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By Carla Mooney

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Activities that once interested them no longer hold any appeal. Their erratic behavior and mood swings can cause problems in interpersonal relationships. As Beth-Sarah Wright’s depression deepened, she began to lash out at her husband. She would take out her anGetting into ger and frustration by screaming at him. fights, using “At first my fits of rage would be out of drugs and alearshot of my children,” she says.  . go off on promiscuity, their father for no reason. ”43 Eventually, Wright’s depression put a person may a serious strain on her relationship with be in a serious her husband.

D epression, even in its most severe form, is a treatable illness. Up to 80 percent of patients see an improvement in their symptoms within four to six weeks of beginning treatment. For some, the first depressive episode will be their last. For others, depression will return at a future date. For this reason, early diagnosis and treatment of depression is very important. The earlier treatment begins the more effective it can be at preventing a recurrence of symptoms and reducing risky be- 62 What Treatments Are Available for Depressive Disorders?

Those who struggle with chronic depression might develop a sensitivity to stress. For these people, even small stresses can lead to deeper depression. Childhood Events Experiencing losses or trauma as a child can have a significant effect on a person’s risk of developing depression. These events include physical, sexual, or verbal abuse; separation from a parent; an unstable home; or a parent’s mental illness. In fact, the death of a parent before a child reaches age eleven is the event most significantly linked to depression.

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