“Living With Depression” by Karp


Depression is a complex mental condition that disorients the experiences of the affected individuals. In the article “Living with Depression: Illness and Identity Turning Points”, the author tries to investigate and understand how different patients tend to perceive and interpret this incoherent illness. The disease will vary significantly from one person to another depending on the exhibited symptoms and the anticipated health outcomes. This paper gives a detailed review of the selected article by David A. Karp and provides additional questions for further analysis.

Research Question

Past studies in the area of depression have primarily focused on the major causes, symptoms, and treatment methods for the condition. However, researchers have not done much to analyze and describe the experiences most of the affected patients have to go through in their lives (Karp, 1994). This gap in literature formed the primary research question for the identified article.


The nature, cause, and challenges of depression explain why most patients find it difficult to lead high-quality lives. The completed study indicates that many people experience depression “as a moving perspective or career through which persons try to make sense of their inherently ambiguous life condition” (Karp, 1994, p. 6). The scholar presents five benchmarks to define such a process. Such attributes are intended to support the primary argument and encourage future psychologists to support their patients. The outlined benchmarks include stressful feelings, accepting that something is wrong, developing a crisis, coming into terms with the identity of depression, and managing the condition successfully.

Empirical and Theoretical Contributions

Humans are social beings and live in communities with established moral principles, behaviors, and norms. The field of sociology handles critical matters in people’s lives, their experiences, relationships, interactions, and cultural practices. The insights gained from the studied article are applicable in this field to improve individuals’ outcomes as members of a particular community. For instance, sociologists could use the presented empirical findings to learn more about depression and how it differs from person A to B. This knowledge could support the formulation of new models for transforming interpersonal relationships and accepting depression as a mental challenge capable of affecting any person (Karp, 1994). From a theoretical perspective, the ideas and findings could support the formulation of a superior strategy for providing support to patients with depression. The approach will ensure that the identified beneficiaries pursue their social and economic aims effectively.

Implications of the Findings

The findings outlined in the article expose the feelings and views of many patients suffering from depression. However, such results could have positive implications in the fields of mental health and psychology. First, professionals who provide medical support to victims of depression could rely on such observations to guide and encourage them to remain involved and appreciate that the condition is manageable. Second, psychiatrists could collaborate to engage their patients, guide them to communicate their feelings, and focus on the best medical outcomes (Karp, 1994). Third, professionals who appreciate that depression is a product of the social responsibilities associated with it will find it easier to formulate personalized treatment regimes for their patients and eventually transform their life experiences. These findings are, therefore, applicable in different settings and facilities to meet the demands of more people suffering from mental illnesses.

Thoughts about the Results

The presented results are agreeable since they reflect my observations in life. For instance, I understand that all people will experience different forms of depression depending on their unique situations. Members of society tend to view most of the affected patients negatively, thereby affecting the quality of care and support available to them (Karp, 1994). With proper guidance, I have observed that patients could become motivated and find it easier to handle their condition. The additional insights are capable of guiding experts and caregivers to examine the existing social attributes and apply them accordingly to provide timely and sustainable services to their respective clients.

Additional Dimensions

The arguments and ideas outlined in the studied article are convincing and capable of empowering both patients and psychologists to pursue their goals diligently. However, I think that the author could have considered some additional dimensions to make the work more informative (Karp, 1994). The first one could have been examining how various social attributes tend to influence the definitions and meanings of depression. The second one was to examine how various therapies could guide more patients to manage this condition successfully.

Additional Questions

I am planning to pose these two questions to my classmates:

  • How could you apply the arguments presented in the studied article in your life?
  • How have the acquired ideas shaped your understanding of mental illnesses?


Patients with depression will interpret this medical condition differently depending on their situations and experiences. The insights the author presents in the selected article are applicable in various fields to improve individuals’ experiences, such as sociology and psychology. In conclusion, professionals in mental health and family members should consider the insights outlined above and apply them accordingly to provide personalized care and empowerment to the affected patients.


Karp, D. A. (1994). Living with depression: Illness and identity turning points. Qualitative Health Research, 4(1), 6-30. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2023, September 14). “Living With Depression” by Karp. Retrieved from https://psychologywriting.com/living-with-depression-by-karp/


PsychologyWriting. (2023, September 14). “Living With Depression” by Karp. https://psychologywriting.com/living-with-depression-by-karp/

Work Cited

"“Living With Depression” by Karp." PsychologyWriting, 14 Sept. 2023, psychologywriting.com/living-with-depression-by-karp/.


PsychologyWriting. (2023) '“Living With Depression” by Karp'. 14 September.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "“Living With Depression” by Karp." September 14, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/living-with-depression-by-karp/.

1. PsychologyWriting. "“Living With Depression” by Karp." September 14, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/living-with-depression-by-karp/.


PsychologyWriting. "“Living With Depression” by Karp." September 14, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/living-with-depression-by-karp/.