Etiologies of Depression

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Etiologies of Depression

Biological Etiologies

Evolution
-it signifies to others around you that you need help (Hagen); the symptoms are a call for help from others
-a survival instinct to help the species continue on
-suicide or threat of suicide: a cry for social help
-enhancing the helping instinct in next generations
-natural selection
-helps find potential mates to decide what genes to pass on

Genes
-twin studies (Nurnberger and Gershon)
-5HTT
-a short allele that predisposes to depression
-hinders serotonin reuptake
-longer alleles are less likely to have depression (Levinson)

Hormones
-cortisol
-levels raise and fall rapidly; they remain under stress longer (Burke)
-study of homeless children a correlation with high levels of cortisol and negative life events; their mothers were depressed; these children have more stress (Cutuli)
-glucocorticoids
-often a decrease of receptors in hippocampus and prefrontal lobe in suicides

Neurotransmitters
-serotonin
-lack of serotonin led to depressive symptoms (serotonin hypothesis)
-no baseline and cannot prove that Prozac works (Lacasse and Leo)
-dopamine
-norepinephrine
-tianeptine
-the has the opposite function of Prozac (with the baseline and Lacasse and Leo)

Cognitive Etiologies

Cognitive Biases
-Information Processing Style (Beck 1976)
-negative thinking style
-Over-Generalization
-being dramatic; “I always…” “I never…”
-Selective Abstraction
-focusing on the negative parts
-Polar Reasoning
-not appreciating ambiguity in interpretations of life
-everything is black and white; no gray area
-no middle ground
Beck’s Work
-doesn’t give cause
-just another description of depressive thinking

Hankin and Abramson
-extension of Beck
-account for gender differences and depression prevalence
-consider or help explain traumatic experiences in the construction of the negative schema...
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