Depression is a common occurrence in society. That is everyone will experience sadness at some point in time (Barlow and, Durand, 2009). According to Barlow and Durand major depressive disorder is a mental illness that affects individuals suffering with debilitating physical and emotional symptoms that keep them from living a meaningful productive life (Barlow and Durand, 2009). If an individual is living with depression there are many symptoms other than psychological they may experience (Barlow and Durand, 2009). One should seek help if the negative feelings and symptoms do not go away (Barlow and Durand, 2009). Depression that goes untreated can lead to suicide (Barlow and Durand, 2009). “Major Depressive Disorder” is defined as the “most common and severe experience of depression, including feelings of worthlessness, disturbances in bodily activities such as sleep, loss of interest, and inability to experience pleasure, persisting at least two weeks”(Barlow and Durand, 2009; DSM, 2004).
There are many variables other than biological that cause us to be more prone to depression (Barlow and Durand, 2009). For example, I currently work at Bering Omega Community Services which is a hospice that serves the HIV and AIDS community. The majority of our residents have some type of mental illness. Their mental illness has led them to behave in a risky manner and therefore has contributed to their HIV/AIDS diagnosis. The majority of our residents are poly substance abusers and would likely still use if they were on the streets. When residents are admitted we do a psychosocial assessment and review their medical records. Some of the questions we are concerned with is, does the resident have a social network, for example, family or close friends, what social systems are impacting the resident for example, religion, sexual orientation, or legal issues. It is also important to know a brief history about the family and their thoughts on the patients HIV status. Quite often a patient will move in and the family does not know they are HIV positive. This can cause many psychological issues and depression.
The second part of the assessment is a brief psychological and cognitive assessment. In this part of the assessment we access their current mental and emotional status and enquirer whether they have a drug abuse or alcohol problem and if so when did they start using and for how long.
One resident that stands out in particular is a male in his mid forty’s that suffers with bipolar and major depression. When he was admitted to the hospice he was classified as a respite client. A Respite client has thirty days to stay on the thirty-first day; either they are classified as hospice or find different placement. In my year of experience at Bering Omega I have never seen an individual this distressed. Upon his admission to the house he obviously suffered from severe burns. He tried to commit suicide by entering an alley pouring gasoline on his body and...