depression

depression, clinical depression
Mental states characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest, experienced by most individuals. They are deemed clinical (that is a mental illness ) if they are persistent, severe, and out of proportion to any identifiable precipitant. The term depression entered psychiatric classification primarily as a symptom of melancholia (the predecessor to depression) and has only featured as a diagnostic label since the end of the nineteenth century (initially in the term manic depression).
The precise differentiation of types of depression varies. In the post-war period it has been common to distinguish reactive and endogenous depression. With reactive depression-a neurosis -there is an identifiable precipitant, but the response is exaggerated. With endogenous depression-a psychosis -there is not; instead the illness appears to arise from within. However, the DSM-III , under the heading of ‘Affective Disorders’, distinguishes bi-polar (manic depression) and unipolar disorders (depression).
The various types of depression are now the most frequently diagnosed mental illnesses, and are more common in women than men (with a usual ratio of two to one). There are undoubtedly biochemical changes associated with depressive states (though work on the biochemistry of depression has not been very successful) and the most widely used treatments are physical-drugs or ECT (electro-convulsive therapy). However, the case for the importance of social factors in the aetiology of depression is strong. George Brown and Tirril Harris's study of the Social Origins of Depression (1978) demonstrated very clearly that adverse life-events and other stress-inducing occurrences, when combined with situationally generated vulnerability, increased the chances of clinical depression (both reactive and endogenous).

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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  • Depression — Depression …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • dépression — [ depresjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1314; lat. depressio « enfoncement », de depressus, p. p. de deprimere → déprimer 1 ♦ Abaissement, enfoncement (produit par une pression de haut en bas ou par toute autre cause). ⇒ affaissement. La légère dépression d un… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Depression — or depress(ed) may refer to: Medicine Depression (mood), a state of low mood and aversion to activity Mood disorder, a class of mental illnesses featuring depressed mood Major depressive disorder, one of the mood disorders, commonly referred to… …   Wikipedia

  • Depression — Dépression Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Depression — De*pres sion, n. [L. depressio: cf. F. d[ e]pression.] 1. The act of depressing. [1913 Webster] 2. The state of being depressed; a sinking. [1913 Webster] 3. A falling in of the surface; a sinking below its true place; a cavity or hollow; as,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Depression — Sf Niedergeschlagenheit; wirtschaftlicher Rückgang erw. fach. (16. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus frz. dépression, eigentlich Niederdrückung, Senkung , dieses aus l. dēpressio ( ōnis), einer Ableitung von l. dēprimere (dēpressum) niederdrücken,… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • depression — late 14c. as a term in astronomy, from O.Fr. depression (14c.) or directly from L. depressionem (nom. depressio), noun of action from pp. stem of deprimere to press down, depress (see DEPRESS (Cf. depress)). Attested from 1650s in the literal… …   Etymology dictionary

  • depression — [dē presh′ən, dipresh′ən] n. [ME depressioun < OFr depression < L depressio: see DEPRESS] 1. a depressing or being depressed 2. a depressed part or place; hollow or low place on a surface 3. low spirits; gloominess; dejection; sadness 4. a… …   English World dictionary

  • depression — [n1] low spirits; despair abasement, abjection, abjectness, blahs*, bleakness, blue funk*, bummer, cheerlessness, dejection, desolation, desperation, despondency, disconsolation, discouragement, dispiritedness, distress, dole, dolefulness, dolor …   New thesaurus

  • depression — I noun debasement, decline, deflation, dejection, depreciation, despondence, despondency, disheartenment, dispiritedness, dolefulness, economic decline, gloom, lowering, lowness, maeror, sinking, slump, tristitia associated concepts: economic… …   Law dictionary

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