Essay on What I Learned about Clinical Depression

Essay on What I Learned about Clinical Depression

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Before taking this class, I knew little about depression except that some of my closest friends had dealt with it. I thought that a person must be deeply sad and troubled for a long period of time before they were diagnosed or even before they told someone about their feelings. I thought that depression was not a sudden illness, but was very gradual and often occurred later in early adulthood. Some of my assumptions about depression were that almost always included self-harm because that is what I saw with my friends, and I also assumed that depression didn't occur in episodes but was a constant feeling that the person had regardless of any happy occurrence in their life. I used to think that depression was not genetic, but that it happened through the individual's environment. Whether an individual felt exceeding pressure through academics or experienced trauma at a young age, I thought that the environmental factors that an individual experienced determined whether they would develop depression or not.
I mostly learned about this disorder through my friends who experienced depression and from what I had learned in health class. My experiences were limited because I came from a very small high school, but it was when I went to college when I saw more people suffering from depression. I quickly learned that my friends relied on medication to help with their depressive symptoms and that most of them also had other co-morbid symptoms like anxiety issues and eating disorders. What I didn't learn about depression from my friend's experiences, I learned through other psychology classes that I had taken. Within the classes, depression was not the focus, but was briefly touched on. I learned more about the cognitive aspect of how depres...


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...class, along with the new information from May’s first person experience I believe now that I have a clearer understanding of what depression, as a mental illness. Depression is a mental disorder that can be characterized through continuous or episodic feelings of sadness or hopelessness, loss of interest in things once liked, (such as sexual drive in the first-person experience of J.B. Mays), and possible suicidal thoughts or self-harm. Depression is often a co-morbid disease, meaning that there are other possible psychological disorders effecting the individual. In May’s case, he suffered symptoms from a few other disorders such as anxiety, paranoia, neuroticism, and obsessive compulsive thoughts, especially while in therapy. Depression can be treated with therapy, most effectively cognitive therapy, and medication that aides in serotonin and dopamine regulation.

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