Depression: An Overview and Management

Depression: An Overview and Management

Ndapewa Nehale Shifiona (University of Namibia, Namibia) and Daniel Opotamutale Ashipala (University of Namibia, Namibia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2139-7.ch011
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This chapter provides a broad overview of depression in adults. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability globally. It is a syndrome with central features of low mood, lack of enjoyment, reduced energy, negative thinking, poor sleep and appetite, lack of concentration, and suicidal ideation. It affects everyone. The purpose of this chapter is to outline the link between various contributory factors and depression among the adult population. Optimal management processes, including self-care, reduce the risk of relapse and improve the quality of life.
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Despite noticeable transformation in the healthcare system of different countries in the world, mental health and wellness still receives low priority with efforts directed mainly towards addressing communicable and life-threatening diseases (Ashipala, Wilkinson, & van Dyk, 2016). Depressive disorder has significant potential morbidity and mortality, contributing to suicide, the incidence and adverse outcomes of medical illness, disruption in interpersonal relations, and lost work time and productivity. Halverson (2019) states that as many as two-thirds of people with depression do not realise that they have a treatable illness and therefore do not seek professional help. In addition, persistent ignorance and misperceptions of the disease by the public as a personal weakness or failing that can be willed or wished away, leads to painful stigmas and avoidance of the diagnosis by many of those affected. Thus, an understanding about “depressive disorder” is necessary, not only by the sufferer, but also by the caretaker and the public at large.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Suicide: Ending one’s own life. It is sometimes a way for people to escape pain or suffering.

Persistent Depressive Disorder: Also called dysthymia is a form of chronic depression, with symptoms that are less severe but longer lasting than other forms of depression.

Corticotrophin-Releasing Factor: A peptide hormone involved in the stress response.

Counselling: A therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues. Sometimes the term “counseling “is used to refer to talking therapies in general, but counseling.

Psychotherapy: The treatment of mental disorder by psychological rather than medical means.

Biopsychosocial Model: An interdisciplinary model that looks at the interconnection between biology, psychology, and socio-environmental factors. The model specifically examines how these aspects play a role in topics ranging from health and disease models to human development.

Electro Convulsion Therapy: A medical treatment most commonly used in patients with severe major depression or bipolar disorder that has not responded to other treatments. ECT involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia.

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