Depression is a state of mind that goes well beyond temporarily feeling sad. Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with a dampened mood, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or low self worth, disturbed sleep or appetite and poor concentration. Depression may also be defined as a, "lifelong condition in which periods of wellness alternate with recurrences of illnesses" (NAMI, 2013). The aim of this paper is to critically examine contemporary evidence on the assessment, etiology, treatment and management of depression. .
Depression is one of the most critical contributors to the global burden of disease. According to WHO, (2012), depression is estimated to affect 350 million people. "The World Mental Health Survey" conducted in 17 countries found that about 1 in 20 people reported having an episode of depression (WHO, 2012). Major depression prevalence estimates were highest for whites (17.9%) followed by Caribbean blacks (12.9%) and African Americans (10.4%). However, the chronicity of major depression was higher for both African Americans (56.5%) and Caribbean blacks (56.0%) " (Williams et al, 2007). There haven't been any rigorous studies done in the Caribbean regarding the prevalence of depression. However, one study in Jamaica revealed that, 52% of women and 40% of men were often depressed while a community sample in Trinidad and Tobago reported a prevalence of 14%. "Recent studies have indicated that the demand for curbing depression and other mental conditions is on the rise globally"" (WHO, 2012).
Theories of Causation of Depression.
Several theories separating mind and brain are being replaced with more precise and integrated models that consider the biological, psychological and social influences that cause depression. According to World Psychiatry (2010), "family, twin and adoption studies provide very solid and consistent evidence that major depressive disorder is a familial disorder that is mostly due to genetic factors.