Depressed, The Person who is...
This chapter explores the assessment and management of people with depression. Depression, which used to be called ‘melancholia’, directly affects millions of people around the world. It also affects indirectly those who are friends and relatives of the sufferers. Even though women are at higher risk than men, depression strikes people of all ages, races, creeds and classes. In fact depression is the most common mental illness. It is particularly common in elderly people. Depression comes in many forms and degrees of severity: mild, moderate, severe and profound. Mildly depressed people can be talked with fairly easily and are responsive to appropriate counseling and environmental interventions. Often mild depression is due to disturbing events in a person’s life, for example being made redundant or the break-up of a close relationship. Seriously depressed people, on the other hand, have substantial mental changes that make the intensity of their gloominess more difficult to deal with. Usually serious depression results from both environmental stimuli and chemical imbalances in the brain, although there are some people whose depressive episodes arise solely from an imbalance of chemicals in the brain pathways.
- recognising depressed behaviours
- the grieving process
- suicide risk
- the carer and depression
- depression and the healthcare environment.