Depression Has Been Known As a "Result Term Paper

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depression has been known as a "result when individuals forfeit their personal power." (Depression: A Multimedia Sourcebook, p.1) It also has been described in ancient times as "... [an] affliction [that] laid its cause to supernatural intervention, primarily religious in nature. (Ainsworth, p. 48) In the Hindu depression was noted as a struggle between good and evil in which evil would win and "victimize individual humans." (Ainsworth, p.48) In texts from Babylonia and Egypt, gods punished transgressions in the hearts of people and placed on them the depressive curse. The early Hebrew texts allude to the belief that depression in humans reflects the displeasure of Yahweh.

But according to up-to-the-date research, we know that depression is an "innocuous-sounding word... that refers to a potentially disabling illness that affects many but is understood by few." (Ainsworth p.1) Professor Patricia Ainsworth, a leading psychologist on depression, further explains that sufferers often do not realize the nature of their despair until they are so devastated that they can no longer help themselves. She continues:

The reason is simple. Depression is a sneak thief, slipping into a life gradually and robbing it of meaning, one loss at a time. The losses are imperceptible at first, but eventually weigh so heavily that the person's life becomes empty.

Once begun, the course of depression varies with the individual and with the form of the illness.

Untreated, it can last weeks, months, or even years." (p.1)

According to The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), as many as one in five individuals may suffer a significant depressive illness, although most will not seek treatment.1 During any year, one in ten people experience the sluggishness of mind, body, and spirit we know as depression. And it is noted that depression is one of the most


Common mental illnesses. At least 8% of adults in the United States experience serious depression at some point during their lives, and estimates range as high as 17%.2 The illness affects people of both sexes and does not differentiate between race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic standing. However, women are two to three times more likely than men to suffer from depression. (Ainsworth p.27) Experts disagree on the reason for this difference. Some cite differences in hormones, and others point to the stress caused by society's expectations of women.

Although it may appear anytime from childhood to old age, depression usually begins during a person's 20s or 30s. The illness may come on slowly and then deepen gradually over months or years. On the other hand, it may erupt suddenly in a few weeks or…

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A variety of medical conditions can cause depression. These include dietary

1. / deficiencies in vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid. Degenerative neurological disorders may also be to blame such as Alzheimer's disease and strokes or through certain viral infections, such as hepatitis and mononucleosis.1

Depression typically cannot be shaken or willed away. (Becker, p. 187) An episode must therefore run its course until

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