Figure 1. Depression among Young Adults

Recent studies showed that almost 5% of the population are suffering from depression; however, only a few studies focused on the population of young adults (Smith 2004). The problem is that some of these studies showed that approximately 25% of young adults would experience an episode of depression by age 24 years, which is considered as the highest percentage out of all the adult age group (Van Voorhees et al. 2005). Some studies also revealed that almost 70% of young adults aged 15 to 24, who committed suicide, had depression (Houston, Hawton & Shepperd R. 2011). These epidemiological studies also suggested that depression might have likely been caused by various life events such as poor schooling and poverty as well as history of individual or familial mental illness (Smith 2004). Therefore, young adults have a high chance of developing depression and a lot of factors can contribute to the onset of the disorder; so, this wiki page would concentrate on the identification of the main types of depression among young adults as well as the determination of whether it is mainly caused by genetic or environmental factors.

What is Depression?

Depression is a type of mood disorder that is characterised by intense feelings of sadness; it is considered as the ‘common cold of psychopathology’ because it happens so frequently and almost everyone has experienced elements of it at least once in his or her life (Gerrig 2009). According to psychologists, depression can be classified depending on their cause, symptoms, and treatment (Fry & Ryan 2011). In addition, based from previous research, there are three main types of depression that young adults experience; these are depressed mood, dysthymia and major depression (Healey 2006).

Video 1. Understanding Depression

Causes of Depression

Various genetic and environmental factors are being linked to the development of depression. In terms of environmental factors, life stresses caused by familial conflicts and low social class are linked with the onset of the disorder (Friis et al. 2002). However, various genetic studies, such as twin and family studies, give strong evidence on the role of genes and certain genetic markers in the development of the disorder (Black Dog Institute 2008). In fact, a lot of researches about depression involve studies regarding the role of serotonin in the acquisition of the disorder (Wurtman 2005). Furthermore, it is also important to note that major antidepressant drugs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which play a big role in the regulation and control of depression (Ho 1999).

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