Clinical depression: The role of genetics

Essay by asylum7830University, Bachelor's January 2003

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Every year more than 19 million American Adults suffer from clinical depression. Many people begin to feel depressed as the result of some recent, notable event or events, which occurred in one's life. However, these events are often not the the only cause of a major depressive episode. Family history and genetics play a significant part in the greater likelihood of someone becoming depressed in their lifetime.

Clinical depression is a serious and common disorder of mood that is pervasive,

intense and attacks the mind and body at the same time. The symptoms of depression

include feeling sad and blue, not enjoying activities once found pleasurable, having

difficulty doing things that used to be easy to do, restlessness, fatigue, changes in sleep,

appetite or weight, inability to make decisions, feelings of worthlessness, and thoughts

of death or suicide. Unlike feeling down-hearted or blue every now and then, clinical

depression persists and does not go away on it's own.

Clinical depression is an illness

that can last for months or years if left untreated. 30% of all clinically depressed

patients attempt suicide; half of them succeed.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 19 million

Americans each year develop depression. Recent research indicates the number may be

even higher, closer to 20 million. Less than half of the people suffering from depression

actually receive treatment. Researchers believe that one out of every five adults may

experience a depression at some point in their lives. Twice as many women as men

suffer from depression, although everybody, including children, can develop the


As many as 90% of people with depression improve from a combination of

psychotherapy and antidepressants; however, adverse side effects from certain

medications make it difficult for many...