Free Essay. Physiological, Cognitive, Sociological, and Emotional Developmental Effects of Untreated Depression

Published: 2023-11-30
Free Essay. Physiological, Cognitive, Sociological, and Emotional Developmental Effects of Untreated Depression
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Case study Depression Emotional intelligence
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1818 words
16 min read

"Annett is a young girl around 15 years old. She is from a middle-class family and the only child. Her father is an electrical engineer and her mother is a nurse who works in a hospital. Although Annett’s parents are busy, they manage to regularly spend their free time with her. Annett also had a dog for four years named Smokie. Annett loved Smokie because she believed Smokie was her best friend. Smokie was her birthday gift when she turned 10. In fact, Annett raised Smokie like a mother. While her parents were at work, Smokie was always with her and never left her alone. Last year, suddenly Annett’s dog died of illness at the age of four. Annett got shocked and couldn’t believe it, she blamed herself and her parents, and she insisted that if we took better care of it, it would be alive now:” It was my fault!” Her parents were hopeful if they got her another dog, Annett would forget Smokie so they brought a puppy, however Annett refused to accept the new Puppy and ignored it. Even after almost eight months, her mother noticed she looks quieter and doesn’t have any motivation or interest to new Puppy and completely ignores it. As well as her hygiene is poor, her appetite is very low and sometimes complains of headache. Majority of the time she locks herself in her room and avoids any eye contact with her parents. And other noticeable things she unusually wears long sleeve outfits even in hot weather. Several times, her parents wanted to talk to her but she got angry and refused to have any conversations with them. At school, her class mentor said that Annett spends most of the time looking down and is in a sleepy mood. The results of her recent exams were bad and she doesn’t do her homework properly. She has become very quiet and does not have any interest in the class and her classmates. Also, she noticed scars in Annett’s arms. The class mentor was curious what has happened to Annett recently?"

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Client’s Issues, the Aetiology, and Prevalence in Adolescence

The client is suffering from a psychological issue. Although the parents have busy schedules, they spend their free time with their daughter. However Smokie, her pet is the best friend and they spend most of the time together. Unfortunately, Smokie died of illness. It was a shock to Annette and blamed her parents for the death the parents did not take good care of the dog. Although the parents tried to get her another dog, she was quieter and showed a lack of interest. Based on the case study, the individual is suffering from a psychological issue, affecting her social and emotional wellbeing (Kessler & Bromet, 2013). The first issue identified includes the lack of interest to the new puppy. It is abnormal for the adolescent to show the lack of interest in the puppy even after losing another one.

The second issue is that her personal hygiene is poor in recent months with low appetite. It indicates that the individual is missing something critical to support their social-emotional wellbeing. One of the signs and symptoms of a psychological disorder is deterioration in personal hygiene. In fact, it has taken too long for the parents to understand that their daughter is facing serious psychological challenges. The individual exhibits symptoms of bereavement, such as confusing emotions that affect the relationship with friends and family members. Due to the condition, the individual has reached a point of avoiding eye contact with her parents. She avoids open discussions with her parents and gets angry when parents talk to her. Academically, her performance has deteriorated significantly. According to the behavioral model, depression occurs in individuals due to the lack of adequate and lasting reinforcement of the previous behaviors. There is a lack of positive reinforcement. In this context, the individual is suffering from depression since she lost her dog and believes that her parents did not offer adequate support to improve and sustain the health status of the dog (Goodyer, 2001). Therefore, she lacked positive reinforcement. Consequently, she developed a feeling of isolation.

Many factors cause depression in adolescents in the general population. They include acute life events. These are negative life events, affecting the social and emotional wellbeing of individuals. Overwhelming available evidence indicates that there is a significant relationship between depression and stressful life event. Mazure (1998) found out that life stressors were 2.5 times likely to cause depression in patients (Singh et al., 2017). 80% of the sample population indicated that they had experienced a stressful life event. In this regard, the individual is suffering from prolonged stress due to the loss of Smokie. Although parents tried to spend their free time with Annette, Smokie was the best friend and she felt that the parents did not do enough to improve the health and wellbeing of the dog. Since then, she has remained lonely and has not accepted the situation; hence it is affecting her emotional stability.

The second cause of depression is chronic stress. Experiencing acute life events is one part that can lead to depression by failing to manage the emotions at an early stage. However, chronic stress often leads to depression. Various factors cause stress among individuals. Parents and caregivers must identify signs and symptoms of stress and take appropriate measures to improve the health conditions (Bernaras et al., 2019). Examples of stressors include unemployment, poverty, and the inability to cope with life challenges. The process of developing depression begins with unattended prolonged stress. In this case, it seems that the parents did not recognize that their daughter is experiencing stress after losing Smokie. Prolonged stress led to the development of signs and symptoms associated with chronic stress. Therefore, it is evident that the client suffered stress before developing depression-like symptoms.

The third cause of depression among adolescents is exposure to adversity. Various studies indicate that there is a strong relationship between depression and early exposure to adversity. For example, sexual abuse at early age affects self-esteem affects the wellbeing of victims, especially women. It is because individuals keep remembering the extreme events, and in some cases, they feel valueless because of stigmatization (Singh et al., 2017). Therefore, caregivers and professional counselors should work towards improving the health status of individuals after identifying abnormal behaviors, suggesting the availability of a psychological disorder, such as depression.

The genetic composition is another element that causes depression among individuals. Some mental health disorders, such as depression run in different families, indicating that it is a genetic disorder. However, it does not mean that a gene of depression in a family would affect everyone. On the other hand, people with no history of depression in their families can have depression (Stanford Children’s Health, n.d). Therefore, various factors, such as the social environment, medical conditions, and the physical environment contribute to depression. Consequently, when diagnosing individuals, it is vital to consider their genetic composition for effective treatment. In this case, the thgenetic composition is not the primary cause of depression because there is no depression history in the family. Also, it is not automatic that an individual can suffer depression due to genetic elements in the family.

Depression is a mental disorder affecting people of all ages. Internationally, it affects 264 million individuals. One of the causes of disability internationally is depression and it contributes to the increasing cost of health internationally. Failing to manage the condition leads to death, as a result of suicide. About 800,000 individuals die of the condition internationally and this shows the magnitude of the disease (WHO, 2020). Due to economic challenges, 76% to 85% of individuals from developing economies do not receive effective treatment for the condition (WHO, 2020). Factors affecting access to quality care services include inadequate resources and insufficient trained personnel to recognize and treat individuals with the condition.

10% to 20% of the children and adolescents experience depression internationally. The prevalence of depression is high with 72.6% in adolescents aged 15 to 18 years (WHO, 2020). However, the rates are high in females than females because of the differences in social and emotional wellbeing. In the general population, depression is highest in children and adolescents because of various reasons, such as the inability to manage the condition and social expectations from peers. According to Moeini et al (2019), the prevalence rate in Saudi Arabia was 42.9% while it was 34.5 % (Moeini et al, 2019). However, the prevalence rates differ from one region to another. For example, while depression in females in Turkey was 26.6%, it was 15.3% in Egypt and it was 17.5% in Dubai (Moeini et al, 2019). In 2017, approximately 3.2 million adolescents had the condition representing 13.3% of the United States population aged 12 to 17 (National Institute of Mental Health, 2019). The prevalence of the condition was higher in females with a representation of 20% compared to 6.8% of males (National Institute of Mental Health, 2019). Additionally, the prevalence was high among individuals from two or more races with a representation of 16.9% of the population (National Institute of Mental Health, 2019). The data shows that depression is among the mental health disorders that affect adolescents and children.

Physiological, Cognitive, Sociological and Emotional Developmental Effects of Untreated Depression

Untreated depression could lead to severe effects on the physiological, cognitive, sociological, and emotional development on the victims. It affects the normal functioning of the body by distracting the central nervous system (Fernandez-Berrocal et al., 2006). If Annett’s condition is left untreated, it can cause severe effects that many people ignore or dismiss. For example, the individual can lose memory and her reaction time every day. It is because the individual is preoccupied with negative and destructive thoughts that affect their levels of concentration in daily routines. The individual will take relatively longer than normal time to react to events, such as emergencies and a call.

Additionally, untreated depression will affect Annett’s immune system. The condition weakens the ability of the immune system to fight the diseases. Although the effect is most common in adults, the individual can experience it since it becomes chronic (Cuipers et al., 2008). The result is that the immune system will be weak and Annett will be experiencing a general feeling of weaknesses and sick always. Diseases the immune system cannot fight include the common cold and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, parents and caregivers should take appropriate steps to improve the client’s health condition to improve the immune system.

Although depression is considered a mental disorder, it affects the digestive system. It influences the client’s appetite and nutrition. Some patients manage the condition by overeating or bingeing. The result is rapid weight gain often leading to obesity and related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. In some cases, individuals lose their appetite; thus they lack the right amount of nutritious foods (Grabe et al., 2007). In this context, sometimes Annett lacks appetite and complains of headaches.

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