Relationship between depression and social ties
Percival, Ashley Emma Rose
Master of Public Health
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Imagine having an illness that stripped away your identity, had the ability to impair or destroy valuable relationships, and left you crippled with sadness and anxiety (Canadian Mental Health Association [CMHA], 2010b; Public Health Agency of Canada [PHAC], 2010b). It would be overwhelming, to say the least. Added to that is the fact that the rates of relapse are high for this illness, and for some sufferers death is inevitable (Beattie, Pachana & Franklin, 2010; CMHA, 2010b; Jhingan as cited by Rajkumar, Thangadurai, Senthilkumar, Gayathri, Prince & Jacob, 2009). Tragically, those who cannot cope with this illness may commit suicide, if they do not die from related physical causes (Alexopoulos, 2005; Beattie et al., 2010; Bephage, 2005; Chew-Graham, 2010; CMHA, 2010b; Gilmour, 2010; Golden, Conroy, Bruce, Denihan, Greene, Kirby, et al., 2009). The name of this illness? Depression. Depression is an elusive mental illness. Three million Canadians will experience depression in their lifetime from various causes (CMHA, 2010b). But, there is no single cause for this condition. Researchers indicate that chemical imbalances in the brain, medications, physical conditions, psychosocial and socio-economical factors may be among the potential causes of depression (Alexopoulos, 2005; Beattie et al., 2010; Butcher & McGonigal-Keimey as cited by Costa, 2006; Chew-Graham, 2010; Cicirelli, 2009; Cyr, 2007; Grundy, 2006; PHAC, 2010c; Yohannes & Baldwin, 2008).