A highly overlooked disease that affects both your mind and body is severe depression. The body is not only directly harmed but indirectly when one “loses” their mind and decides that their life isn’t worth living. Depending on the severity of the depression it can lead to suicide. This can be avoided but in some cases can be very difficult. In one such case Stephanie was experiencing the harmful effects of severe depression. Married to her second husband, with a son from her previous marriage, “she became increasingly unhappy and felt unworthy of both her husband and her son” (John Zrebiec).
Stephanie thought that she was ugly and that she wasn’t good enough for her family. Other symptoms of depression people may experience include effects to the brain and body. Depression causes neurological changes in the brain resulting in mental, emotional and physical changes. Depression alters the levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine. Low levels of serotonin cause depression and some people to have suicidal thoughts. “Norepinephrine helps our bodies to recognize and respond to stressful situations”(John Zrebiec).
Researchers suggest that people who are vulnerable to depression may have low levels of Norepinephrine in their system that can’t handle the effects of stress very efficiently. AS for the effects to the body, depression surprisingly affects the immune system as well. It weakens the number of T-Cells, which protects the body from carcinogens. T-Cells are crucial to a healthy immune system. Also, depression has been linked to certain diseases such as asthma and heart disease. Stephanie’s friend noticed a significant change in her overall mood.
She was “extremely active and quite chipper, in contrast to her usual depressive and fatigued demeanor” (John Zrebiec). Many would think this is a positive gain for Stephanie, but her friend knew that it was too drastic too soon. Other signs and symptoms of severe depression, and suicide, include expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped, an unusual preoccupation with death or dying, anger or irritability, sleep changes, loss of interest in daily activities, and many others.
Depression is not just found in adults, but is also seen in adolescents and even small children. After the unusual spike in Stephanie’s mood, her friend notified Stephanie’s husband. He immediately rushed home to find Stephanie in the bathtub with her wrists cut and profusely bleeding. He did what he could until the ambulance arrived. Stephanie barley survived and after the incident has been to different psychiatrists and has been prescribed medication to enlighten her mood.
Some basic treatments for depression include exercise, sleep, nutrition, stress reduction, and strong social support. Psychotherapy is also a useful treatment to help the severely depressed individual to cope with their symptoms. There are countless types of anti depressants that positively effect and brighten ones mood. New treatments for depression are currently being created but have yet to show a true cure.
Zrebiec, John. “Case Study: Depression. ” Case Study: Cognitive Impairment, Depression, and Severe Hypoglycemia. N. p. , 1 Mar. 2009. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.
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