David had an unconventional late entry into academia. He left school at age 15 to work in the merchant navy an interlude that provided some colourful tales before migrating to New Zealand.
Many now view the burden of depression as being of epidemic proportions. Perhaps the frequency of depression is increasing dramatically in Western societies. Perhaps we are just more aware of depression.
Regardless, epidemics demand a name, such as an epidemic of tuberculosis or arteriosclerotic heart disease. What is the cause of the current epidemic of depression?
We explore body and mind to understand our age of melancholy, not the environment, especially the social environment. We are autonomous souls, alone in the crowd. If we are depressed, the problem must reside within us, uncoupled from wider social and economic forces.
The diagnosis major depression, when viewed as a medical disease, affirms this uncoupling.
Or so it seems. The rise of major depression as the prototypic diagnosis of modern psychiatry and the retreat of social psychiatry reflect the sea change in psychiatry over the past 40 years.
In this book, I make an argument for connecting these two trends and suggest reasons for their rapid evolution and devolution, respectively.
In addition, I propose that social psychiatry should be revived, albeit in a different form. Social psychiatry must not replace but rather complement current psychobiological and clinical research.
Complement is too weak a term.
Basic social psychiatric investigations will compel mental health investigators and practitioners to embed depression within the society from which it emerges.
The reader will notice a piece of the causal puzzle dramatically underrepresented in this book—the mind. I have chosen to juxtapose the current focus on the biology of the brain and the disappearance of interest in social origins.
Many propose that the mind is the mediator between body and society. Others view the mind as an epiphenomenon of the activity of the brain influenced by environmental stimuli.
For the purpose of my argument, I see no reason to enter this debate. I do not propose a grand model of depression. The reader will also note that I do not focus on the contributions of the disciplines of sociology and social psychology, though I refer frequently to studies that have been published by these disciplines.
I purposefully have focused my comments on psychiatry. Psychiatry in many ways drives other disciplines, especially in the move to a biomedical model of emotional distress.
In addition, only the medical profession at present widely prescribes medications, the most obvious manifestation of our changing views toward depression as a society. Though similarities abound across Western countries, the United States has tracked a unique history in my view. Some cases reflect real people.
Even though names are changed or omitted, the events are described accurately while at the same time limited in description so that anonymity and confidentiality can be maintained. I wish to thank the Foundations Fund for Research in Psychiatry and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, California, for providing me with the opportunity to pursue this argument.
In addition, I wish to thank my home institution, Duke University School of Medicine, for extending a sabbatical year for these studies. Finally, I forever am grateful to my wife, Sherrill.
We are thankful that we do not live in an age of hopelessness, at least from the perspective of psychiatry. Major depression is a treatable disease. The world was a threatening place in which to live. Given the world situation, anxiety was to be expected. How does the world around us currently contribute to our feelings of depression?
The Medicalization of Depression Today, biological explanations of the burden predominate. Biological treatment is focused on the brain in the form of medications, and psychotherapy for depression emphasizes the need of the individual to adjust to the social environment.
We agreed that a focus on major depression made sense as a starting point. We added many research projects to the agenda, including brain imaging of severely depressed older adults and clinical trials of new, promising medications.Treatment solutions will be tailored to your specific case since causes and symptoms of depression can vary.
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WebMD explains symptoms of depression and what can trigger it. What Are the Causes and Symptoms of Depression? In this Article Causes. Experts believe depression is due to a combination of. Depression Is A Symptom Psychology Essay.
Print Reference this. Disclaimer: In this article I will present a comprehensive overview of what is depression, symptoms and various diagnoses, how to treat depression conventional perception, some physical processes occurring in the body pathology in depression.
Phenomenon is not severe. Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.
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