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Depression & Its Impact On Our Life

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Major depression is the most common psychiatric disorder. According to the World Health Organization, it is the leadingcause of disability worldwide among people aged 5 years andolder. About 10% of men and 25% of women experience majordepression at some time in their lives. Approximately 20 millionpeople a year suffer depressive illness in the U.S., where thenegative impact of this disease on the economy is estimated at $16billion annually.


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a significant health problem, withmajor economic implications, and estimates of the economic burden ofdepression range from $52 billion in 1990 to $83 billion in 2000 (Malone,2007). Among others, the effect on employment is considered to have agreat impact on the societal costs of depression, due to lost income, lostproductivity, and disability income payments. Casual factors:

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  • Biological casual factors
  • Genetic influences
  • Neurochemical factors
  • Abnormalities of hormonal regulatory and immune systems
  • Neurophysiological and Neuroanatomical influences.

Casual factors

According to Levinson (2006) family studies have shown that theprevalence of mood disorders is approximately two to three timeshigher among blood relatives of persons with clinically diagnosedunipolar depression than it is in the population at large.

Depression And Memory

A new study in the journal Cognition and Emotion illustrates the linkbetween reduced working memory capacity and dysphoria, a significantand prolonged depressed mood related to clinical depression. For people with depressed mood, memory and concentration difficulties areoften a day-to-day reality, greatly affecting job performance and personalrelationships. In a study published online in Cognition and Emotion, researchers at the Centrer for Brain Health at The University of Texas at Dallas are the first tosubstantiate memory deficits in individuals with depressed mood.

The findings may have implications for the way cognitive deficits are diagnosedand treated in depression. The study included 157 undergraduate students. All participants completed a computer-based depression inventory that measures self-reported,depressive symptoms experienced over the previous two-weeks. 60participants were classified as having depressed mood and 97 as having non-depressed mood. Researchers assessed working memory, the cognitive function that allows the brain to store information for short periods of time so that othercognitive processes can occur simultaneously. People with depressed moodforgot more numbers than people without depressed mood when theyresponded to the sentence featuring negative information, but rememberedjust as many numbers when they responded to neutral information.

Depression And Working Memory

The study conducted on fifty-eight individuals, 29 diagnosedwith current MD and 29 never-disordered controls, participatedin this study. The present study was designed to examine theability of depressed and non depressed participants to updateemotional stimuli in WM, with the specific goal of testing thehypothesis that biases in linking stimuli within, and removingstimuli from, WM might underlie the mood dysregulationexperienced by depressed individuals, and update emotionalcontent in WM, depressed and nondepressed individuals did notdiffer in accuracy.

Memory and depression surveys were conducted in a sample of 44 elderlyfemale subjects from whom complete data were obtained. The finding wasthat in the group of depressed elderly women the intensity of depressivesymptoms was declining with progressing old age. This is rather anunexpected finding that points out that aging and depression are notinevitably entwined.[1] The author demonstrated that neurocognitive performance was moreimportant than the clinical symptoms in predicting the future employmentstatus in patients with schizophrenia, and among the neurocognitivefunctions, verbal working memory (WM) was found to be the mostimportant for determining the employment outcome. [11] Patients with MDD also have been reported to perform less well inneurocognitive tests than normal control subjects, even after theirdepression is successfully treated with newer-generation antidepressants.

Depresson and Autobiographical Memory

Thirty-two inpatients were selected according to the DSM-IV criteria ofmajor depressive episodes of at least one month duration. The findingsshows that the percentage of general responses differed significantlybetween groups for positive cue words but not for negative ones. After thetreatment The percentage of general responses differed significantlybetween the two groups for both positive and negative cue words. Gualtieri & Morgan (2008) reported that substantial numbers of patients with depression exhibit cognitive impairment. However, until date, littleattention has been paid to the relation between neurocognitive performance and the psychosocial or functional outcomes in studies of depression compared to those of bipolar disorder.


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