Essay by ups72University, Master'sB, August 2004

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Depression is a common occurrence that everyone has experienced in some way throughout the course of his or her lives - from feeling 'blue' to clinical depression. Depression is generally known as "the most common and oldest of all disorders" (Wright, 101) and is considered a crisis. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, sex, person, status or occupation, is one of the "most serious and prevalent mental disorders" and affects approximately 14 million people in North America alone (Tan & Ortberg, 35). Depression is a normal healthy reaction to some of the events that occur in a person's life. In this paper, I will attempt to define what the crisis of depression is, the symptoms and some forms of treatment.

What is Depression?

Depression is a sense or a feeling of sadness, gloom and despair that includes symptoms that affect the whole person - cognitively behaviorally, emotionally, and physically.

If these symptoms are severe, chronic or if they happen repeatedly, they will interfere with relationships, work and the daily living of the person (LaHaye, 19).

Depression is a symptom or a message that brings our attention to something that is wrong or neglected in our lives; or that we are in over our head and need help (Hart, 2; Wright, 102). Depression can be a disease in itself - where there is a chemical imbalance in the brain. "In its most severe form, the psychotic depressions, it is an illness category of its own" (Hart, 2). Depression can also be a normal reaction to losses that are experienced in life. Wright describes it as a "protective device that can remove us from stress and give us time to recover if we use it in that way" (102).

The depressed person usually has a poor view of self,