Literature Review on Depression

Depression alters one’s mood, making one feel sad and lose interest in people, events, and objects, and thus may cause physical and emotional problems. It may involve treatment in the long run if it persists, which includes medication and psychotherapy. This paper will focus on a detailed summary of other researchers’ work addressing the issue of depression using several databases and carry out a curative study on depression in full text. The following literature review is based on selected articles meeting the criteria of inclusion.

According to Lim et al. (2018), depression in the general population is a common mental health condition. It is highly associated with sadness, low self-esteem, poor concentration, anxiety, interest loss, and a feeling of being a quilt. The study also shows that the World Health Organization (WHO) predicted that depression will be ranked as the second global disease burden by 2020. The research also covered the nomothetic and idiographic measures of depression, which means that the assessed item is common to every person at different degree levels. In contrast, the idiographic measure is based on the distinct features and views of the patient. The study concludes that during the patient assessment on the defined objective of treatment, idiographic measures are preferred due to being more relevant.

An investigation done by Bernaras et al. (2019) states that depression is the main cause of disability-related illness in the world. The research focused on depression among children and adolescents since these two groups are agilely associated with high incidence. It also analyses the theories that construct and explain depression and provides an overview of disorders among children and adolescents. In this study, the authors conclude that depression in terms of the mental distinction between adults and children has no difference, and thus, the theory of explanation is highly taken into account to elaborate a better understanding of depression. The research further stated that treatment and prevention should be multifactorial (Bernaras et al., 2019). Besides, it is estimated that universal programs can be more efficient considering their wide application. The research results are limited in providing a good conclusion and fail to demonstrate any solid long-term efficacy.

Bernaras et al.(2019) in their examination found that biological factors such as tryptophan have a strong influence on the appearance of a depressive disorder. The increase seen in the prevalence of depression is explained by having negative interpersonal relations and the relationship with one’s surroundings accompanied by social-cultural changes. Additionally, the authors conclude that many instruments can be applied in elevating depression, but it is more important to have a continued test to diagnose the condition at the early stages. Regarding the prevention programs, the study suggested that they should be implemented at early initial ages, and finally, most depression treatments are more rigorous and effective.

Additionally, Health Quality Ontario (2017) suggests that the most diagnosed disorders in Canada on depression are major depressive and generalized anxiety disorders that are mostly associated with high disorders and economic hardship. It is important to note that the treatment of the two conditions is known to include pharmacological and psychological preventions. The highly used psychological interventions include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), supportive therapy, and interpersonal therapy.

The study supports the fact that depression is the world’s second-largest health problem based on illness-induced disability. The three most used psychotherapeutic treatments which are well explained in this research include CBT, interpersonal therapy, and supportive therapy. CBT focuses on helping patients understand how automated thoughts on beliefs, expectations, and attitudes have a major contribution to anxiety and sadness. Interpersonal therapy aims to identify and solve problems through the establishment and maintenance of a satisfying relationship. Lastly, supportive therapy is an unstructured approach that relies on the basic interpersonal skills of the therapist.

Research conducted by Lu (2019) on adolescent depression on the topic of national trends, health care disparities, and risk factors shows that in the US, depression is a major cause of suicide among adolescents in aged between 10 and 19. Suicide is marked as the third major cause of death in the US, and research reflects that depression is the major factor in these cases. According to Lu (2019), depression is mostly underdiagnosed among adolescents, although mental health treatment is available. Lu (2019) states that if depression is not treated at the early age of an adolescent, it can have substantial negative effects on health and social results in late adolescence and adulthood.

Findings from the study revealed a growing number of untreated adolescents with major depression from 2011 to 2016 from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data. The research outcomes highlighted some of the major causes of depression among young people. Such factors include some sociodemographic, school, and family parameters, and the underutilization of mental health services. The study findings also highlight the importance of family and school in the treatment of depression. Finally, it was proved that adolescents with less family attention were more vulnerable to depression and less likely to receive mental and medical treatment.

The treatment of depression among adults in the United has been covered by a study done by Olfson et al. (2016). Based on the national survey conducted from 2001 to 2003, it was approximated that 49.5 percent of adults with a history of depression had not received any treatment, and about 48.4 percent had not received mental treatment over the past year (Olfson et al., 2016). According to the study, the US Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) has recommended adult screening on depression and a follow-up on the treatment that should be provided through a clinical setting arrangement.

The study findings showed that although there is the increased use of antidepressants, there still exists a gap in the treatment of depression. The number of adults who received screening for depression did not receive treatment that year. The research also showed that there was a low hood on receiving treatment to racial /ethnic minority groups. Regarding the application of antidepressants, the patient who had less serious depression had a high likelihood of receiving antidepressants than seriously depressed patients.

Antipsychotics, anxiolytics and mood stabilizers were mostly used to treat patients with higher than lower degrees of distress. Olfson et al. (2016) stated that this type of medication was mostly kept to treat patients with more complicated and resistant to treatment conditions. Antipsychotic treatment is suitable for patients with resistance to the use of antidepressants. Anxiolytics largely aid in managing anxiety problems that do not respond to the use of antidepressants. Finally, mood stabilizers help in the adjustment of agitations related to depression.

Research by Stark et al. (2018) on the issue of depression perspective in older primary care patients, treatment, and depression management opportunities showed that depression in old age is very common and has health-related consequences on the elderly. Research findings showed that symptoms like sadness and withdrawal are associated with older people. The consequences of depression can lead to death through suicide, social isolation, loss of family and work, and low esteem. The causes of the condition, as stated by Stark et al. (2018), are classified based on changing life events and internal factors.

According to Stark et al. (2018), depression does not only occur at young age people but is also a threat to older people. In age-related causes, the increased incidence of deaths among relatives can cause loneliness and boredom. Treatment of depression among older adults is possible. The main obstacles to the successful recovery from depression among the elderly, according to research, include beliefs on there is no treatment for depression among older people as well as fear of stigmatization. Similarly, it is believed that people should only care about their problems.

Research on adolescent depression, in particular, the one conducted by Lu (2019), has greatly contributed to literature work. Vrijen et al. (2016) have concentrated their research on predicting depression through the slow identification of facial happiness during early adolescent stages. As seen from previous research, depression remains a major concern in mental health problems. The study proved how facial emotions in the early ages of depression could predict depressive disorders and symptoms.

Research findings suggested that facial emotion identification prejudice may be a symptom corresponding trait marker for depressive disorder and anhedonia. The associations were found only based on multi-emotional models. The study found that individuals who portray sadness in comparison to happy ones are more likely to develop depression or anhedonia symptoms. The emotion identification effects on depressive disorders are mainly seen as carried by the symptoms of anhedonia but not symptoms of sadness. There is a relationship between symptoms of anhedonia and facial emotion identification (Vrijen et al., 2016). On the elimination of adolescents, the research findings were stronger on the predictive value on the identification of facial reactions for individuals with depressive disorders related to anhedonia and despair and may inversely be connected with facial identification of emotions.

Furthermore, depression and depressive symptoms among outpatients showed that the features are very common in people with mental disorders and gave a considerable number of effects on patient quality of health. The results of previous studies vary from the consideration presented in the research by Wang et al. (2017). In this study, it was found that the number of outpatients from otolaryngology clinics was higher, marking 53.0 %. The research also highlighted that depression was a mediator among conditions in otolaryngology.

The outcomes also have shown that there is a psychoneuroimmunology link between medical illness and depression. Besides, stroke burdens were found to cause depression among patients and their caregivers. For patience with stroke, it was found that novel rehabilitation interventions might reduce depression. A medical professional often overlooks depression or depressive symptoms due to not having been offered specific mental health training. In this research, it was found that outpatients between the age of 30 and 40 had related depression prevalence as compared to outpatients between the age of 80 and 90 years old. The result contradicts research done by Benaras et al. (2019) on depression among children and adolescents, which focused on the rise of the incidence of suicide cases caused by depression. Yang’s study showed that depression levels declined with age. The author presents different results as he stresses that there was no pattern on depression centering his argument on age.

Depression has been a global problem that has raised concerns among employees and employers. According to McCart and Nesbit (2020), the number of days of absenteeism in jobs results from depression is higher than those related to diseases like heart attack and hypertension all put together. According to the study, billions of dollars are spent on medical care, mortality due to suicide, and the loss of productivity as a result of depression. McCart and Nesbit (2020) have discussed a connection between disorders caused by depression and such chronic conditions as the unemployment period and the total income.

In the employment setting, research has shown that some reasons make it difficult to diagnose depression. In the workplace, employees can avoid diagnosis because of the lack of skills by physicians, stigma, unavailability of treatment and providers, restrictions on drugs, psychotherapeutic care, and limitations due to third-party coverage. The study results from most organizations lack a way of huddling the employee’s depression. Education institutions were found to be having programs that help depressed personnel. Other organizations stated that depression is a personal issue, and unless an employee asks for help, the services are not openly offered.

Among pregnant women, depression has been found to affect both the mother and the unborn child. Looking at both depression and anxiety during the period of antenatal and post-natal, there is a notable effect of depression among these groups. According to Smith et al. (2019), there is a preference in pregnant women for non-pharmacological treatment options; instead, they prefer the use of therapies and complementary medicines to manage the symptoms.

Martínez-Paredes and Jácome-Pérez (2019) conducted a similar study on depression among pregnant women, which confirmed that depression in this group is common psychiatric mobility. Diagnosis of depression is based on guidelines by the DSM-5 to validate scales like the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. According to medical professionals, the research also shows negative effects on the treatment, diagnosis, and recognition of the fetus. The study concluded that depression is a common condition among pregnant women, though it is underlooked as its symptoms are linked to pregnancy.

Several personal and mental effects are caused by depression among patients of total knee arthroplasty. Findings of the research have indicated that patients with higher education levels have less depression and are happier before surgery. Results have also illustrated that people with depression and anxiety were found to improve at a low rate than other groups. It also stated that patients with greater health were seen to have a considerable improvement in mental health. The conclusion of the research showed that the main determinant of physical, mental, and functional outcomes was depression.

Depression remains to be among the top five illnesses in the world, and research works have reflected that age does not matter, with everyone being at risk of developing the condition. In most studies, it is indicated as the main cause of suicide and death among children and adolescents. There are ways to help individuals suffering from despair such as the use of antidepressants among people with low depression levels. Likewise, early detection and treatment of the disorder can help individuals in their late adolescent stages and adulthood. Families can offer their support instead of contributing and worsening this condition.


Bernaras, E., Jaureguizar, J., & Garaigordobil, M. (2019). Child and adolescent depression: A review of theories, evaluation instruments, prevention programs, and treatmentsFrontiers in Psychology, 10(543), 1-24. Web.

Health Quality Ontario. (2017). Psychotherapy for major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder: A health technology assessment. Ontario Health Technology Assessment Series, 17(15), 1-167.

Lim, G. Y., Tam, W. W., Lu, Y., Ho, C. S., Zhang, M. W., & Ho, R. C. (2018). Prevalence of depression in the community from 30 countries between 1994 and 2014. Scientific reports, 8(1), 1-10. Web.

Lu, W. (2019). Adolescent depression: National trends, risk factors, and healthcare disparities. American Journal of Health Behavior, 43(1), 181-194. Web.

McCart A, & Nesbit, J. (2020). Strategies to support employees with depression: Applying the Centers for Disease Control health scorecard. Journal of Depression and Anxiety, 9(5), 1-4. Web.

Martínez-Paredes, J. F., & Jácome-Pérez, N. (2019). Depression in pregnancy. Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría (English ed.), 48(1), 58-65. Web.

Moghtadaei, M., Yeganeh, A., Hosseinzadeh, N., Khazanchin, A., Moaiedfar, M., Jolfaei, A. G., & Nasiri, S. (2020). The Impact of depression, personality, and mental health on outcomes of total knee arthroplasty. Clinics in Orthopedic Surgery, 12(4), 456-463. Web.

Olfson, M., Blanco, C., & Marcus, S. C. (2016). Treatment of adult depression in the United States. JAMA Internal Medicine, 176(10), 1482-1491. Web.

Smith, C. A., Shewamene, Z., Galbally, M., Schmied, V., & Dahlen, H. (2019). The effect of complementary medicines and therapies on maternal anxiety and depression in pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 245, 428-439. Web.

Stark, A., Kaduszkiewicz, H., Stein, J., Maier, W., Heser, K., Weyerer, S., Werle, J., Wiese, B., Mamone, S., König, H., & Bock, J. O. (2018). A qualitative study on older primary care patients’ perspectives on depression and its treatments-potential barriers to and opportunities for managing depression. BMC Family Practice, 19 (1), 1-10. Web.

Vrijen, C., Hartman, C. A., & Oldehinkel, A. J. (2016). Slow identification of facial happiness in early adolescence predicts the onset of depression during eight years of follow-up. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 25 (11), 1255-1266. Web.

Wang, J., Wu, X., Lai, W., Long, E., Zhang, X., Li, W.,… & Wang, D. (2017). Prevalence of depression and depressive symptoms among outpatients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open, 7(8). Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


PsychologyWriting. (2023, September 14). Literature Review on Depression. Retrieved from


PsychologyWriting. (2023, September 14). Literature Review on Depression.

Work Cited

"Literature Review on Depression." PsychologyWriting, 14 Sept. 2023,


PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Literature Review on Depression'. 14 September.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Literature Review on Depression." September 14, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Literature Review on Depression." September 14, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Literature Review on Depression." September 14, 2023.