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Reply #17: There are several kinds of depression... [View All]

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TygrBright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-18-07 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. There are several kinds of depression...
...the easiest one to treat is the straight endocrinological depression; that is, imbalance of brain chemistry from purely a purely physiological basis.

That is, the depressed person is not poor, not grieving a terrible loss, not threatened with incapacitating disease, etc., but experiences the symptoms of depression in spite of an otherwise ordinary, reasonably pleasant life.

Then there is the short-term externally-precipitated depression: That is, an otherwise normally not-depressed person who suddenly loses a spouse or child, has an important relationship break off, loses a job they loved, etc. This, too, usually yields fairly readily to treatment once it is recognized and diagnosed and the various treatment options are tested.

Then there is depression secondary to other physical processes like untreated chronic disease, undiagnosed diseases, etc. That's harder to treat since often the treatments for depression are not compatible with other treatment regimens. But there are things that can be done to palliate the worst depressive symptoms, and if the primary disease process is interrupted and that damage alleviated, recovery is possible.

The worst kind of depression is the combination endocrinological depression aggravated by long-term external triggers: Poverty, physical incapacity, isolation, etc. That's the kind that many elderly folks experience. It's aggravated by a social structure that deliberately isolates the elderly, moves them into age-segregated residences and communities, often geographically isolated from family and old friends, provides them with no valid, valuable role to play in family or societal well-being, and bombards them with media messages about how unattractive and useless they are and how unpleasant their company is for all the important (i.e. younger) people who have important work to do. It's aggravated by the whole 'nuclear family' societal ethos that ignores the value of extended families and makes the elderly a burden to their children. That kind of depression doesn't always yield to treatment. Even chemistry can't change society.

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