Clinical Depression: a Legitimate Physical Illness.

Essay by Curare24High School, 11th gradeA+, October 2003

download word file, 4 pages 1.0

Clinical Depression is a cruel and misunderstood condition. Imagine you suffer from depression. You're embarrassed, ashamed to think you're so weak, and when you confide in a friend they tell you they don't believe in clinical depression. They think it's psychosomatic, or just an excuse used by lazy people, and you just have to snap out of it. This is an unfair but common misconception. You can't "snap out of" depression any more than you can shake off diabetes, or control heart disease. (Daae, 96-9) This essay is about the physical causes, symptoms and treatment of depression, but it should be known that this is typically considered a psychiatric illness.

Although it isn't a proven fact, it is widely accepted that clinical depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, is released from one sender nerve cell and travels to the next, receiver nerve cell.

Some of the serotonin released is reabsorbed by the sender. When a person suffers from clinical depression there may be a problem with the balance of the serotonin system that affects communication between cells. (SmithKline Beecham, 99) This imbalance may develop on its own, or may be triggered by any number of things. Certain medical diseases, such as Parkinson's Disease, thyroid diseases, and anaemia are connected to the onset of clinical depression. Some medical drugs like antihypertensive drugs and drugs of abuse like alcohol and cocaine are also connected. Other psychiatric conditions including panic and obsessive-compulsive disorders are known causes, as well as hormonal changes, especially in girls, and traumatic or difficult life events. (Lam, 96) Deborah E. Gray experienced her first bout of Clinical depression shortly after being raped. (Gray, 95-2000) There is medical evidence of a genetic predisposition to Clinical depression. (Lam, 96)

The symptoms of...