Free Research Proposal About Depression

Type of paper: Research Proposal

Topic: Depression, Psychology, Health, People, Disorders, Medicine, Life, Emotions

Pages: 10

Words: 2750

Published: 2021/02/16


Depression is an articulated and complex mental state characterized by melancholic state of mind. The prevalence of this mental state is often disregarded since the life cycle is characterized by the ups and downs. However, the prevalence of the low moments for a long period of time and with repetitive recurrences, combined with the other symptoms, it requires high regard and immediate treatment. The overbearing of the negative emotions leads to suicidal attempts to people who experience depression. The modern lifestyle and technological age today further add to the depressing environment to people who do not find their self-fulfillment. Depression is characterized by symptoms that need to be identified. It is imperative that depression must be addressed immediately. Current statistics show that there is an increasing trend in the prevalence of depression in societies today. The causations of the disorder are varied, and their impacts to the society are important. Furthermore, the treatment of the disorder is different from other diseases, where some responds to specific treatment while others require combinations of treatment. Until now, the studies and research about this mental state is subject for advancement.


Depression is a common word nowadays that is associated automatically to the emotional condition of the individual at certain periods of time. It is accounted as part of the normal cycle of life where the ups and downs cause extreme emotions from time to time. However, when the feelings of despair, sadness, emptiness, and low moment have been felt by an individual for quite some time, it is no longer part of the normal pattern of life. Depression is a state where man experience many emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and physical symptoms. It is not just a temporary change in the mood or even signs of weakness. It is not also a character flaw as some consider it. Depression is a real and serious health problem that should be identified and treated (CANMAT, nd). People experiencing depression must be able to identify their conditions and be aware of the symptoms to provide treatment as early as possible to prevent it from getting worse. Depression is actually a prevalent mental disorder and one of the leading debilitating psychiatric disorders that may lead to suicide (Hollon et al, 2002). Suicide is the conscious and voluntary act of taking oneself’s life. It is the act of self-annihilation, and the widespread unease condition of an individual in need, where the challenges he is facing is overwhelming, and that the solution he considers is to make an end of the sorrow that is unbearable for him (Shneidman, 1985). Suicide is one of the most possible complications of depression especially when combined with other behavioral symptoms of moderate to the severe type of depression. People who are depressed usually do not have enough energy to harm themselves. However, when depression strikes, they gain increase energy that would drive them to attempt suicide (All About Depression, 2015).
In today’s modern age, the human nature thriving only with the basic needs have been overshadowed by the modern day demanding lifestyle. There is a higher tendency for man to compromise his mental health due to the varied forms and over dominion of technological advances and societal changes (Evans, 2012). Major forms of depression have been the cause of disability among developed nations and the US. This paper covers the topic of depression as a mental illness. It covers the ways of its identification through the symptoms, it various causations, types, effects, and treatments. It provides an overview about the general concept of depression. Specifically, it strives to direct the concepts of depression in relation with today’s modern lifestyle and high technological world. Depression makes life more difficult. It is vital to understand the symptoms and signs for the first step in addressing the problem.

What is Depression?

Mental Illness is defined as the collective term that refers to all the diagnosable mental disorders. This health condition are remarked highly with alterations in the mood, thinking, behavior, and any combination thereof, that are associated with distress and impaired functioning. Depression is one of the mental disorders that is characterized by mood alterations. Anxiety and depression are the main contributors to the high and increasing rates of suicide (USDOHHS, 1999). It is an articulated and complex mental state characterized by melancholic state of mind. There is an overload of negative sensations that makes an individual to decrease an interest in his surroundings (Stranieri et al, 2012). Depressions is a common and one of the most debilitating psychiatric disorders, where people having this disorder experience multiple episodes, ranging from acute and chronic forms. It refers to the negative emotions or low mood and the absence of the positive motions, e.g loss of pleasure and interest in activities. It is also often accompanied with emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms (Knott, 2014).


Depression is a mental condition that affects around 1 out of 10 Americans, where the prevalence per state varies. There are around 350 million people suffer from depression around the world, making it as the leading cause of the disabilities among men (WHO, 2015). WHO estimated that there is a higher prevalence of depression among the elderly with rates of 10% to 20% depending on the cultural situations of people (Barua et al, 2011). There is greater prevalence of depression for people in the parts of the Middle East and Asia as compared to the people in the Western countries. There are around 9% of people that experience depression in regions such as India, Afghanistan, Middle East, and Asia, while there is only around 4% prevalence of depression in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, North and South America (Goetzke, 2014). Depression among ethnicities also has higher percentage over the others. Depression is prevalent in the people ages of 45 to 64. In the worldwide context, there are around 5.7% men and around 9.5% women that experience depression in a total of around 121 million people. WHO forecasts that depression will become a leading contributor to the worldwide burden of disease by the coming 2020 (Halliwell, 2007).

Symptoms of Depression

Depression occurs in multiple episodes. Some of the symptoms include (Mayo Clinic, 2015):
Low emotions such as sadness, unhappiness, and emptiness
Angry outbursts, frustrations, and irritability over small matters
Loss of pleasure and interest in the activities done normally
Disturbance in sleeping patterns leading to insomnia of over sleeping
Lack of energy even in small tasks
Loss of appetite or increased carvings for food
Restlessness, anxiety, excessive worrying, and inability to be still
Slowed body movements, speaking, and thinking
Negative feelings of guilt, worthlessness, blame
Trouble in making decisions, thinking, and concentrating
Frequent thoughts of death, suicide thoughts and attempts
Association of unexplained physical complains
Types of Depression
The symptoms of depression are commonly constant ranging from acute to moderate upto severe cases. When this disorder is not treated, it would lead to major depression cases. Some people experience single episodes through time, but would lead to major sickness when it recurs. Some of the common types include Dysthymia and Bipolar Disorder. Dysthymia is a mild or low-grade depression. Patients experience mild and moderate depression with intervals of normal mood periods. The symptoms for this depression are subtle and not as strong as the major forms of depression, but they often last for quite a long period of time. This disease makes one to live life to the fullest and even to remember memorable thoughts. Generally, this disorder can be treated easily. The other type of depression is the major type of depression called bipolar disorder. It is remarkably characterized by the sudden shifts of mood. There are alternate episodes of manic and depression. The switching from one extreme mood to another is gradual, where the episodes last for several weeks. When the patient is depressed, the symptoms for depression are experienced. The treatment for this disorder is also different with the mild case (Smith et al, 2015)

Causations of Depression

Depression is caused by combinations of various factors that include the biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Depression has been associated with disorders of the brain. There were many longstanding theories about depression, where suggestions of neurotransmitters that communicate with the brain cells are going out of balance due to depression. However, this theory is difficult to prove. The various technologies of the brain imaging such as the MRI show that the brains of the people experiencing depression have different appearance with those who does not suffer depression. Accordingly, the brain parts that include the sleeping, thinking, mood, behavior, and appetite appear different. But still, these images do not completely reveal the occurrence of depression (NIH, nd). There are also studies that tested the relationship of stressful experiences with depression in other people. Accordingly, the genetic transporter was found to moderate and regulate the influence of the stressful life events with depression. Studies show that people with either one or more alleles of 5HTT promoter polymorphism experience higher depressive symptoms and suicidal attempts in dealing with stressful life events (Caspi et al., 2003).
The continued social, physical, and intellectual activities in the entire life cycle are vital for the maintenance of one’s mental health in the late life of man. The stressful events of life increase with age. However, the persistent bereavement and serious depressions are not normal and must undergo treatment. The relative influence of the psychological, social, ad biological factors vary from man to man in his entire life span. Depression can arise from man’s exposure to the various stressful life events. However, it can also be due to genetic predisposition (USDOHHS, 1999).
There are many stressors of depression. Many episodes and incidences of depression are associated with either acute or even chronic adversity. The death of love ones is considered as the major and power stressors of life. Grief is a universal experience with symptoms of bereavement episodes that include loss of appetite, crying spells, insomnia, and weight loss. Grief has a great impact in the emotions that must not be considered automatically to depression unless there are definite complications such as psychosis, incapacity, ad suicidal thoughts (USDOHHS, 1999, p 254). Grieving is a natural process that may share the same features with depression. However, they are different from each other in important aspects. In grief, the feelings of pain come in waves with intermixture of the positive memories of the dead love ones, where the self-esteem of the individual remains intact. Depression, on the other hand, comes with constant negative emotions as seen in the mood, and perceptions of the individual. Mostly, depression leads to corrosive emotions of self-hate and worthlessness. Depression must not be labeled as a normal bereavement consequence since its diagnosis is very different from grief (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Parental neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and other maltreatment affect the emotional well-being as well as the mental functions that cause depression. The early disruptions of bonds of attachment lead to problems in the development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships. It also leads to anxiety and depression (USDOHHS, 1999, p 254).

Influence of Modern Life to Depression

The traditional community thrives on the basic needs for their daily lives. Depression is an unknown phenomenon in the traditional communities. However, in the modern world of today, people tend to be more ‘self-focused’ and selfish. People have difficulty in understanding the wider community since they are too self-absorbed about their selfish concerns. Mostly, people don’t get what they want that leads them to depression (Clinical-depression, 2015). The highly stressful environment of the modern life style combined with the lack of gratification and personal fulfillment leads other people to experience emptiness and dark emotional distress. This prevalence of depression in the modern day society is due to the people not minding their mental health. Excessive technological exposure such as video games, television, movies and other medium tend to alter the mental state where one becomes overwhelmed with the emotional stress. Stress, being a prevalent factor in today’s society needs to be reduced. This can be done through proper diet and regular exercise to lower the stress level of the people (Evans, 2014).
One of the biggest factors for the modern day depression is the westernization. In places where the prevalent culture and lifestyle is based on the traditional ones, the rate of depression is incredibly low. However, in the westernized cultures, the depression rates increase. This fact is due to people’s roles becoming less defined, workplaces become more unpredictable, communities become fragmented, and relationship are more fragile and prone to breaking. The unprecedented level of choice and information leads people to confusion. People who can’t cope with stress cause depression (Bayley, 2008).

Impact of Depression

Depressive disorders such as depression are significant issue of public health. These diseases are disabling and chronic illnesses that cause an impact to the high economic society burden contributing costs that are both direct and indirect. It also has significant influences in the outcome of medical illnesses that include cancer, diabetes, cardiac diseases, and others. The under-treatment and under-recognition of depressive disorders accounts to 10% of the patients in the primary care units (Cassano and Fava, 2002).
Depression has a grave impact in the nation’s economy, both in the health care and diminished productivity. It is also one of the leading causes of absenteeism and declining productivity in the workplace. People who experience depression most often seek medical help for other reasons. Most often, depressed patients seek stigmatized explanations for various reasons and undergo expensive diagnostic procedures for other complaints without having the mood disorder diagnosed or even treated (USDOHHS, 1999).

Prevention and Cure

Stress is a factor of depression when not handled properly. People overcome with the many stressful events of life tend to experience darkness and emptiness. One way for people to reduce emotional stress is to take break the many mindless and useless medium of entertainment. People must subject themselves to the ceaseless mental attacks. The mental state must have a chance for relaxation and collection of thoughts. Talking and connecting to people would also help in dealing with the stressors of life. Sometimes talking the problems and concerns with someone helps people to deal with life and the burdens along with it (Evans, 2014).
Treatment of depression requires various types of interventions. The medications show no perfect evidence in reducing risk of its recurrence. There are those who respond to certain medication while there are those who do not respond to combinations of medications. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is one of the effective treatments for depression. Severe cases of depression require experienced therapists for effective treatment. CBT relieves acute depression and also reduces the risk for the symptoms recurrence as long as the treatment is maintained. For more effective treatment, combination of these treatments is needed. There is a need for good medical management in treating depression. Not everyone responds to the existing interventions. Further studies are needed in the assessment of disorders that are not addressed (Hollon et al, 2002).


The prevalence of depression in today’s society is much greater than the previous years due to the factors of the society that includes the modern and fast-paced lifestyle, technological advancement and detrimental cultures.


This paper deals with the study of the disorder of depression and all the other aspects related to it. It specializes on the aspect of the modern culture integration in the study to assess its contributions in the increasing prevalence of depression. WHO made a forecast that by 2020, depression would be one of the leading burden diseases in the world (WHO, 2014).
In this paper, I will collect statistics from the past until the present to present that the prevalence of the disorder is indeed increasing. The other data related to depression would also be assessed that would include the causations, symptoms, impact, prevention and cure, and the aspect of the modern day culture contribution to the increasing prevalence.
The testing of the hypothesis can be done through the varied collected researches. The comparison table for the prevalence of the disease from the past until the present and the contributory factors for the increase would show that the modern day cultures vital in the study of depression.


Basing on the data that I would collect, I will examine the information in detail. I will compare the statistical researches and present evidence that depression is increasing from year to year. Furthermore, I will present the modern day culture as a factor to this increase. I will connect information to the modern day lifestyle of man and related its causation, prevention and cure with the prevalence of the disease.
This study would be useful for the general information especially in today’s society. People nowadays are not aware of the effects of too much indulgence in technology compromising the basic of life, and forgetting about the essence of relationships and virtues. This study would highly contribute to future researches and detailed study.

Works Cited Page:

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Moderation by Polymorphism in the 5-HTT Gene. Science. 301, 386
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figures on mental health. Mental Health Foundation.
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NIH. (nd). What is Depression?. National institute of Mental Health.
Scneidman, ES., (1985). Definition of Suicide. Aronson, Northvale.
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WHO. (2015). Depression. World Health Organization.

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