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Essay/Term paper: Depression

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Psychology

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Adolescent Depression Depression (also known as melancholia) is the state of sadness, decreased
initiative, and introversion. It"s known as being blue, or just being down. Depression can be caused
by anything that"s disturbing to the individual, or can be caused by massive amounts of stress.
Anything that gives you a feeling of guilt can lead to depression. Adolescence is a time where there
are great amounts of stress due to mental, physical, and chemical changes in the body. This is the
time where many people feel down or depressed. It sometimes goes unnoticed because it"s felt that
these are just things kids have to go through, but speaking from personal experience not everything
is written in plain black and white. Adolescent depression is a big problem, and if nothing"s done
about it, it can lead to an emotional breakdown. Sometimes resulting in attempted suicides.
Adolescence is what scientists label a problem period. This is the time where children, become
young adults. They are being prepared for adulthood. To prepare for this the body must go through
a certain amount of changes. These changes are both physical and mental: "Adolescence" comes
from the Latin verb adolescere, which means "to grow," or "to grow to maturity." Maturing involves
not only physical but also mental growth. On the physical side, it means the attainment of mature
stature...mentally a mature individual is one who has reached their maximum intelligence level.

During this time, weird things begin to happen to the mind and body that are scary but exciting at the
same time. But this time also brings huge amounts of pressure and stress. Some of which the child
may not be able to handle, causing them to feel "weighed down" by life. The teen doesn"t have to
be troubled to feel depressed, all it takes is something negative that makes them feel insecure and
you have the beginnings of adolescent depression. During this period the youth is worried about
their new role in life. They are unsure of their abilities and this confuses them, adding stress to an
already stressful period:

A person is an adult when he can take his place and play his role in adult affairs, physically, socially,
and economically. A person is regarded as an adolescent until he operates as an adult.

During this period of the youths life, it causes them to be confused, uncertain, and anxious. This is a
transition period for the youth, and it may be too much for one to handle causing emotional

Like all transitions, adolescence is marked by shiftings backward and forward from old to new
behavior, from old to new attitudes. Instability and inconsistency are indications of immaturity.

This shows that the youth is unsure of themselves and they"re second-guessing their abilities, and
they are trying to adjust themselves to the new status that they must now assume in their new social
group. There are easy to read signs of transition (the beginning stages of depression). Because he
feels unsure of himself and insecure of his status, the adolescent tends to be aggressive,
self-conscious, and withdrawn. This causes them to shelter themselves and become more reserved.
They won"t talk much, and they"ll begin to feel less social, unwanted, and misunderstood. This is
from my personal experience. The teen years is when the depression usually goes unnoticed
because people feel this is just a phase and eventually they"ll grow out of it. Sometimes you do, and
sometimes you don"t. It"s like a time bomb ticking away that could go off at any minute. moods are
linked to physical functions. But when they last for several days and weeks, these are when the
sirens are going off. These are warning signs that there are severe disturbances of personality or
undesirable conduct. Although these are symptoms that all teens go through, they differ depending
on sex. As adolescents boys and girls worry about different problems, but they all lead to the same
thing. Girls are more concerned with school problems, relating to their parents, family adjustments,
social adjustments, personal attractiveness, and etiquette. Boys worry about money and problems
relating to their future. Being a teen is stressful enough but when you add all of these pressures, it
leads to mental and physical breakdown. Within themselves the adolescent years are already a
problem. This is a confusing time for youngsters because they have many changes and adjustments
to make. Society also helps add to the turmoil of the adolescent years. Society has a lot to do with
the failure of some adolescents in life. When you have something to prove it makes you tentative.
Here are some of the main reasons for failure:

Overemotional repression, oversuppresion of unsatisfied desires, the undue multiplicity of wishes,
failure to be properly introduced, when young, to the world of reality, which is followed
subsequently by the uncontrollable desire to flee from reality...

Too often, adolescents are judged by adult standards, thus putting massive amounts of pressure on
them. This is the time when adolescents usually get very unhappy. That"s because of the demands
placed on them by society. This is all on top of the demand placed on the youth by their social
group. This could be too much for a still developing mind to cope with. Peer group membership is
the essential feature of this phase of development. Other causes of pressure leading to depression
can come from home as well. I know when I became depressed at the beginning of the year it
started at home. Parents put lots of pressure on their kids. Yes, they want their kids to do well, but
by drilling that you must succeed in life into their heads, it makes the kid anxious, and nervous. And
when the child does fail at something, they think it"s the end of the world and that they"ve failed
themselves and their parents. Another thing that puts a lot of pressure on kids is school. School has
always played a big role in adolescent depression. This is where a lot of depression actually begins.
When a student feels like they are not understanding something, instead of going to get help they"ll
just forget about it. They"ll pretend nothing"s wrong and that they don"t really need school to
succeed in life. They won"t ask for help because they"re afraid of what will be thought of them.
Adolescents always worry about what others think, this is what gets them down. Treating
depression can be very difficult, because before you can treat someone for depression, they have to
acknowledge the fact they have a problem. This is the hardest part of trying to treat depression.
Before anything can be done, the person has to want help. After the person acknowledge that they
have a problem, counseling is the first stage of recovering. Talking to a counselor about all of their
problems will help relieve some of the pressure they feel. Counseling can help adolescents adjust to
their new roles in society. But this is not always the best way to go. Counselors are just there to
talk, if the person is really depressed, other treatments are going to be needed. Counselors are there
for talking. For reassurance, to let the youth know that they can get through any of their problems.
Depending on the type of problem, treatments are different. Kinds of Problems

Everyday Problems Friendships Family School, etc. Experience Education (Guidance)

Special Problems Educational Vocational Premarital Personal, etc. Guidance (Counseling)

Adjustment Problems Emotional Sexual Social Religious Moral Counseling (Psychotherapy)

Mental health and personality problems Neuroses Homosexuality Alcoholism Drug Addiction
Psychosis Psychopathy, etc.

Psychotherapy (Medical Treatment) Medical problems Injury Disease, etc. Medical Treatment

A person must first be diagnosed with having a problem before any type of psychotherapy or
medical treatment. They must be diagnosed by a professional MD. For the other types of problems,
the youth may come to an adult telling you what"s wrong with them. All treatments should be done
by professionals, but if the youth just wants to talk, it"s okay for you to listen to their problems, but
do not under any circumstances try and perform your own personal counseling session. These are
serious problems and they need to be treated that way.

Dysthymia Dysthymia is a mild or moderate form depression. Is has been observed as form of
depression since 1980 . Dysthymic disorder is characterized by an overwhelming yet chronic state
of depression, exhibited by a depressed mood for most of the days, for more days than not, for at
least 2 years. (In children and adolescents, mood can be irritable and duration must be at least 1
year.) The person who suffers from this disorder must not have gone for more than 2 months
without experiencing two or more of the following symptoms: · poor appetite or overeating ·
insomnia or hypersomnia · low energy or fatigue · low self-esteem · poor concentration or difficulty
making decisions · feelings of hopelessness No Major Depressive Episode has been present during
the first two years (or one year in children and adolescents) and there has never been a Manic
Episode, a Mixed Episode, or a Hypomanic Episode, and criteria have never been met for
Cyclothymic Disorder. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of the use or
abuse of a substance (alcohol, drugs, and medications) or a general medical condition. The
symptoms must also cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, educational or
other important areas of functioning. During the 2-year period (1 year for children or adolescents) of
the disturbance, the person has never been without the symptoms for more than 2 months at a time .
Dysthymic disorder can begin in childhood and in adulthood. Like most for the depression,
Dysthymia is more common in women then in men. Most people who suffer from this disorder
cannot remember when they first became depressed. Up to 3 percent when people suffer from
Dysthymic disorder. 5-15 percent of people in a local doctor's office has the disorder . If someone
is the criteria for Dysthymia they should go discuss the matter with a physician. The physician will
then determine whether the symptoms are because of depression the outside factors such as thyroid
disorders. Also a full diagnostic interview is held. When possible collaborative information from
family and friends is utilized. Information on the causes of Dysthymia remains largely incomplete.
There are several series on the matter. It has been observed that Dysthymia runs in families. This
would suggest that Dysthymia may be hereditary but the family environment may also play a role.
There's also a theory that Dysthymia may be the result of a change in the brain involving the
chemical Serotonin, which would hinder the ability of the affected person to maintain social or
interpersonal relationships . Since the calls the Dysthymia is not known there seems to be no exact
way to prevent it. According to Dr. Martin Keller, executive psychiatrists-in-chief at Brown
affiliated hospitals in Providence RI, the best way to deal with Dysthymia early detection. Since
most people who suffer from Dysthymic disorder at some point in their lives experience chronic
major depression the diagnosis of Dysthymia can be used to help prevent these cases . Treatment
for Dysthymic disorder is also very broad topic. According to Dr. Phillip Long medication is usually
not an issue for someone who suffers from this disorder. Most patients show no additional
improvement with the addition of an antidepressant medication, Long-term treatment of this disorder
with medication should be avoided; medication should be prescribed only for acute symptom relief.
Additionally, prescription of medication may interfere with the effectiveness of certain
psychotherapeutic approaches. Consideration of this effect should be taken into account when
arriving at a treatment recommendation . When appropriate to treat a concurrent major depressive
episode, Tricyclic antidepressants are effective and inexpensive. Phillip W. Long, M.D. suggests
that, "a patient should not be considered a failure until the equivalent of 200 mg to 300 mg of
Imipramine has been evaluated for at least 6 weeks." Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors may
also be appropriate for prescription. Phillip W. Long, M.D. also states, "A number of drugs are not
of value for long-term treatment. Those drugs include the amphetamines, the barbiturates, and the
benzodiazepines. Those drugs are often prescribed for patients with chronic symptoms of insomnia,
fatigue, or tension. However, clinical experience and systematic research indicate that they are little
better than a placebo and are at times worse." As with many chronic disorders psychotherapy is the
recommended treatment of choice. Is important for the initial physician to conduct a complete
diagnostic evaluation to assess the patient's ability to function, suicidal tendencies, etc. a cycle
therapeutic approach seems to work best because the therapist can provide us to produce change
oriented personalized environment for treatment. Therapy should be generally conducted with
respect to the client's pace and level of functioning. Attempts to focus on change too early in therapy
could lead to early termination of therapy. This likely occurs because the patient feels the therapist
didn't respect or care enough about him or her to move at their rate. Psychotherapy approaches for
this disorder vary widely. Short-term approaches are preferred, however, because they emphasize
realistic, attainable goals in the individual's life, which can usually bring them back to their normal
level of functioning. This level, however, may be markedly less than what is expected in the average
person. A person who suffers from Dysthymic disorder has generally learned to live with a fair
amount of chronic unhappiness in their lives. Realistic goals should be established early on and the
focus of therapy, instead of focusing on the person's mood state. Group therapy has been shown to
be an effective modality for individuals suffering from this disorder. A group can be more supportive
to an individual than any one therapist can and help point out inconsistencies in the patient's thinking
and behavior. It should be considered, if not initially, then later on in treatment as the client regains
his or her own self-confidence and can interact in a social context. Issues of self-esteem often
accompany individuals who have Dysthymic disorder, so care must be employed not to place the
person into a group situation (where failure may be imminent) too soon. Family therapy may also be
helpful for some individuals. Couples therapy can bring the individual's spouse or significant other
into the therapeutic relationship to create a therapeutic (and more powerful) triad. Goals will vary
according to type of therapy. Cognitive therapy emphasizes changes in one's faulty or distorted way
of thinking and perceiving the world. Interpersonal therapy focuses on an individual's relationships
with others and how to improve and strengthen existing relationships while finding new ones.
Solution-focused therapy looks at specific problems plaguing an individual's life in the present and
examines how to best go about changing the person's behavior to solve these difficulties. Social
skills training focuses on teaching the client new skills on how to become more effective in social and
work relationships. Usually, psychoanalytic and other insight-oriented approaches will be less
effective because of their focus on the past and emphasis on lengthy therapy. While incorporation of
therapy into a person's chronic condition might be quite financially lucrative for the therapist, it is not
the most change-effective and timely approach to help the individual overcome his or her difficulties.
Because the clinician must move at the client's pace, progress with any type of therapy can be slow.
Therapists should resist the temptation to try and "speed up" the process or force the client in a
direction he or she is not yet ready to try. Closely related to this issue of the pace of therapy is being
aware of the clinician's frustration with lack of progress or boredom within the therapy session. It
can be an emotionally draining experience for some therapists. Additionally, Phillip W. Long, M.D.
adds, "The patient's unrealistic and idealistic expectations of himself or herself may, for example, be
transmitted to the therapist and give rise to overlying optimistic expectations of progress in therapy.
If the patient shows no subjective improvement over time, the therapist may inadvertently respond
somewhat in the way significant individuals in the patient's life have responded. Interpretation of such
personal experiences by the therapist can, in the proper context, be therapeutic." Seasonal Affective

"I just feel a little bit under the weather, that"s all…" is a phrase some may use to explain a slight
feeling of depression that they feel. However, the weather and the change of seasons may cause a
harsher form of depression, known as seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder is the
feeling some get, every year at the same time of year, that makes them feel depressed for extended
periods of time. This period of time is usually between the months of September and the following
May, and so this form of depression is also commonly known as the winter blues or winter
depression. However, during the rest of the year, the patient feels perfectly normal and mentally
healthy. Hence the disease is named the seasonal affective disorder, because though the majority of
the cases occur during the September to May period, there are the few occurrences of the
depression during the spring or summer. The existence of the term seasonal affective disorder has
had a short life span. The term "seasonal affective disorder" was coined in 1982 by Norman
Rosenthal after he had researched what they perceived as regular patterns of depression in
Rosenthal and one of his colleagues, Herb Kern. In the mid 1970"s, Kern, a research technician at
the National Institute of Mental Health, noticed some regular changes that occurred every year. He
noticed that every winter, he would become unhappy, slow, and lazy, while in the summer and
spring and fall, he would behave normally, more quickly and more productively. Rosenthal theorized
that these changes were due to the change in the amount of sunlight one received throughout the
year, and theorized that daily doses of bright light would be able to cure the condition during the
winter. The research team settled for two doses of three hours each of bright sunlight-like light
exposure everyday. After just three days of treatment, Kern felt better, more lively, and his
colleagues also noticed that he was more energetic and generally more friendly. These studies led to
the conclusion that although the symptoms pertaining to seasonal affective disorder could be
triggered by anything, such as stress, most cases of seasonal affective disorder were caused by lack
of bright light due to a lack of time spend outdoors during elongated periods of time. Stress,
however, is still a major factor. If a painful or stressful time in a person"s life is associated closely
with a specific season or time, the person is susceptible to seasonal affective disorder during that set
amount of time. Further studies were conducted, and the results conducted showed early on what
seasonal affective disorder was about. During certain seasons, most likely winter, some people will
try to stay inside more, and not go out as much as they would normally. This kind of behavior is
likely to cause slothfulness in a person, as well as certain extents of depression, weight change, and
lack of energy. This is somewhat natural, but when the change of season affects a person to the
point of what is referred to as clinical seasonal affective disorder, one may not be able to leave the
house and may feel a greater sense of depression. If one notices a set pattern during several years in
which there is a repetition of feelings of depression during a certain season, one can easily seek help,
and this is a treatable disorder, with almost a 90 percent treatment effective rate. There has been,
since the creation of the clinical term "seasonal affective disorder", many revelations made by
various scientists and their research groups. One is that a vast percentage of the world suffers from
any range of degrees of the types of seasonal affective disorder from clinical seasonal affective
disorder to a degree in which one just feels a little sad during the winter. In his original study, Dr.
Rosenthal suggested that almost one of twenty five adults in America suffered from a change in
season, especially the transition between fall and winter, the time in which the most light hours were
lost. He also conjectured that another 14 percent, roughly one in eight adults, had a milder form of
the disorder, known as winter blues or winter depression, which is the label for cases strictly in
winter and less severe than the clinical versions of the disorder. Another 30 percent of the
population was shown to suffer from Sub-syndromal seasonal affective disorder, a condition or
state in between the states of full-blown seasonal affective disorder and the more common winter
blues. Another factor that may be favorable for getting seasonal affective disorder may be one that a
person cannot immediately control. That factor is his/her location. According to various studies
conducted in the twenty-year history of seasonal affective disorder, it has been found that people
living in certain zones are more susceptible to the adverse effects of seasonal affective disorder. For
example, 10 percent of Alaska residents have been reported to have clinical-level seasonal affective
disorder, while the rest of the population only suffers from milder levels. Also, in Britain, almost one
in three adults between the ages of 20 and 40 are shown to have some level of the disorder. On the
contrary, those who lived in Florida only showed a total of one percent suffering from any stage of
seasonal affective disorder. Thus it is generalized that the closer one is to the equator, since there
are periods of sunshine, the lesser chance of one getting the disorder, while on the other hand, the
closer one finds oneself to the polar caps, the chance of getting seasonal affective disorder grows
exponentially. Whatever the cause, seasonal affective disorder usually causes one or several
problems in a patient. These symptoms have tolls on both the mind and body. For the mind, the
disease may cause such symptoms as: depression, guilt, low self-esteem, loss of confidence,
hopelessness, apathy, loss of feelings, irritability, avoidance of human contact, despair, suicidal
feelings, anxiety, inability to tolerate stress, paranoid thoughts, poor memory, poor concentration,
difficulty "thinking straight", difficulty concentrating or making decisions, panic attacks, abusive
behavior, weeping, seasonal alcohol and drug abuse, and seasonal bulimia. For the body, symptoms
may include: fatigue, lethargy, debility, too much sleep or trouble staying awake/waking up,

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