Depression There Is a Stark and Medical Essay

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There is a stark and medical difference between feelings of sadness and clinical mood disorders such as unipolar depression and bipolar disorders. Both disorders can have a profound on the quality of life of an individual. Often times the two disorders are precipitated by specific events and sometimes they just are, in any event effective diagnostic tools and treatments exist. It is not a hopeless situation in the least. In this paper, I summarize and defined the depression, and bipolar mood disorders. I then go through the symptoms, causes, and treatments of the two disorders by reviewing some of the literature. Finally, I compare and contrast the two disorders and conclude with a review of emerging ideas about the two mood disorders.

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by prolonged feelings of sadness which make everyday interactions and tasks difficult, if not impossible to complete (Mood Disorders, 193). In its most severe forms suicide contemplation is present (Mood Disorders, 195). Contrary to popular belief many adults suffer from clinical depression at least once in their lives. Id. Although there are no one size fits all rubrics for determining whether an individual is depressed there are some common symptoms. If a person is experiencing depression they are likely to experience some of the following: extreme and prolonged sadness; an inability to live their everyday lives in work, school, or family life; a loss of interest in activity and an increase in sleep; and finally extremely negative perceptions about themselves and their worth as persons (Mood Disorders, 195).

One of the obstacles to diagnosing depression or bipolar mood disorders are the silence around mental health disorders in general. This silence means that many individuals are unaware that their internal monologues are problematic and fail to seek the help that they need. For instance, among the cases in the Lickey & Gordon Study of 1991, is the case of a man named Derek (Mood Disorders, 195). Derek's internal monologue is so incredibly negative, it includes fixations on passed failures and an exaggeration of their impact on his career, lots of thoughts about violent deaths, and beliefs of sever inadequacy in both his professional life and his personal life (Mood Disorders, 195).

Societal beliefs about the appropriateness of depression or the positive correlation of the mania state can also play a role. Individuals, such as mothers with new born infants, often express feelings of shame associated with their post-partum depression, and cite this feeling of shame as a reason for failing to seek treatment earlier (Mood Disorders, 196). Individuals experiencing both depression and states of mania, the two states characterized by the Bipolar disorder, are faced with even more societal condemnation.

Since diagnosing is the critical first step in treatment, it is vital that the stigma against mental disorders be addressed and reduced. In order for feelings of prolonged sadness to be considered "a severe depressive episode is a period marked by at least 5 symptoms of depression and lasting for two weeks or longer" (Mood Disorders, 197). Many of the symptoms are around all day feelings of sadness, lack of motivation,…

Sources Used in Documents:


Badssarini, R.J., Vieta, E., Calabresee, J.R., Tohen, M. & Bowden, C.L. (2010). Bipolar Depression: Overview and commentary. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 18(3), pp. 143-157.

Goldberg, J.F., & Harrow, M. (2011). A 15-year prospective follow-up of bipolar affective disorders: comparisons with unipolar nonpsychotic depression. Bipolar disorders, 13(2), pp. 155-163.

Keena, K., Fend, X., Hipwell, A., & Klostermann, S. (2009). Depression begets depression: Comparing the predictive utility of depression and anxiety symptoms to later depression. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 50(9), pp. 1167-1175.

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