Mental illness

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Psychology ・APA ・6 Sources

Mental illness refers to health disorders that impact one or both emotions, judgment, and behavior, or a combination of these. Low productivity, difficulties in functioning in social work, or job or family misery are all related to mental illness. In other words, mental disease encompasses all diagnosable abnormalities of the mind that impact the way we think, feel, behave, and function. Thinking, communication, learning, rigidity, and self-esteem all benefit from good mental health. Most persons who suffer from a mental illness dislike discussing it with others. I got the opportunity to interview a close friend who had been diagnosed with a common mental condition that affects people all over the world. Before this experience, I had always thought it was a sensitive matter to discuss with your close friend, but I appreciate because he was free to give the full information and was comfortable sharing the information which was insightful to me. The following was the interview session:

Me: May I take this opportunity to have an interview session with you? In a case of any discomfort related to this, kindly let me know so as to stop.
Her: Okay.
Me: Tell me, what kind of the mental disorder are you suffering from?
Her: Depression
Me When and how were you first diagnosed with this?
Her: At the age of 32. It was after a series of events occurred that touched a lot into personal life. To be precise this the time I had lost my spouse, soon after I lost my job which was the only source of my income as a breadwinner to my little kids. The people around started to notice weird behavior changes among them were weight loss, irritability, feeling worthless or guilty. My parents decided to take me for counseling session which was accompanied by an introduction to medication.
Me: What are the factors did your parents put into consideration to get you to a counselor?
Her: I was getting irritated easily over petty issues, having sleepless nights, having thoughts of suicide and arduous in making decisions.
Me: Did you at first agree with the diagnosis?
Her: I had to accept the situation because my situation was evident I was suffering the mental disorder. At first, the counselor decided to give me a period of interview sessions before the depression diagnosis.
Me: According to your experience, what information do you know about this illness?
Her: I know it is a treatable condition and that within some time I can function normally. Mostly if people are not aware of the disease, you may experience relationship breakups with them because of the ease to sadness and inability to make decisions.
Me: How long should you be on medication to take to reduce your symptoms?
Her: There are two types of interventions for this; therapy and medication or either. I take some antidepressants which have eased some of the symptoms.
Me: Do you think the meds are helping you, and have you experienced any side effects while taking them?
Her: Yes I fell they are of help, and some of the side effects include dehydration.
Me: How have you coped with this disorder?
Her: I visit a psychiatrist twice a month and a therapist for counseling. To deal I try to understand I have a disorder and therefore try to forget the past events and treat the people around with lenient. I have to adhere to medication instructions given though this is not a good feeling to me because I hate taking medicine.


From this interview session, I empathize with this person bearing in mind how she deals with this situation as a mother and managing depression. I had sometimes heard from individuals who live close to her how they experience difficulty dealing with her violent situation before they realized that it was a real mental disorder. They had developed hatred towards her because of this. Following this interview and personal research on depression, I now understand how a mental illness can twist someone's mind and life in general, making him or her helpless in everyday interactions and situations.


Depression is a common and a far-reaching mental illness that can have adverse effects on how one feels the way they think and the way they behave. This condition is treatable and the earlier it's diagnosed, the better. Depression causes feelings of anger, and little or no interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to various motor and emotional problems and can contribute to low productivity both at work and home. Symptoms associated with this illness include loss of appetite which could be accompanied with weight loss. Loss of interest in the activities once enjoyed, insomnia or too much sleep, easily getting irritated, increased fatigue accompanied by loss of energy, lethargy, inability to make decisions, suicidal attempts, feeling of guilt or worthlessness, involvement in worthless physical activities or a time minimal movements and slugged speech.

Types, Causes, and Symptoms of Depression

There are various types of depression which among them are the typical recession; it is the general the kind of depression which may be thought to be absent while it, in fact, it is present. Doctors feel the typical depression is commonly under diagnosed. There is no single known cause of this condition. Genetic and environmental causes are the main risk factors. Other types of depression include Dysthymia, Major Depression, Postpartum Depression (PPD), Premenstrual Disorder (PMDD) and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
For one to undergo screening, and diagnosed with depression, the symptoms should last for more than two weeks. There are Medical conditions also associated with this illness. Some of the medical conditions include brain tumor, thyroid problems or vitamin deficiency. Therefore it is important not to declare one depressed before the screening of these medical causes. There is a difference between depression and grief. When someone lost a job or the loss of a loved one, they may mourn for longer and develop sadness in response. Being in mourning and depression are two different things. Grief is natural and unique it may involve withdrawal and severe depression. In pain individuals always maintain their self-esteem on the other hand in depression there is the feeling of worthlessness. Loss of a loved one to some people may lead to depression. Job or a physical assault to others may also lead to depression. In a situation where grief and depression co-exist, the grief may be prolonged than when there is no sadness involved (Cvetkovich, 2012. Despite this coexistence, the two are different and distinguishing the two can help in management or support to the affected. Therefore, this is the experience by my interviewee.
An estimate of 1 in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year is affected by depression. And 1 in 6 people will at some point in life experience depression (Staff, 2013). Depression can set in at any time in life; there are those who experience during the immature stage all through to old age. Some studies have shown women are more prone to depression than men and that one- third of women will experience a severe episode of depression in their lifetime. There are risk factors associated with depression which among them include medical illnesses especially the chronic diseases, disturbed sleep, dementia, side effects of some medication, drug and substance abuse, family history, extended mourning due to loss of a close person, financial or property loss, pain from disability among others.

Treating Depression

There are two principal methods of treating depressions are psychotherapy and medication which is the use of antidepressants. I was able to ask this lady how she copes with the prescription and in fact, I learned it was an expensive method. Depending on the type of depression one is suffering, there are those who do not require antidepressants and those who get the combination. Some of these antidepressants include Celexa, Cymbalta, Lexapro, Pristiq, Prozac, Seroquel, Viibryd, Wellbutrin, and Zoloft. On the other hand, depression is very dangerous when left untreated.


Many people who suffer various kind of mental illness with depression among them are not in a position to share their experience about the disease with others. Through this interview, I was able to change my perspective about depression as well as the attitude I had towards the depression patients. I understood some of these conditions are genetic and anybody is vulnerable to it despite gender and or race. I understood these illnesses are treatable and the earlier they are diagnosed, the better.


Beck, A.T. (1979) Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford Press.

Cvetkovich, A. (2012) Depression: A Public Feeling. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Cockerham, W. C. (2014). Sociology of Mental Disorder. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Moragne, W. (2011). Depression. Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century Books.

McNally, R. J. (2005). Remembering Trauma. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Staff, P. C. (2013). Major Depressive Episode Symptoms. Retrieved from Psych Central:

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