PSY 270 Depression Paper
PSY 270 Depression Paper
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Date Created: 11/17/15
Depression Paper 1 Name Axia College PSY 270 Instructor s Name Date Depression Paper 2 Mood disorders affect almost fortyfour million Americans every year making mood disorders one of the most common health issues in the United States National Mental Health Information Center 2006 Depression is a mood disorder characterized by ongoing feelings of sadness and hopelessness Bipolar disorder and unipolar depression are two major mood disorders that will be discussed in this paper Depression plays a key role in both disorders but there are also some important factors that make these two disorders different in many ways as well Unipolar Depression Around 17 percent of all adults in the world may experience an episode of severe unipolar depression at some point in their lives Comer 2005 p 194 The onset of unipolar depression is often caused by traumatic or stressful events Unipolar Depression can affect people on five different levels emotional motivational behavioral cognitive and physical Emotional symptoms of unipolar depression can produce feelings of sadness anger or even humiliation Motivation symptoms can cause people to lose interest in things that they usually enjoy and often it can result in isolation Behavioral symptoms can affect a person s ability to carry out normal daily tasks Cognitive symptoms of unipolar depression can cause extremely low selfworth and it may also cause feelings of pessimism Unipolar depression can also result in physical symptoms like headaches dizziness or body pain Comer 2005 Biological treatment of unipolar depression includes the use of medications or antidepressant drugs In severe cases of unipolar depression electroconvulsive therapy ECT may be used as a treatment option During electroconvulsive therapy an electric current is sent Depression Paper 3 through the patient s brain for up to half a second It takes numerous treatments up to 12 for the patient to experience an improvement in their depression Comer 2005 Antidepressant drugs are another treatment option for unipolar depression The three main types of antidepressant drugs that are used in the treatment of depression are monoamine oxidase MAO inhibitors tricyclics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs Monoamine oxidase inhibitors work by increasing levels of norepinephrine which causes a decrease in depression symptoms While MAO inhibitors are effective they are also risky People who consume certain foods like bananas or cheese while on MAO inhibitors may experience a deadly increase in blood pressure which is why people on MAO inhibitors must follow a specific diet Comer 2005 Tricyclics affect three neurotransmitters within the brain serotonin norepinephrine and dopamine Tricyclics inhibit the reuptake of these neurotransmitters which helps reduce the symptoms caused by depression Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors work by increasing the activity of serotonin without affecting other neurotransmitters within the brain Comer 2005 Bipolar Disorder Unlike unipolar depression bipolar disorder is characterized by both periods of depression accompanied by periods of mania Cases of bipolar disorders are not as common as unipolar depression Bipolar disorder often results in extreme mood swings Mania is caused by high norepinephrine activity along with a low level of serotonin activity Comer 2005 p 222 Mania is basically the opposite of depression because instead of causing extreme sadness and hopelessness it causes the individual to experience extreme mood elevations and high energy levels Mania can often result in poor judgment recklessness and destructive behavior Depression Paper 4 WebMD 2008 The presence of mania is what sets unipolar depression apart from bipolar disorder Symptoms of bipolar disorder alternate between depression and mania which can cause extreme distress to the individual Bipolar disorder is thought to have a number of possible causes which include genetic predispositions ion transport problems and issues with neurotransmitters Comer 2005 People suffering from bipolar disorder do not respond to treatment with antidepressant drugs because of the variations between depression and mania Lithium therapy is one possible treatment for bipolar disorder It is believed that lithium affects the synaptic activity in neurons Comer 2005 Although lithium is an effective treatment for mania it does not have a large effect on depression In many cases lithium treatment is combined with psychotherapy which proves to be a more effective method of treating bipolar disorder Both unipolar depression and bipolar disorder are serious mood disorders that can disrupt normal functioning of an individual s daily life The main difference between unipolar depression and bipolar disorder is that bipolar disorder is accompanied by the presence of mania while unipolar depression is characterized by depression alone Although treatment of bipolar disorder is more complicated than that of unipolar depression both seem to respond to certain medications but psychotherapy is also helpful in both cases As medicine and technology progress it is hopeful that effective and safe treatment options will be developed for both unipolar depression and bipolar disorder Depression Paper 5 References Comer R J 2005 Fundamentals of abnormal psychology 4th ed New York Worth National Mental Health Information Center 2006 Mood Disorders Retrieved October 08 2009 from httpmentalhealthsamhsagovpublicationsallpubsken98 0049defaultasnhow WebMD 2008 What is bipolar disorder Retrieved October 08 2009 from httDWWWWebmdcombipolardisorderguideWhatisbiDolardisorder
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