Depression In Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees

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"There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, There now, hang on, you’ll get over it. Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer." (Depression is not sadness, how to cope with depression, 2014, p. 1) This quote from The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver illustrates well the issue of mental depression. According to Merriam-Webster, depression is, “a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless and unimportant and is often unable to live in a normal way.” While much of this is true, many people with depression find ways to blend in and conform with the rest of society. The main issue with depression is not necessarily the symptoms, …show more content…

In the Greco-Roman period, melancholia was thought to have been caused by demons or spirits (Nemade, Reiss & Dombeck, 2007). This could have been because of how much depression can affect a person and how drastically their personality can change because of it. Such beliefs continued well into the Renaissance period, up until the Age of Enlightenment when depression was viewed as an inherited, unchangeable weakness (Nemade et al., 2007). The two conditions weren’t concretely separated until the mid 20th century, when distinctions between the severity of illnesses was also being taken into consideration (Levine et al., 2001). Emil Kraepelin, Sigmund Freud, and Aubrey Lewis all contributed to the ultimate separation (Levine et al., 2001). Treatment of depression, like the treatment of many other mental illnesses, has undergone much revision over time (Dual Diagnosis, 2014). In the 1800s, those with such illnesses were placed into institutions much like jails, and were never given opportunity to leave (Dual Diagnosis, 2014). Some facilities allowed for the horrific treatment of these prisoners (Dual Diagnosis, 2014). Those that were mentally ill were chained to their beds in filthy conditions, and procedures to deal with patients were cruel

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