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Write a 14 page essay on Depression Exacts Heavy Economic and Emotional Toll: A Literature Review.Download file to see previous pages... It is so common that it affects 1 out of every 8 people in thei

Write a 14 page essay on Depression Exacts Heavy Economic and Emotional Toll: A Literature Review.

Download file to see previous pages...

It is so common that it affects 1 out of every 8 people in their adolescent years. Up to 24 percent of young adults will have suffered from at least one clinically significant depressive episode by age 18 (Ibid). Other studies indicate that 16 percent of a given population fall prey to depression on at least one stage of their lives. It spares no one and does not discriminate against skin color or race, economic status, age and gender. However, it has been firmly established that females are more susceptible than males during their adolescent and adult years, and that people in the lower rung of the socio-economic ladder are the highest risk group for many forms of mental illness (Webster, 2006).

One theory is that women are more susceptible to depression than men because of biological differences, such that sex hormones and cerebral functions make them react to stimuli in a different way (Cobbs &amp. Ralapati, 1998). The other explanations have practical and psychosocial underpinnings: women tend to be open about their feelings while men generally keep their emotional problems to themselves (Ibid). In Australia, a nationwide survey revealed that 1 out of every 4 women is prone to depression but only 1 of every 8 men is. Even so, the unnecessary costs associated with depression are placed at AUS$1.29 million per year mainly through the loss of productive time in the workplace. This is outside the non-health service, legal and other social costs incurred from the breakdown of families. In most North American countries, it is the leading cause of disability now and the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that depression will overtake heart disease as the leading cause of disability worldwide in 2020 (Murray &amp. Lopez, 1997).

But although depression is almost as common as the common cold, it is harder to recognize, diagnose and treat. The reason is that literacy on mental health remains low and people are reluctant to discuss their emotional problems with the doctor (Pajer, 1995).


Depression is categorized according to its particular cause, duration and severity. It is called Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) if the attacks are intense but in short bursts and last only for weeks. The condition is classified as Dysthymia when the symptoms are less severe and longer lasting. Depression is described as Adjustment Disorder when the problem is traced to such life events as divorce, breakup of a cherished relationship, or death of a loved one. The condition is called Bipolar Disorder when it involves major but off-and-on episodes of depression accompanied by manic tendencies. The latter type is also assigned two different clinical tags: the first is Bipolar I Disorder when the moods alter between mania and depression, and it is Bipolar II Disorder when the bouts of depression are accompanied by hypomania, or the mental state and behavior that has one feeling down or "below." (Diaz-Granados &amp. Stewart, 2006)

MDD itself is sometimes referred to as Clinical Depression or Unipolar Disorder. It is unipolar in the sense that, unlike the episodic bipolar attacks, the depressed feeling refuses to go away and persists for longer periods.

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