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Causes and Effects of Mental Illness

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 1097 words Published: 16th Aug 2017

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Depression (major depression) is a common mental disorder characterized by a period of intense and negative emotions, lack of interest, anhedonia (lack of pleasure), guilt and low self-esteem feelings, sleep disorders and normal appetite, loss of energy and difficulty in concentration. People who suffer from depression usually they have not presented the same symptoms and even if they have the same symptoms, their intensity varies. Depression can transform from a transient to a chronic condition, preventing the steady mental functioning of people and -in extreme cases even lead to suicide.

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The social and economic impact of depression usually is difficulty in maintaining close relationships, alcoholism, accidents, misuse of health services, reverberations the whole family and more on children, early retirement, and substance abuse. The depressed person suffering from the disease thus transformed and expressed in many ways such as hypochondriacal symptoms, impotence, insomnia or hypersomnia, poor appetite or overeating, and offending behavior.

Moreover, depression can occur in various forms such as with most physical illnesses. However, in these types, there are several variations in the number and severity of symptoms. The following three types of depression frequently arise in people who suffer from this disease.

The major depressive episode is manifested by a combination of symptoms and affected significantly the functionality of the individual. An incident such as this episode may occur once, or more frequently, several times during the life of the individual and ordinarily lasts around 6-8 months.

A less severe form of depression, dysthymia, is a milder side of symptoms, but more chronic disorder. In this form, individual generally retains much of the functionality but however, there is a danger to drop back into a major depressive episode.

Bipolar disorder or manic depression is otherwise a severe mental disorder characterized by cyclical swings of emotion, where in that period of intense elation (mania) alternate with periods of depressive episodes. The person in the manic episode shows hyperactivity, socially inappropriate, shows cheerful, with large energy reserves, but has impaired judgment and impaired social behavior which can be fatal for the person himself but also for those around him.

Various theories have been developed by several scientists are unable to determine the exact etiology of depression. There are some factors that contribute to either the start or the most intense manifestation of the disease.

Many scientists have studied the depression generating mechanism based on an individual’s behavior. Ferster (1973) indicates that the depressed person may have the disease at intervals, during which accepts negative stimuli and isolation from the social environment without corresponding positive stimuli which could maintain his mental balance. Additionally, starting from childhood where negative stimuli are unable to meet the individual needs (such as the mother’s indifference towards the child) cultivate the belief that the environment has grown not to offer anything on the person who is pessimistic.

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Also, Ferster, comments on the role of anger in depression, as psychoanalysts recognizing that anger is a component of the emotional disorder but explains that the angering event often avoided by the sufferer due to the negative reaction of the environment to anger. Therefore held that feeling and the result is the further isolation of the patient from the community and lack thereof supporters.

The Rado (1964), Bibring (1953) and Jacobson (1964), completing the classic analytic interpretation pointed out that it is not necessary to have an objective loss to occur depression. They outline that, something negative relative to narcissism, the love and appreciation that nourishes everyone about him, a frustration or failure would seriously undermine the feeling of self-esteem, can paralyze a person’s ability to act, resulting in a recall depression. Mendelson (1967) believed that depression is due to the collapse of ego and self-confidence because of a loss or disappointment.

O Schneider (1958) described the people suffering from depressive psychopathy as follows: “quietly, constantly gloomy, serious, without the ability to have fun. The peace and calm seen as something meaningless and pain and suffering as a virtue. They give great importance to the operation and are oppressive but also sensitive individuals. ” Schneider made a distinction between depressive personality and endogenous depression which more correlated with phases of mania and depression thus rejecting the idea that a depressive personality is an extreme form of depression expression. This personality is due in early irritation predisposing the individual to become negative and pessimistic

On the other side, the forms and effects of depression differ by gender. Women are 2 to 3 times more susceptible to this disease than men. Some researchers such as Hauenstein (1991) have suggested that this is due to the fact that women express more easily and more intensely their feelings, from the opposite gender, is more large percentage of the female population that will seek medical care in relation to the male gender, women affected, think and imagine different scenarios and versions if concern for a problem, leading to “cause” the beginning of an emotional disease while men distract their attention from the problem and focus on their goals. However, the difference is quite large, so it is believed that a combination of biological and psychosocial factors contribute to a higher frequency.

The causes that can lead an individual to depression vary depending on the evolution of his life. More specifically, it is clear that there is no single reason to explain this disorder (as usually happens with many other illnesses in general). Surveys have identified several factors that appear to contribute in varying degrees to the illness of depression. We can consider the depressive disorder as the final common result of a variety of factors which act on the constitution of each individual and the specific social context. If we look at depression in this way then the various interpretations of the ground, either purely biological or purely psychosocial cease to seem to contradict each other, but rather that they complement each other.


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