IntroductionProbably, the most common thought about depression is that it is not a disease. However, depression is a disease that is suffered by many people, and it is something that cannot be get rid of easily. What people do not understand is that each brain work differently, and are not the same as each other. That leads depression and many other diseases to be underestimating. Everyone experiences changes in their mood, yes. A person can go from feeling happiness to feeling unhappiness after an event that triggers that change. But when a person stays in a state of despair and hopelessness for a longer amount of time than normal, and it starts to be in command of the person’s life, that is when is depression starts deteriorating a person’s mental and physical health. A person with depression encounters prevalent feelings of worthlessness that very often cannot control because of an unbalance in their brain’s cells. Depression is worthy of research because this is a problem that is suffered by many people from all ages, and it is important to be aware of what causes depression, its effects, and how it can be treated. But, even though depression is common in all range of ages, there are differences when it comes to a teen and an adult dealing with depressive tendencies. And so, for this particular work, two different mood disorders will be compared between adolescents and adults. Major Depressive Disorder and Seasonal Affective Disorder are the disorders that will be discussed about, because major depression is a more common disorder that can even overlap with other mood disorders, and seasonal affective disorder because it is a very distinctive kind of disease.Characteristics of Depression.There are many different types of mood disorders that have specific aspects that make them different in their own way, and can vary from person to person . However, there are common characteristics that can be helpful for specialists when the time comes to diagnose a person with a mood disorder. A traumatic event can make a person more susceptible to depression, and negative or pessimistic thoughts can be important factors that prolong the symptoms. As well as imbalances of chemicals that carry signals to neurotransmitters, which are brain cells, which often are the major causes of mood disorders. Specific chemicals that are in charge of carrying those signals are melatonin, serotonin, and dopamine. Serotonin is thought to be especially active in constricting smooth muscles, transmitting impulses between nerve cells, regulating cyclic body processes and contributing to wellbeing and happiness. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. When this chemicals in the brain experience are unbalanced, people tent to have “negative or hopeless thoughts and physical symptoms like fatigue”.Major Depressive Disorder.Major depressive disorder, patients experience “isolated episodes of depression”, otherwise known as major depressive episodes (MDE). Some episodes can be longer than others, and also more frequent for some patients. Between this episodes the person does not experience any signs of depression, nor feel depressed. When a person suffers from this disorder, there can be many signs that can help diagnosed it. Most common symptoms that a person can experience during depression are:Either lose or gain a significantly amount of weight. Experience insomnia or hypersomnia, meaning that patiences feel the need to sleep more than needed.Feelings of despair, worthlessness, grief, sadness, and/or guilt.Tiredness.Concentration problems. Physical deterioration. For children and teens, major depressive disorder “is characterized by one or more major depressive episodes,” with “at least 2 weeks of persistent change in mood manifested by either a depressed or irritable mood or a loss of interest or pleasure”. These can be triggered by school stress, such as heavy school work, extracurriculars, or possibly a situation of bullying. Or in other cases because of family matters, such as parents going through a divorce, or a hostile environment. In a study made for adolescents in the United States reported that “the 12-month prevalence of major depressive episodes” had increased from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.3% in 2014.For the youth depression can lead to other problems like substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. In the year 2009, about 2 million that were diagnosed with MDE used drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and prescription type drugs for “non medical purposes”. That makes 38% of the U.S youth consuming drugs or having and substance abuse as a cause of depressive symptoms.For adults, the major depressive disorder “is the most prevalent psychiatric disorder among” adults in the United States, and worldwide. Most often, adults with physical disabilities have a higher vulnerability to depression than any other person.Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder that is distinguished by episodes of depression during certain season, and it can recur yearly. Most SAD episodes occur during cold seasons, autumn and winter, with non-depressive periods of time during the warmer seasons, spring and summer. However, for some people this disorder works the other way around, but that is very rare.Some general symptoms that people can experience are:Sadness. Difficulty waking up in the mornings.Problems concentrating/ accomplishing activities.Lack of energy.Wight/appetite change. Isolation. Specific symptoms that a person could experience during a SAD episode in the winter are oversleep, intense food craving/weight gain, and tiredness during the day. For episodes of SAD during the warmer seasons, symptoms can be insomnia, poor appetite, weight loss, and anxiety.Although many of the symptoms are the same as other depressive disorders, causes for SAD are not fully understood yet, but research often suggest that the disease could be caused because of the change of light patterns that come with season change. Chemically, the human body needs serotonin to keep a balance in mood, and serotonin levels are naturally lowered in the winter when there’s less light. Melatonin, which helps balance sleep cycles, is another chemical that can be affected by the change in light as well. When the days are shorter, or when the day gets dark, levels of melatonin increase, causing a person to feel sleepy and tired. Because during autumn and winter the days are shorter, and as result of being deprived from sunlight people can be more receptive to experience symptoms of depression. As for the intervention between each depressive period in the winter, there has been evidence that proves that sunlight or bright light play an important role in the brain’s chemical productivity, and could either relieve symptoms of depression with contact, or intensify those symptoms if there is no contact with light. This is why in places like Ireland, where the days are shorter and there is not much sunlight, there is higher rates of depression than in warmer, sunnier places.Disorders Effects in Teens and Adults.People that have any type of depression can be susceptible to experience suicidal thoughts, which can lead to attempts and, in extreme cases, The symptoms caused by seasonal affective disorder in kids and young adults can affect them in many ways. In school it can affect their grades by being easily distracted, and even disruptive. Kids could also began to feel more irritated and indolent. With this disorder, there could be a Treatments for depression.Psychotherapy, or better known as counselling, is one of the principal treatments for depression or any physiological disorder. This treatment consists in emotional exploration and support towards the patient and interpretation from the specialist.Often, psychologist recommend homeopathic activities that help depression. Some activities might be exercise, a hobby, physical contact, or even exposition to sun.Antidepressants are another popular treatment for depression, which are often used to “restore chemical imbalances” in the brain that are the cause for depressive tendencies.This treatment is typically prescribed to provide a more immediate relief for the symptoms of depression. This seems to be the method that most patients recur to, as of 2002 in the United States, “133 million prescriptions for antidepressants”. During the years 2000 and 2003, there was a study made to observe the effects that antidepressants had in people with depression.For patients that have seasonal affective disorder, sometimes it is common for doctors to recommend sitting close to bright light ConclusionRelevant conclusion: (still working on it)Unresolved questions: (still working on it)
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