Understanding Depression and The Human Body

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Using several sources of information from the media on a specific mental illness or on mental illness in general. I discuss depression and its many factors. The difficulty in labeling. And how does the biology of the human body of the male and female sex play an extremely important role.

Submitted: October 07, 2015

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Submitted: October 07, 2015

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Understanding Depression and The Human Body

Sheakwon Vaughn

University of Bridgeport

Many define depression differently however, according to Smith, M., Saisan, J., & Segal, J. and the Ottawa Freedom Center, In the article titled, Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs. “The normal ups and downs of life mean that everyone feels sad or has "the blues" from time to time. But if emptiness and despair have taken hold of your life and won't go away, you may have depression. Depression makes it tough to function and enjoy life like you once did. Just getting through the day can be overwhelming. But no matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better. Understanding the signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment of depression is the first step to overcoming the problem”. Here we see how the authors approach depression on an open ended view. There is never one way to define or explain depression. However, identifying the factors or symptoms prompted to depression is always best in getting control of the issue. Smith, M., Saisan, J., & Segal, J., continue to explain,”Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows”. Here we clearly see that we must take caution how we label individuals, as explained, many individuals do experience their “lows” and we cannot always assume that a person is depressed as a result of that. It may be normal for an individual at times be isolated or enclosed. This we can describe as someones safe-haven. The overall understanding is that even though there are people who may experience signs and symptoms of depression, they may not always be depressed. It is a disorder that must be diagnosed. This online article proves an overall top standard quality and accuracy of what depression is Vaughn 2 and how it should be handled. After reading it, there are several statements that are most true. They are the labeling we tend to do as society and as humans. For us it is natural, it is an easier way to learn, we enjoy sorting and organization. However, when these things begin to leak into places they should not it creates problems. There are many individuals who may seem to express signs and symptoms of depression but they are not depressed. As mentioned previously, depression is a diagnosed disorder. Even in medical practice, therapist may misdiagnose a patient if they express several symptoms of depression but also a few symptoms of a few other disorders. When simply, it could just be the persons”low” as mentioned. It sheds light on the fact that the study of Psychology itself has several different branches than continue to branch but there is never really one solid conclusion. Anyone can become depressed but the main difference that many should consider is the sex of the individual. Whether it be male or female, they both react differently to certain kinds of depression. Also, biologically there is a great difference. In the article titled. 7 Ways Depression Differs in Men and Women, Cari Nierenberg and Goldstien explain, the ways men and women deal with depression. Goldstien says, “Women are more likely to ruminate when feeling depressed, Dwelling on and rehashing negative feelings, known as ruminating, occurs more commonly in women who have depression in comparison to men who have the illness. This behavior may involve negative self-talk, crying for no obvious reason and blaming oneself”. Here we see the effects depression has on women and what they are more likely to do. Some may conclude that this is a result of the female being a more sensitive creature for a reaction like this to take place. That would be an easy way to put it, however, biologically there is a difference in the hormones that are present in the female than the male body. Again, we may or may not find ourselves labeling or categorizing. The easy way out is not always the best way out. This draws much interest when it comes to men and women who are depressed because it proves that depression is not just depression there are many biological differences. Goldstien goes on to talk about the effects of depression on men, “Men with depression are Vaughn 3 more likely to abuse alcohol and other substances. Men may drink heavily or turn to illegal drugs to medicate themselves prior to the onset of depression, and this is particularly true of teenage boys, Goldstein said. In women, substance abuse tends to occur after the onset of depression, or as anxiety levels increase”. Here we see how men handle depression. And also, this behavior of men drinking as a result of depression would categorizes men as the more robust creature. While this may be true, in psychology labels do not always work. Hormonal differences do play a role in how depression weighs on the life of an individual. The most important factor related to this article has to be the stressing of how differently men and women are affected by depression. It opens the door for a larger discussion on the habits of how we as a society label individuals as just depressed and that we are not all the same, especially on the inside. Both hormonally and physically a person may be affected. Nature vs Nurture is another debate many may argue is an underlying factor in depression. This article teaches us to understand the biological nature of each human being before we begin to label them. Depression is a very difficult disorder to deal with and sometimes there are many who do not know where or how to seek help for it. Lisa Scott has written about the encounters patients have when they do try to seek treatment in her article. Simply titled, Depression, Scott explains, “Many patients feel that their relationship with nurses is negative when it concerns their experiences of depression and suggests that nursing staff demonstrate a lack of understanding in relation to the condition”. This happens to be the most common reaction whenever an individual with depression seeks help. Usually nurses who meet the patient where they are, are often pushed away because the weight of the patients' current depressive state seems so complex, even to the patient. That in reality it is something they can only experience and not explain to their therapist. Which is why many therapist who have tried to help these individuals are immediately disregarded when trying to understand the patient. Scott continues” In practice, I have encountered patients with varying levels of depression, and I have given them the opportunity to talk, be heard and discuss concerns”. Here Scott explains the Vaughn 4 importance of letting the individual who is suffering to give their side of the story. It is important that once a therapist chooses to factor in their opinion, that they give room for the patient to express theirs. It is a psychological study it is not possible to draw blood and diagnose depression. Depression can vary from person to person, men and women and is also influenced by the environment. We have discussed the importance of not labeling any individual who shows symptoms of depression. Depression is not easy to diagnose, there are many avenues one can take when dealing with depression. Each article has opened up my understanding on what depression is, how it varies from men and women and the hands on experience of what it is like to deal with individuals who suffer with depression. All articles are therefore foreground factors to aid with the understanding of such a complex disorder.

 

Work Cited Smith, M., Saisan, J., & Segal, J. (2015, August 1). Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs. Retrieved September 16, 2015. Nierenberg, C., & Goldstien. (2014, April 23). 7 Ways Depression Differs in Men and Women. Retrieved September 16, 2015. Scott, L. (2013). Depression... This practice profile is based on NS682 Hardy S (2013) Prevention and management of depression in primary care. Nursing Standard. 27,26,51-56.Nursing Standard,28(8), 61. doi:10.7748/ns2013.10.28.8.61.s50 Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved September 16, 2015, from http://www.ottawafreedomcenter.org/41-2/


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