Depression

The choice I selected for  this week’s activity is depression. Depression is one of the most heavily medicalized conditions in our current society. In my opinion, the reason this condition is such a prevalent problem that medication is used for is because of three factors: the idea that we as people are supposed to be happy all the time and perfect, that we must have a constant idea pumped into our minds as to what we should be like, as well as (and most importantly) the idea that a pill can give us a quick fix for any ailment.

Here is an example of a video ad for a depression medication that is quite popular called Zoloft: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twhvtzd6gXA  The advertisement begins with some very generic signs of depression that are quite often experienced in day to day life, both for those who suffer from the condition as well as those who do not. People who share similar symptoms will result in people going to doctors and sharing these symptoms with medical professionals. Because depression is difficult to actually understand if the person is actually depressed in a clinical sense, often times this east fix society will result in doctors essentially throwing antidepressants such as Zoloft at their patients, similar to what happens with sleeping aids and other pills of that nature. It is things like this that result in a portion of those diagnosed with depression being falsely diagnosed. As for the medical information, the advertisement begins to introduce the medical theories, theory is used here because it is not truly known what cold hard facts result in depression, behind depressions existence. However, the advertisements just discuss that it is a complication within the chemical balances in the brain’s nerves.

Our culture is a quick fix society, plain and simple. Because of this, many medical prescriptions and/or procedures become abused in the sense that they become almost second nature as the first fix. Holistic medicine in some cases, such as depression, can also be a great benefitting factor on the road to recover. Instead of this concept though, many people go straight to the pills.

 

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  1. Pamela Perez says:

    Years ago, being overly sad about nothing or something in particular would have been seen as just being sad. Now, we’ve labeled it depression and it’s a medically treated and sometimes serious mental ‘disorder.’ Depression has been reframed into an illness due to the effects it has on the individual affected. Nevertheless, numerous articles suggest that perhaps, depression shouldn’t even be called a disorder because it has its benefits despite its negative connotations within society. Depression is starting to be seen as a result of human adaptation given the amount of people who end up developing depression during their teen years and even in adulthood. A hypothesis from one article states that, “…depression is an evolved response to complex problems…” which can be seen within our own societies. I’m sure all of us have had a moment where we ourselves have felt depressed, perhaps not to the point where we need medications, but it does change how we act, feel, and live our day-to-day lives. Politically and economically speaking, depression is a benefit; therefore labeling it as a condition that requires biomedical intervention is a plus for pharmaceutical companies and the political parties that support them. The video you chose is a perfect example of the social effect that these medications have on society. A part of the video dramatizes what causes the symptoms of depression and Zoloft, as described in the video, works to “correct this imbalance.” Automatically, the person begins to feel as though depression is an illness because it is creating some kind of imbalance in their mind and the way their body functions. And, as we have learned from society, when you’re body doesn’t function like everyone else’s does, then there’s something wrong with us that needs fixing. We start thinking, “What’s wrong with me? Am I crazy? Do these feelings make me abnormal? Can I be fixed?” Now, who better to discuss these questions with than with a doctor/specialist?

    Depression is now considered a health problem, a mental abnormality when at its extreme stages and even during the minor ones. An article I read states that depression used to be called “melancholia” or melancholy and that its earliest appearances were during the Mesopotamian times. However, depression then was seen as part of demonic influence or possession. No matte how we choose to see depression, I believe that the main reason for why it has been reformed as an “illness” is because of the way that individuals view others. By this, I mean how we view people with depression or who are overly sad and then compare them to how we are. When people behave differently from us, we begin to think that they are not ‘normal’ or that something is wrong. So much of the decisions made when it comes to treating certain symptoms come from our social perspectives and opinions that it’s hard to break the two apart. After all, medical specialists, no matter who they are, are also human and will, therein, include their perspectives as well. They function no differently than the rest of society-more often than not. Just like you said as well, we do live in a culturally “quick-fix” kind of society.

    Bibliography:

    -“Depression’s Evolutionary Roots.” Scientific American Global RSS. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/depressions-evolutionary/ (accessed August 2, 2014).

    -“Mental Health, Depression, Anxiety, Wellness, Family & Relationship Issues, Sexual Disorders & ADHD Medications.” Mental Health, Depression, Anxiety, Wellness, Family & Relationship Issues, Sexual Disorders & ADHD Medications. http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=12995 (accessed August 2, 2014).

    -“When does depression become a disorder? Using recurrence rates to evaluate the validity of proposed changes in major depression diagnostic thresholds.” – Wakefield. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wps.20015/full (accessed August 3, 2014).

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