Depressive Disorders



Adepressive disorder, also known as depression, is a mentalcomplication in which victims exhibit low moods across differentsituations, lasting for more than two weeks. Victims with depressivedisorders have the tendency of exhibiting low self-esteem, lowenergy, and pain lacking obvious causes, and loss of interest inperceived enjoyable activities. In some cases, a victim can alsoexhibit false beliefs, or even hear or see things that other peoplearound them are unable to see. Some individuals experience extendedperiods of depression, which fall and rise over time, while othershave all these conditions all their time. The depressive disordershave far-reaching implications on the social wellbeing of anindividual, including affecting individuals’ work life, familyrelations, eating and general health negatively. Moreover, peoplesuffering from depressive disorders are at high risk of committingsuicide. According to Richards,Steven, and O`Hara (2014),as significant as 7 percent of the individuals who die by suicidesuffer from the depressive disorder, while 60 percent of those whocommit suicide as a result of depressive disorders also tend to havesuffered from other forms of mood disorder.


Accordingto Lynchand Barber (2010), severalexplanations to the causes of depressive disorders exist,biopsychosocial models and diathesis–stress model are the mostpopular accounts. Based on the biopsychosocial models, depressivedisorders could be due to various factors, including biological,social, and psychological factors. Based on the diathesis–stressmodel, the depressive disorder occurs when diathesis or existentvulnerabilities are activated by stressing experiences. In this case,the pre-existing vulnerability could arise in the form of geneticfactors, nurture, or interactions between nurture and nature.Besides, depression may also occur because of damages of cerebellumincapacitates cognitive coordination.


Thestatistics on the prevalence of depressive disorders are documentedand mostly reveal a significant fraction of the global population isaffected by the problem. According to Gilbody,House and Sheldon (2015),for instance, as great as 3.6 percent (270 million) of the globalpopulation is affected by major depressive disorders. The percentagesof people who are affected by depressive disorder at one time oftheir life are also high, but they vary across regions, for instance,it is about 7 percent in China and 21 percent in France. According toFournier,DeRubeis and Hollon et al. (2012),the lifetime prevalence of depressive disorder tends to be higheramong populations in developed countries (16 percent) than developingcountries (11 percent). As far as the most year lived disabilitiesare concerned, depressive disorders come second after back injuries.In many cases, the mental complications set in when individuals reachthe 20s and the 30s.


Peopleare experiencing a depressive disorder often have low mood thataffects all aspects of life, including the inability to enjoyexperiences that the individuals once found to be pleasurable.Depressive people may also be engrossed with feelings or thoughts ofworthlessness, self-hatred, regrets and inappropriate regrets aboutlife. Under harsh circumstances, victims of the depressive disordermay exhibit the symptoms of psychosis. The unusual symptoms includedelusions and hallucinations. Other typical symptoms associated withthe mental conditions are poor memory and loss of concentration,irritability, suicide ideation, withdrawal from social activities andreduction in the sex life. The victims have also been observed tosuffer from insomnia, with many often waking up early and cannotsleep, although the use of antidepressants could also cause insomniabecause of their stimulating effects (Driessen&amp Hollon, 2010).

  • The DSM-IV criterion provides perhaps the most standard procedure for diagnosing major depressive disorder. For a person to be considered to suffer from a depressive disorder, he or she needs to exhibit the follow behavioral characteristics.

  • Reduced interests in activities that the victims found pleasurable

  • Depressed or irritable mood for the most part of the day, which also tends to be repeated daily Change in weight by about 5 percent, as well as change in appetite

  • Hypersomnia or insomnia

  • psychomotor retardation or agitation

  • Fatigue

  • Low concentration

  • Inappropriate guilt

  • Suicide thoughts (American Psychiatric Association, 2013)


Threetreatment modalities are available for management of the depressivedisorders. These modalities are medication, psychotherapy, andelectroconvulsive therapy (Braun,Bschor, Franklin &amp Baethge, 2016).However, there are various suggestions of patterns that have beenlauded to be useful such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)and exercise. Psychotherapy is the preferred to medication forvictims under the age of 18.

Accordingto Patton(2015), antidepressant drugsshould only be applied for initial treatment of more or less milddepression. This view is based on the rationale that risk-benefitratio of medications is often poor. The guidelines recommend that ifantidepressants and psychosocial interventions should be combined,they should only be done under a set of four circumstances:

  • When victims have a history of moderate and severe depression,

  • For victims with mild depression that has existed for long,

  • As a first line intervention for victims with present moderate to severe responses and

  • As a second line intervention for mild depression that persists after all other interventions have been exploited (Kirsch, Deacon &amp Huedo-Medina et al. 2013).

Thestandard guidelines also recommend that the use of antidepressantsshould be persistently for six consecutive months to avoid cases ofrelapse and that the use SSRI should be preferred to tricyclicantidepressants.

Accordingto Siu(2016), the treatment guidelinesfor the victims with depressive disorders should be tailored towardseliminating the dysfunctional behavioral attributes that the victimsexhibit, and should consider factors such as severity of thesymptoms, other preexisting disorders and the preferences of thepatients and prior experiences that victims may have concerning thetreatment.


Inconclusion, a depressive disorder, also known as depression, is amental complication in which victims exhibit low moods across allaspects of life. Victims with depressive disorders have the tendencyof exhibiting low self-esteem, low energy, and pain lacking clearcauses, and loss in interest in perceived enjoyable activities. Insome cases, a victim can also exhibit false beliefs, or even hear orsee things that other people around them are unable to see. Someindividuals experience long periods of depression, which fall andrise over time, while others have all these conditions all theirtime. Depressive disorders could be caused by biological, social, andpsychological factors.Threetreatment modalities are available for management of the depressivedisorders. These modalities are medication, psychotherapy, andelectroconvulsive therapy. However, there are various suggestions ofmodalities that have been lauded to be effective such as transcranialmagnetic stimulation (TMS) and exercise.


AmericanPsychiatric Association (2013), Diagnosticand Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.Arlington: American Psychiatric Publishing, pp.&nbsp160–168

Braun,C Bschor, T Franklin, J Baethge, C (2016). &quotSuicides andSuicide Attempts during Long-Term Treatment with Antidepressants: AMeta-Analysis of 29 Placebo-Controlled Studies Including 6,934Patients with Major Depressive Disorder.&quot Psychotherapyand psychosomatics.85(3): 171–9.

Driessen,E. &amp Hollon, S. (2010). &quotCognitive Behavioral Therapy forMood Disorders: Efficacy, Moderators and Mediatorss&quot.PsychiatricClinics of North America.33(3): 537–55.

FournierJC, DeRubeis RJ, Hollon SD, Dimidjian S, Amsterdam JD, Shelton RC,Fawcett J (2012). &quotAntidepressant drug effects and depressionseverity: a patient-level meta-analysis&quot. JAMA.303(1): 47–53.

GilbodyS, House AO, &amp Sheldon TA (2015). &quotScreening and casefinding instruments for depression&quot. CochraneDatabase of Systematic Reviews(4): CD002792.

KirschI, Deacon BJ, Huedo-Medina TB, Scoboria A, Moore TJ, Johnson BT(2013). &quotInitial severity and antidepressant benefits: ameta-analysis of data submitted to the Food and Drug Administration&quot.PLoSMed.5(2): e45.

Lynch,V. &amp Barber, D. (2010). ForensicNursing Science.Elsevier Health Sciences.

Patton,Lauren L. (2015). TheADA Practical Guide to Patients with Medical Conditions(2 ed.). John Wiley &amp Sons.

Richards,C. Steven O`Hara, Michael W. (2014). TheOxford Handbook of Depression and Comorbidity.Oxford University Press.

Siu,AL. (2016). &quotScreening for Depression in Adults: US PreventiveServices Task Force Recommendation Statement.&quot JAMA.315(4): 380–7.