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Depression as a Mental Disorder

The aim of the report is to discuss a disorder included in DSM 5 that has affected the life of a renowned actor or personality. Jim Carrey, is one of the most renowned actors, writers, comedians, in Hollywood who has been seen in movies and shows showcasing his spectacular talent. Jim Carrey suffered from depression for a long time and came into public, spreading awareness for others (Strakowski & Nelson, 2015). Carrey realised that it is not important on keep working for a pointless activity of creating an identity for ourselves that is not real. It is simply ego; the desire to be recognised and important, to be mattered. However, the identities bring a lot of sufferings along with them. Depression is different from sadness as sadness is a momentarily feeling of low whereas depression persists for a longer period.

Depression is a mental disorder associated with major depressive disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, persistent depressive disorder, substance or medication-induced disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, other specified or unspecified depressive disorders (Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 2017). The common symptoms of depression are sadness, loneliness, irritated mode, changes in somatic and cognitive functioning leading to an individual’s incapability to function. The diagnosis of depression can be characterised by episodes lasting at least 2 weeks causing changes in cognition, affect, neurovegetative function and inter-episode remissions (Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 2017). The symptoms are recurrent and reappears in the majority of the cases. The symptoms of depression can range from mild to severe which includes:

  • Feeling sad or depressive mood nearly every other day
  • Complete lack of interest in activities which were once enjoyed
  • Loss in appetite- weight gain or loss
  • Lack of sleep
  • Guilt or feeling unworthy
  • Difficulty in concentrating, thinking or involving in the crucial decision-making process
  • Suicidal thought process
  • Loss of energy

Two or more symptoms must last for two weeks to be diagnosed as depression. Almost 16.6% of people suffer from depression at some point in their lives (Fuller Thomson et al., 2016). It can appear at any period; however, it appears mostly during the late teen. Women are more susceptible to depression than men (Kuehner, 2017). Depression in parents, or relatives can be one of the reasons for the occurrence of depression.

Carey mostly felt sad or depressed most of the days, losing interest in the acting career, felt guilty and unworthy as soon as he tried to find his real identity away from the web of fame. According to DSM, Carrey did not have the symptoms like suicidal thoughts, lack of concentration or attention.

Carrey has been successful in his career with outstanding performances delivered to audiences and has been applauded for it. Carey has always been a person who is humorous and created a mirage of a superior person because of the career he followed. The ego boosted his need to keep on doing better, not leaving a single chance to perform better. He has received awards for his remarkable performance in movies which received global appreciation and has been a worldwide hit.

Although while earning his career, he struggled with depression at the peak of his career which he found overwhelming and tough. The depression pattern was attached to the ego of being super renowned, a wish to be “someone”. Carrey quoted in one of his interviews, “The feeling of wholeness is a different feeling than me-ness.” The quest of being a superlative individual pushed him into depression for which Carrey had to be on medication, Prozac time to time. Carrey retreated from all the fame and let go of this feeling of being self-centric searching for real meaning.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Depression

Depression is widely discussed and researched by researchers about the details of the disorder. In a journal published by Acharya et al. (2015), depression has been mentioned as a mental disorder that frequently occurs with persistent mood changes or a lower set of moods within the affected person. The depression is difficult to be identified at a near stage; however, it helps to keep a check on the illness and refrain from reaching a severe state. Carrey has faced depressive episodes for a prolonged period in his career, losing self-worth till he chooses to be away from the quest for belongingness.

Approximately 22% of the population is affected by mental illness worldwide. About 300 million people are affected with the most common psychiatric disorder depression. Even though depression is common among people and stays for a prolonged period; it is treatable by various methods. The general measures for treating depression could be making primary changes to life such as sleep, hygiene, healthy eating, exercise. Psychotherapies and medication are considered the best in treating depression among adults (Ng et al., 2017). In primary health care, psychotherapies are the best to treat depression. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Behavioural Activation Therapy BAT, Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are the types of psychotherapies provided by trained therapists. Most often patients prefer a non-pharmacological treatment that does not involve consuming medicines. Primarily, CBT or psychotherapy, a talk therapy, an effective way of treatment, can be implemented for patients ranging from mild to moderate depression. CBT can help in identifying the negative thoughts and replace them with a more productive and positive thought process helping in reducing anxiety and depression if no improvement can be seen in psychotherapy, antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, mirtazapine. Carefully developed clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) help improve the healthcare of the patient. CPGs can be used in pharmacological treatment for depression, it is time and resource-consuming helping in the treatment of not completely responsive patients (Gabriel et al., 2020). Therapies are considered efficient as it is effective for a longer period and patients stop consuming medication after a point in their life (Cuijpers et al., 2019). Depression is stemmed from loneliness at times and talking could help in expressing their feelings freely to the therapist assists in modifying his behaviour and thought processes other than medication which is a short-term approach for the disorder.

As a professional from psychology, the main objective is to comfort clients and listen to their problems responsibly without any judgements. At times, the information received from the clients takes a toll on the therapist which becomes the reason behind the reason of mental health issues faced by the therapist. It is important to consult a therapist for own sake, take care of oneself, proper medications, with a sufficient amount of rest. Families and peer groups work as a support system in people's lives that can assist psychologists in staying better.

Conclusion

It can be concluded from the above discussion that depression is a major and most common mental illness that can happen to anyone, a renowned actor like Jim Carrey to anyone. Depression persists for a long period disturbing the normal functioning of an individual. It is a treatable illness that is best treated with medication and psychotherapies. Jim Carrey took the help of pharmacological treatment, a medication that helped to come out of depression along with it, talking out his thoughts and modifying it helped him have a better approach towards life. In every occupation, there could be events that can trigger various mental illnesses that should be taken care of and treated accordingly by the trained therapist.

References

Acharya, U. R., Sudarshan, V. K., Adeli, H., Santhosh, J., Koh, J. E., & Adeli, A. (2015). Computer-aided diagnosis of depression using EEG signals. European neurology, 73(5-6), 329-336. https://doi.org/10.1159/000381950

American Psychiatric Association. (2017). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders.

epository.poltekkes-kaltim.ac.id/657/1/Diagnostic%20and%20statistical%20manual%20of%20mental%20disorders%20_%20DSM-5%20%28%20PDFDrive.com%20%29.pdf

Cuijpers, P., Quero, S., Dowrick, C. et al. Psychological Treatment of Depression in Primary Care: Recent Developments. Curr Psychiatry Rep 21, 129 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-019-1117-x

Fuller-Thomson, E., Agbeyaka, S., LaFond, D. M., & Bern-Klug, M. (2016). Flourishing after depression: Factors associated with achieving complete mental health among those with a history of depression. Psychiatry Research, 242, 111-120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2016.04.041

Gabriel FC, de Melo DO, Fráguas R, Leite-Santos NC, Mantovani da Silva RA, Ribeiro E (2020) Pharmacological treatment of depression: A systematic review comparing clinical practice guideline recommendations. PLoS ONE 15(4): e0231700. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0231700

Kuehner, C. (2017). Why is depression more common among women than among men?. The Lancet Psychiatry, 4(2), 146-158. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30263-2

Ng, C. W., How, C. H., & Ng, Y. P. (2017). Managing depression in primary care. Singapore medical journal, 58(8), 459–466. https://doi.org/10.11622/smedj.2017080

Strakowski, S., & Nelson, E. (2015). Major depressive disorder. Oxford University Press. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=nD8FCgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Jim+carrey+depression&ots=ejya3mDFrY&sig=8X2OqUfR1yxtZdZOH87m2vSzjK4&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Jim%20carrey%20depression&f=false

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