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Toward An Understanding Of Major Depressive Disorder

2076 words - 9 pages

Major Depressive Disorder is a chronic, persistent mental illness.
EPIDEMIOLOGY
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or unipolar depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorders seen in primary care but only half of all MDD sufferers seek medical help (Johnson Vanderhoef 109; Myers DeWall 520). NEED A TIE IN SENTENCE
Incidence Prevalence. It is estimated that 5% of the United States (US) population (or approximately 10,000,000 Americans) are impacted by MDD making it the leading cause of disability in the US (Johnson and Vanderhoef 109). Unfortunately, 15% of MDD sufferers will commit suicide (Johnson and Vanderhoef 109). Thus, the importance of understanding MDD its role in mental health is crucial.
Sex. Women are more likely to suffer from MDD than men. In fact, there is “a twofold greater prevalence of major depressive disorder in women than in men” (Kaplan Sadock 528). According to Kaplan Sadock, the reason for this imbalance is due to: (a) hormonal imbalances, (b) childbirth, (c) differing psychosocial stressors, and (d) behavioral models of learned helplessness (529).
Age. Major Depressive Disorder can occur at any age, but the average age of onset is 40 years of age (Kaplan Sadock 529). Johnson and Vanderhoef suggest that many MDD sufferers begin having MDD symptoms between the ages of 20 30 (109). However, according to Kaplan Sadock, MDD can occur both earlier in life (childhood) as well as in old age (529).
Marital Status. According to Kaplan Sadock, MDD occurs “most often in person without close interpersonal relationship or in those who are divorced or separated” (529). This lack of a close personal relationship may be the trigger that exacerbates MDD.
Socioeconomic. Kaplan Sadock suggest that no correlation between socioeconomic status MDD exists (529). Thus, no evidence exists that differing classes suffer from MDD at a higher incidence than others.
Comorbidities. Kaplan Sadock suggest that people suffering from MDD are at a higher risk for additional psychiatric, as well as medical disorders. People who suffer from MDD are at a higher risk, especially men, for substance use disorders (Kaplan Saddock 529).
ETIOLOGY
The etiology of MDD is unknown. It is theorized that complex genetic, biochemical, environmental etiological factors cause MDD. Yet the true cause remains elusive.
Multiple theories from psychological to neurobiological seek to explain MDD. According to Johnson Vanderhoef (2014), suggested theories that explain MDD include: (a) Psychodynamic Theories (Object Loss Theory, Aggression-Turned-Inward Theory, Cognitive Theory, Learned Helplessness-Hopeless Theory), (b) Biological Theories (Genetic Predisposition, Endocrine Dysfunction, Structural Brain Changes, Chronobiological Theory, abnormalities of Neurotransmitter Function). See Appendix A for a brief description of each MDD etiological theory
Pscyhodynamic Theories. Kaplan Sadock suggest that “the psychodynamic understanding of depression defined by Sigmund...

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