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Depression In Young Adults: What Is Emerging Adulthood?

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Emerging adulthood is the age period between a person’s late teens and early twenties. It is the time period in which those at the end of adolescence develop into adults. Why depression impacts emerging adulthood?: Negative effects carry on to adulthood and are hard to recover from. Why understanding depression is important: To decrease the magnitude of impairment to the four domains and so others can offer better support What my paper will cover: depression permanently impairs your cognitive ability, restricts people’s emotions, causes social distance, and causes negative physical effects.

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Cognitive Domain

How depression affects cognitive domain: Depression impairs your cognitive ability to the point where your cognitive ability has only minimal, if any, improvement even after you recover from a depressive episode. Introduce and cite study: As (Kircanski, Joormann, & Gotlob, 2012) say, some symptoms of depression are difficulties in executive functions, concentration, and control with attention along with fatigue. (Majer et al. , 2004) have a study that further supports that fact. Subjects of study: 73 depressed patients, diagnosed by a trained psychiatrist, of both genders and of a wide range of ages were tested in regard to their attention and executive tasks. 6 months after the study, 19 patients who recovered from their depression were tested again, 9 of which who had relapsed into their depression. There were twelve cognitive tests that lasted on average one to five hours. Some tests measured alertness, others measured attention, and others memory.

There were only two tests — the digit span forward, which measured short-term memory, and the Stroop test, which measured selective attention — that the patients’ cognitive abilities were normal. Key points: Patients performed lower than the standard in almost all cognitive tasks. They were still cognitively impaired even after discharge. There is often no complete recovery after cognitive impairment. Key finds: The digit span forward test showed that 21% of patients were impaired while the Stroop test showed that 9% of patients were impaired. However, those were the only tests that had a low percentage of cognitively impaired people. The digit span forward test showed that 21% of patients were impaired while the Stroop test showed that 9% of patients were impaired. After discharging them, the patients were tested again with the same tests. Results showed that this time less of the patients were cognitively impaired in most tests. It was less clear that patients had cognitive impairments, though their cognitive ability was still abnormal. In one of the tests, the Trail-making test, about 33% were impaired.

In the second Trail-making test, about 24% were impaired. The digit span forward and Stroop test also showed less cognitively impaired people, being reduced from 21% and 9% to roughly 14% and 2% respectively. Transition: Depression not only impairs the cognitive domain but also the emotional domain as well. Emotional DomainHow depression affects emotional domain: Major depression is defined as a 2-week period of persistent sad mood and/or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities. Depression restricts emotions. Rottenberg defines mood as a state that lasts hours or days while defining emotions as a brief change in someone’s feeling state that occurs in response to a stimuli.

Key points: Depressed subjects showed less emotional response, both in their self report and physiologically, than their healthy counterparts. When they conducted the experiment again using different subjects and a personally tailored emotional film, the depressed still showed a lower emotional response than the healthy subjectsKey finds: Healthy subjects rated their change in self reported sadness as a 6 on a scale of 1 to 6, the depressed ones rated themselves as a 1. Speaking physiologically, on a 1-6 scale, the change in sadness in healthy subjects was 5 while the change for the depressed subjects was 2. Transition: Rather than negative emotions, depression might cause sensitivity to negative interactions.

Social Domain

How depression affects social domain: Causes a self-imposed distance with other peopleIntroduce and cite study: (Steger & Kashdan, 2009) researched how depression affects our sense of belonging. 104 students were asked to rate how they felt about their life and how much they felt like their life had meaning. There were two studies. In the first study they were also asked to rate, from a scale from 1 to 5, how much a situation affected them. The students completed one report per day at the end of each day. A second study was conducted with students from the same university and course as the first study. This time, instead of rating their life, participants were asked to rate how close they felt to others. They were also asked to list interactions that they felt were memorable and were asked to rate those interactions from 1 (extremely bad) to 5 (extremely good). They were also asked to rate how much they felt understood from those interactions.

Key finds: People who were more depressed reported that they encountered fewer social interactions that were positive and much more social interactions that were negative. The greater depressed people were, the less they felt that they belonged. Depressed people are more impacted by negative interactions. Depressed people have a distance between them and others due to how they are more likely to perceive an interaction as negative. Since they feel a lesser sense of belonging than non-depressed people, there is even more of a distance. Transition: Another domain that depression negatively affects is the physiological domain.

Physiology Domain

How depression affects physiological domain: (Calamaro et al. , 2010) were curious as to how sleep duration affected obesity, and in doing so, determined that depression results in a higher risk of obesity and lower sleep duration. In a sample size of 13,568 adolescents (12 to 18 years old), 6956 females and 6612 males who were mainly non-Hispanic whites who were studied in two waves, depressed adolescents were found to sleep less than non-depressed adolescents. Depressed adolescents were also almost twice as likely to be obese. Alongside these side effects are also additional side effects. Some side effects that obesity causes are diabetes, chronic back pain, and an increased chance of disability (Djalalinia et al. , 2015). (Trivedi, 2004) notes that physical symptoms have been found to increase the duration of depressed mood. A patient who complains of physical pain may have a chemical reason for feeling that pain because serotonin and norepinephrine, which respond to painful physical stimuli, also affect mood.


Key points overview: Studies show cognitive impairment in most areas, restricted emotions, less belonging, and multiple health problems for depressed people. Insights about topic with respect to domain and to one’s self: These negative side effects that depression causes are usually long lasting and cause someone to become even more depressed due to how it causes harm to the brain, therefore making it harder to treat. Implications for current development and transition to later development for ways the four developmental domains interrelate: Since these effects are not effects that can easily be cured, it will be harder as a person grows older to find happiness, negatively affecting the four developmental domains and the quality of life.

18 May 2020

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