People of all ages, class, and backgrounds have felt blue, sad or unhappy at some time in their lives. It is natural human behavior. However, for some people, this period lasts for weeks, months, and even years. This prolonged state of sadness, despair, or despondency is a serious medical illness, which is also known as major or clinical depression, or major depressive disorder (Murphy, 2002). The purpose of this essay is to analyze the issue of depression in Americans, its causes and impacts on an individual and society, as well as possible solutions to this burning issue.
Depression can be mild, medial, or serious and occur as a single episode, recurring episodes, or chronic depression, which often lasts more than 2 years. There are different types of depression, such as major depression, dysthymia, atypical depression, and adjustment disorder. Other common forms of depression include seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and bipolar disorder. Generally, postpartum depression and premenstrual dysphoric disorder are very common in women (Ehrlich, 2010).
Depression is a major disease that afflicts millions of Americans each year. According to statistics of Depression Perception, approximately 18.8 million American adults, or about 9.5% of the American population aged 18 and older had a depressive disorder in 2012. The rate of a depressive disorder in women is twice higher comparing to men; i.e. 12. 4 million women and 6.4 million men in the U.S. are affected by it. A recent study sponsored by the World Health Organization and the World Bank found that unipolar or major depression is the leading cause of disability in the America. In 2012, bipolar disorder affected approximately 2.3 million American adults and about 10.9 million of general American population aged 18 and older was suffering from dysthymic disorder. Studies reported that between 1 and 2 percent of people over age 65 were suffering from major depression and about 5% to 25 % of women were under the influence of postpartum depression in 2012. Approximately 30,622 people committed suicide in the USA in 2001. The highest suicide rates in the US are found in men over age 85. Up to 8.3 percent of teenagers in the United States suffer from depression. Suicide is often the result of extended periods of depression. This staggering statistics highlights the serious concern on this issue in America (Depression Facts & Statistics,2012).
Depression is characterized by a hollow pessimistic feeling that is inevitable. A person suffering from the depressive disorder finds difficult to enjoy actions that were once pleasurable. The common symptoms of depression include sleeping problems; at least 90% of people with depression have either insomnia or hypersomnia. There is also a significant change in appetite, which often causes either weight loss or weight gain, fatigue and loss of energy, feeling of worthlessness, self-loathing, restlessness, lack of concentration, agitation, irritability or inactivity and withdrawal. Diseased people suffer from repeating thoughts of death or suicide, loss of interest in sex, crying spells for no particular excuse, and obscure physical problems, such as back pain or headaches (Ehrlich, 2010).
There are many factors which contribute to the development of depression. It includes heredity, nutritional deficiencies, serious medical conditions, and consumption of the medicines, which are likely contain elements easy to cause depression. Such mental disorder usually originates from biochemical changes in the brain, and social factors like loss of close person, abuse or deprivation in early childhood (Ehrlich, 2010). Despite these common causes, there are other core reasons behind such high rates of depressive disorder in the United Sates. Alienation and high rate of divorce belong to one of the main reasons why people feel depressed. America is most cyber literate country in the world. Though social networking sites are meant to build up connections with other people, they actually diminish actual social participation. Another most likely cause of depressive disorder is high consumption of drugs. According to the World Health Organization’s survey, the USA has the highest consumption of illegal drugs in the world. The astonishing figures of sexual abuse became a big concern for the USA. There are almost 207754 victims of sexual assault in America. Every two minutes someone in the U.S. gets sexually harassed. It is the main reason behind the major depressive disorder. Obesity is also next cause which cannot be neglected. Research has shown that almost 25% of the obese people suffer from depression. Deplorable statistics concerning overweight individuals is much higher compared to those who are not obese. In the U.S., 35 out of 100 people are facing obesity problem, which is increasing the rate of depression in the country (Sheikh, 2013).
Depression is the serious medical illness which significantly affects life of vulnerable people. It destroys individual’s self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as positive attitude towards the social life. Not only depressed person, but also person’s family, friends and close people suffer because of it. Depression causes loss of productivity in the professional life, which directly influences the economy of the country.
To conquer this growing issue, American government has to take some effective measures, such as improved law enforcement of divorce and marital affairs. There is a necessity to take serious actions against drug trafficking and its consumption. Obesity can be controlled by creating general awareness. Furthermore, there are several options of treatment for people who are suffering from serious depressive disorders. Psychotherapy, homeopathy, surgery and antidepressants are some of the helpful curing measures. Regular exercise and massage, meditation, proper diet, consumption of particular herbs and medicines can be effective to overcome the depressive disorder (Ehrlich, 2010).
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Depression is not a minor problem. Neglect of it may cause much more complications in the future. Fortunately, there are many treatments available in order to conquer the depressive disorder. With proper medical care, every person can get over it in the short period of time.