Psychiatry

Depressive Disorders by Carla Mooney

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By Carla Mooney

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I had had enough bouts of depression to virtually assure I would have more. It seems that the physiological ruts in my brain, layered on an apparent genetic predisposition toward depression, had sealed my fate. ” —Vincent Caimano, “In Charge of Change,” Esperanza, Summer 2011. Caimano is the founder of Depression Recovery Groups and himself a depression patient. “ Although depression is a common mental-health complaint and a leading cause of disability over the course of a lifetime, it is hard to understand what causes it and how to treat it.

31 Facts and Illustrations Facts and Illustrations What Are Depressive Disorders? 32 • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 10 percent of people in the United States over the age of eighteen suffer from a depressive disorder. • Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability among Americans aged fifteen to forty-four. • The median age of onset for major depressive disorder is thirty-two, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. • Women experience depression at twice the rate of men.

Kathleen M. Hegadoren, Canada Research Chair in Stress-Related Disorders in Women, University of Alberta. T here is no simple answer to what causes depression. Depression can strike people of any age, gender, race, or social background. Most experts believe that a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors interact to influence whether someone develops depression. Yet the complexity of the brain along with the varied effects that depression can have on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors make the disorder a challenge to study.

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