, depression is extremely responsive to treatment, and most patients report a successful recovery in a relatively short period of time.
Historically, the first source of treatment used for depression has been prescription medication in the form of antidepressants. Most...