Psych Depression Essay

Submitted By bcollacchi2
Words: 3014
Pages: 13

Depression: Nature or Nurture?

Ashley Robertson
Abnormal Psych- Dr. Darby

By the year 2020, depression is thought to become the 2nd leading cause of disability all over the world. It affects all people regardless of age group, geographic location or social position. In the United States, nearly 18.8 million adults or about 9.5 percent of the country’s population age, above the age of 18 years have depression. It has no limit on how severe or how slight it will hit a person. It is defined as a severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. It’s a condition of mental disturbance, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life. Symptoms of depression can include gain/loss of weight, changes in sleep patterns, loss of interest in socializing or sexual contact, loss of appetite, loss of emotional expression, persistently sad mood, feelings of hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, insomnia, unusual restlessness, persistent physical problems, or thoughts of death and suicide. When you have depression, you may have trouble doing normal day to day activities and you may even feel that life is not worth living. It is not a weakness or something that you can just get over in a second. It is a chronic illness that usually will require a long term treatment. Like most disorders, there are controversies about what truly causes depression. The biggest topic at hand is whether depression is caused by nature, nurture, or both.
There are a few different forms of depression. There is bipolar disorder, mania, and dysthymic. Bipolar is when a person has an unending roller-coaster of emotions from peaks of elation to depths of despair. Mania is a period of abnormal excessive elation or euphoria. Dysthymic disorders involves persistent depressed mood, with low self-esteem, withdrawal, pessimism, or despair and it is present for at least two years with no absence of symptoms for more than two months.
Some young people are more prone to depression than others. The influence of surroundings and upbringing on an individual’s mind is known to be a well known cause of depression. However, research studies have confirmed that the role of genes can also be a probable cause for this disorder. Some suppose that it is all just in a person’s head. They believe that people use it as an excuse not to grow up and for others to have pity on them. The misconception many others people have, though, is that you have a neurochemical abnormality and then depression results from that. According to a prominent theory of depression known as the diathesis’ stress theories, genetic impairment joined with negative experiences in life cause depression. In fact, it is a two-way street: Your experiences influence your neurochemistry just about as much as your neurochemistry affects your experiences. These include your problem-solving abilities, your coping styles (whether you deal with problems directly and proactively or either ruminate or go into avoidance), your decision-making styles (many people who are either depressed or are prone to depression make bad decisions that lead to depression and even make their depression worse), your perceptions of control (whether you see yourself as a victim of life experience or as having the power to take charge of your life), the quality of your relationships and relationship skills, and many other personal factors. Feeling hopeless and helpless are part of the disorder, and so depressed people are prone to believe there is nothing they can do to help themselves, but when people educate themselves and take proactive and deliberate steps to get help, the probability of overcoming depression is high. Another issue that deals with nature and nurture is if depression is hereditary or learned. Once again, depression deals with both of these. Genetics may be the predisposing factor that begins the depression, but