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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.


Contents include

  • recognising depressed behaviours
  • the grieving process
  • suicide risk
  • the carer and depression
  • depression and the healthcare environment.
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Author / Editor Biographies

Bernadette Keane is a highly experienced nurse educator who lectured for nine years in the psychiatric nursing programs conducted at Royal Park Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to psychiatry, her clinical background and qualifications include medical, surgical, midwifery and infant welfare areas of care. In 1982, as a Kellogg Nursing Fellow, she studied at the University of California, San Francisco. Since then she has published journal articles and textbook chapters on health care and professional issues. In 1986 Bernadette launched her private practice, called Continuing Educati...
Carolyn Dixon was, from 1995 to early 1999, the psychiatric clinical nurse consultant in the Emergency Department of St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Her work there began as a project to study the effectiveness of this innovative role. Carolyn is a trained psychiatric and general nurse who has worked in hospital, education and community settings both in Australia and overseas. It was while she was working as a nurse teacher at Royal Park Hospital in Melbourne that she first worked with Bernadette Keane. Carolyn has presented a number of conference papers on aspects of psychiatric...

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