Does the average person experience depression throughout their life Troy R. Mettler Research Report Introductory Psychology 110 Instructor: Jack Mino 12/15/99 Introduction In psychology, depression is a mental illness in which a person experiences deep, unshakable sadness and diminished interest in nearly all activities, it involves disturbances in emotion (Encarta). Depression is among the most common mental illnesses. About 8 percent of adults in the United States experience serious depression through out their lives (Encarta). Women are about three times more likely to be depressed than men (Encarta).
The illness could come on slowly, then get progressively worse over time, or it could come on suddenly in weeks or even days (Encarta). Depression would cause a person to be sad all of the time and they may often cry (Encarta). Things that would usually bring that person pleasure no longer do. Symptoms of depression vary with a person's age. Depression could be caused by something obvious such as marriage, financial, or personal problems, but most psychologist believe depression "results from an interaction between stressful l life events and a person's biological and psychological vulnerabilities." (Encarta).
A cross sectional study of symptom attribution and recognition of depression and anxiety in primary care showed: [D]different styles of symptom attribution are strongly associated with different rates of detection of depression and anxiety. Patients who make psychologising attributions are more likley to get a psychological diagnosis; the stronger there tendency to make such attributions the more likley such a diagnosis becomes. A normalizing style of attribution has the opposite effect, and the patients tendency to nomralise or minimise his or her symptoms the less likley she is to be seen as depressed or anxious by the general practitioner. Somatic attributions which are least common, had no measurable effect on diagnosed rates, though this may have been because of lack of statistical power.
These lines are quoted from the British Medical Journal Feb, 13 1999 (David A Kessler; Keith Loyd; Glyn Lewis; Denis pereira Gray). This study suggest that psychologist, when diagnosing a patient with depression symptoms, may misdiagnosis, or may under diagnosis the patient. The functioning and well-being of depressed patients, a medical outcome study of 11, 242 out patients determined that "patients with either current depressive disorder or depressive symptoms in the absence of disorder tended to have worse physical, social, and role functioning, worse p received current health, and greater bodily pain that did patients with no chronic conditions." (Kenneth B. Wells, MD, MPH; Anita Stewart, Phd; Ron D. Hays, Phd; M.
Audrey Burnham, Phd; William Rogers, Phd; Marcia Daniels, MD; Sandra Berry, Ms; Sheldon Greenfield, MD; John Ware, Phd). Does the average person go through phases of depression throughout their life Does everyone experience depression but maybe they just have a different way of dealing with it Is what psychologist call a psychology depressed deal with anxiety and stress. Some people may actually mask their depression with alcohol. American Jorunal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, did a study on anxiety and alcohol in patients in treatment for depression. The chief findings of the study was that "[w]hen anxiety is a significant component for a depressive patient, the clinical picture is obviously more complicated, treatment outcome is less certain, and the long-term prognosis is worse than when depression alone is indicated. Alcohol is a factor among depressive patients, this cooralation is not confirmed to one gender ("although the way in which anxiety functions in affecting alcohol abuse may differ for females that males") (Edward H.
Fischer; John W. Goethe) In this study, 123 Questionnaires were handed out to four different groups of people. The questionnaires were handed out personally and the instructions were given verbally. The recipients were asked to fill out the questionnaires which consisted of three simple yes or no questions. They were asked to put their age on the questionnaire but to remain annomonus. The three questions on the questionnaire asked the recipient if they ever experienced symptoms of depression.
Depression was defined as deep, unshakable sadness and diminished interest in all activities, accompanied by stomachaches, headaches, and irritability. They were then asked if these symptoms were only present when stress levels were high. The final question asked it they had ever been diagnosed with major depression. They were then given instructions as to where to leave the questionnaires when finished, they were told to return them within one week.
The first group of questionnaires handed out were to the senior psychology students at a local high school. The next group was 28 employees that worked in tthe office of a business. The third group was 19 employees at a construction site. The final group was 12 members of a local health club. Out of the 123 questionnaires handed out only 48 returned The 48 returned questionnaires were classified into five different categories according to the symptoms of depression that was reported. The number of people that reported a certain symptom of depression was categorized by their age (see chart) My study seemed to suggest that the 17 who reported symptoms of depression, but have not been diagnosed with a disorder, could have been related to high amounts of stress or stress full events.
Three people reported having depressive symptoms, accompanied by high stress levels, and have been diagnosed with depression. One person said they experienced depressive symptoms, but stress full events had no impact, and they were experiencing symptoms of depression, stress did not have an impact, but they were diagnosed with depression. Twenty six people reported have no symptoms of depression. Although the validity of a small study like this one is questionable, the results seem to suggest that stress could play a big role in bringing out symptoms of depression in people that have, or have not been diagnosed with depression. DISCUSSION The purpose of my study was to see if everyone in one way or another experiences depression, and if stress has an effect of bringing out depression in people.
Depression is a deep sadness, or a withdrawl from activity. There is different levels of depression. Someone could have a minor case of depression or someone could have a major case. The study in which I did, does not look at the levels of depression, but tat her looks at the common symptoms associated with depression.
My findings did not show that everyone experiences some form of depression, because of the 48 people who returned the questionaire, all of them said they had no symptoms of depression. The study showed a slight corelation between age and depression, but due to the small amount of participants in the study this could have been just coinencedience. Those that reported high stress, reported more symptoms of depression than those that reported no stress. To find out whether of not everyone experiences depression, we would have to da a much bigger and more concentrated study. A lot more research on this topic is needed to be sure that all of the results are accurate.