Depression is a primary challenge in virtually all health care facilities across the world. It is considered a leading cause of substantial sufferings and disabilities among patients compared to any other factor (Hegney et al., 2014). A report by the world health organization (WHO) project that depression will be the second leading cause of disability in the year 2020 (Hegney et al., 2014). The report further reveals that suicidal deaths that result due to depression have been increasing consistently by 60% over the past 45 years. These findings are further supported by earlier studies, which adds that depression leads to 90% of suicidal deaths (Hegney et al., 2014). Suicidal rates can sharply reduce through efficient nursing management of depression.
Meaning of Depression
Hickey (2013) states that depression is a common mental health issue characterized by depressed mood, disturbed sleep, and loss of appetite, guilt, low self-worth, and poor concentration. These issues are associated with chronic issues, which often lead to critical impairment in the ability of the patient to take care of personal day-to-day activities. Scientists associate all these issues to mental disorders. Studies have disclosed that the brain of a depressed person works inefficiently compared to the brain of a normal person (Hickey, 2013). Further, he states that the scans from the Imagining technologies like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reveal that depression affects key areas of the brain such as the mood, thinking, appetite, and sleep control areas.
Causes of Depression
Many factors have been highlighted as the causes of depression. One of these factors is a reaction to critical life events such as the demise of loved ones, relationship breakdown, stressing events and financial worries (Hickey, 2013). Depression is also linked to genetic and biological factors such as a family history disease and hormones changes. Other causes of depression may also include serious medical illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease may also lead to depression. Most of these issues can be controlled (Hickey, 2013). Therefore, healthcare personnel can manage depression by managing the factors that are related to depression.
Types of Depression
Management of depression should also consider the nature and state of the depressed patient. There are numerous types of depression. According to Leontjevas et al. (2013), the primary types of depression described by physicians include the major depressive disorder (MDD) often experienced among the aged, major depressive episode, dysthymic disorder, seasonal affective disorder, bipolar disorder, a disorder of the mood as a result of health issues and postpartum mood episode (PPME). Most of these types of depression are experienced among patients with low self-esteem and a sense of value. Therefore, canceling and consolation is considered a critical approach to depression management.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) of mental disorders is the widely used device to classify the types of depression and diagnosis recommendation. The DSM-IV offers a classification system for a variety of mental disorders including depression, and all types of mental disorders (Hickey, 2013). This classification system offers a systematic framework for classifying and diagnosing all mental disorders. Control of depression is done normally, following the same procedure for any mental disorder. In this regards, the patient needs to visit a doctor or a mental health practitioner, who will, in turn, exclude medical causes of depression by carrying out series of complete physical examinations, interviews, and laboratory tests. Two primary instruments can be used to screen depression during the diagnosis process. According to Leontjevas et al. (2013), they include Zung self-rating depression scale and the GDS- scoring sheets. Literary, diagnosis of depression is not a one-day process and often require the patient to be admitted to the psychiatric unit for treatment.
The America Nurses Association classifies depression as a critical psychiatric mental health issue that requires the nurses to provide a consistent and continuous primary mental health care services to prevent adverse mental health issues (Chiang & Chang, 2012). This way, the nurses who are entitled to control depression are expected to possess traits such as self-awareness, emotional support, empathy, morality, and integrity. Depression Nurse Specialist (DNS) plays a critical role in the initial stage of depression control: assessing the symptoms, educating the patients, formulating and supporting the implementation of depression treatment plan, and consistent monitoring of the patients until they gain normalcy (Mosadeghrad, 2013). Most of the depression management approaches aim at informing the patients and enabling them to accept and deal with their mental and associated health issues. As echoed earlier, nursing management of patients who are suffering from depression entails the provision of emotional support, which involves facing the patients as individuals and enhancing their feeling about safety while at the same time reducing anxieties. While doing so, the nurses should emphasize the value of life and the future.
To sum up, depression is a critical mental health disorder that has claimed many lives by leading to suicidal acts. Numerous factors have been associated with the cause of depression, most of which relate to emotional experiences such as the death of a loved one or divorce. Control of depression is expected to be more efficient now and in future days than before, due to technological advancements which ease the depression symptoms. Literary, nursing management of depression entails the provision of emotional support. However, this approach only targets at controlling already existing mental issues. Future studies should dwell on factors that can reduce depression causative factors such as re-occurrence of family disease.
Chiang, Y. M., & Chang, Y. (2012). Stress, depression, and intention to leave among nurses in different medical units: Implications for healthcare management/nursing practice. Health Policy, 108(2-3), 149-157.
Hickey, J. (2013). Clinical practice of neurological & neurosurgical nursing. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Hegney, D. G., Craigie, M., Hemsworth, D., Osseiran‐Moisson, R., Aoun, S., Francis, K., & Drury, V. (2014). Compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, anxiety, depression and stress in registered nurses in A ustralia: study 1 results. Journal of Nursing Management, 22(4), 506-518.
Leontjevas, R., Gerritsen, D. L., Smalbrugge, M., Teerenstra, S., Vernooij-Dassen, M. J., & Koopmans, R. T. (2013). A structural multidisciplinary approach to depression management in nursing-home residents: a multicentre, stepped-wedge cluster-randomised trial. The Lancet, 381(9885), 2255-2264.
Mosadeghrad, A. M. (2013). Occupational stress and turnover intention: implications for nursing management. International journal of health policy and management, 1(2), 169.