Learning Goal: I’m working on a nursing discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
Please reply to discussion below using APA 7th edition, 3 references dated less than 4 years, and 1 interactive question.
A depressive disorder is a condition that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It saps motivation and interferes with normal functioning of daily life. By definition, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. Depressive disorders come in different forms, as is the case with other illnesses such as heart disease.
Women experience depression about twice as often as men. Biological, life cycle, hormonal, and other factors including experiential ones unique to women may be linked to their higher depression rate. Researchers have shown that hormones directly affect brain regions that influence emotions and mood, and they are further exploring how hormone cycles can give rise to depressive states. Some women may be susceptible to the severe form of premenstrual syndrome called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Women are also vulnerable to depression after giving birth, when hormonal and physical changes, along with the new responsibility of caring for a helpless infant can be overwhelming. Many women also uniquely face such proven chronic stresses as juggling work and home responsibilities, single parenthood, domestic abuse, and caring for children and aging parents.
Depression, even in the most severe cases, is a highly treatable disorder. The sooner treatment begins, the more effective it is and the greater the likelihood that recurrence can be prevented. Appropriate treatment for depression starts with a physical examination by a physician. A number of medications, as well as some medical conditions, including viral infections and thyroid disorder, can cause depression-like symptoms and must be ruled out. Once a physical cause of depression is ruled out, a psychological evaluation can be conducted, either by the examining physician or via referral to a mental health professional.
An evaluation should include a detailed inquiry into the history and nature of current symptoms and prior episodes and their management as well as any family history of depression and its treatment. From this information, the severity of current symptoms can be rated; this information serves as a baseline for measuring improvement over time and guides the course of treatment. Once diagnosed, depression can be treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. Medication may help reduce symptoms while psychotherapy addresses the negative thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that give rise to distress and that need to be managed in more productive ways.
For mild to moderate depression, psychotherapy is generally considered the best treatment option. Psychotherapy is important in helping patients develop strategies for dealing with the situations that give rise to depression and to effectively manage the negative thoughts and feelings that mark the distress. Both cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and interpersonal therapy (IPT) have been widely tested and shown to be effective in treating depression. By teaching new ways of thinking and behaving, CBT gives people skills to disarm negative styles of thinking and behaving. IPT helps people understand and work through troubled personal relationships that may cause or exacerbate their depression.
Antidepressants typically take time to work. Patients must take regular doses for at least three to four weeks before they are likely to experience a full therapeutic effect and continue taking the medication to maintain improved mood and to prevent a relapse of the depression. Although antidepressants are not habit-forming or addictive, abruptly ending an antidepressant treatment can cause withdrawal symptoms or lead to a relapse. Some individuals, such as those with chronic or recurrent depression, may need to stay on the medication indefinitely. Unfortunately, depression in women can have misdiagnosis rates as high as 50% and fewer than half of women who experience major depression will ever seek treatment. Fortunately, depression has shown great treatment success rates. More than 80% of women with depression are treated successfully through antidepressants, therapy, or a combination of both.
Accortt, E. E., Freeman, M. P., & Allen, J. J. (2018). Women and major depressive disorder: clinical perspectives on causal pathways. Journal of Women’s Health, 17(10), 1583-1590.
Clayton, A. H., & Ninan, P. T. (2020). Depression or menopause? Presentation and management of major depressive disorder in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders, 12(1), 26233.
Goveas, J. S., Espeland, M. A., Woods, N. F., Wassertheil‐Smoller, S., & Kotchen, J. M. (2019). Depressive symptoms and incidence of mild cognitive impairment and probable dementia in elderly women: the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 59(1), 57-66.
Somerset, W., Newport, D. J., Raga, K., & Stowe, Z. N. (2017). Depressive disorders in women. Women and depression: A handbook for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences, 62-88.
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