According to the American Psychological Association over 17 million Americans have depression (Par. 1). Depression is triggered by many things; whatever the trigger, it is much more than a simple case of the blues. Depression is a serious illness that can take a terrible toll on victims and families if left untreated. With proper treatment the disease can be minimized or even eliminated.
Everyone feels sad or blue sometimes. But when an upsetting event occurs, Feelings of sorrow usually subside as time goes on. But someone who is depressed feels extreme sadness, dejection, and despair to the point where it affects that persons daily life and activities. Depressed individuals tend to feel helpless and hopeless, and blame themselves for these feelings. In some cases thoughts of death and suicide may come into play, depending on the seriousness of the depression. People who are depressed may find it difficult and become overwhelmed by simple daily tasks, which is why sometimes they withdraw from daily activities altogether. They may even withdraw from families and friends.
Rod Steiger an Academy Award-winning actor who had starring roles in over 72 films is clinically depressed. During a time when Rod was down he wrote a letter to his wife and son:
I want to die; I dont want to move. I have no feeling for movement. To be left alone, to disappear. Not to be bothered with washing, shaving, talking, walking, going to the bathroom. If only to get out of this tunnel and heavy darkness, cold and oily, constantly pressing against my brain and being (Carter, 39)
What would cause highly successful people like Rod Steiger, Kathy Cronkite, Patty Duke, even television reporter Mike Wallace and British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill to develop depression? Eric Hoffer described depression best when he said, The world leans on us. When we sag, the whole world seems to drop. The exact causes of this illness have not yet been established, even though scientist theorize that depression can be the result of several interrelated factors.
Depressive and manic depressive illness are the two main types of depressive disorders (also can be referred to as affective disorders or mood disorders, because they mainly affect the mood). Other known types of depression include Dysthymia, a type of chronic moderate depression and Cyclothymia, a form of manic depression that isnt as severe.
In major depression, a depressed mood prevails, even though the...