Psychology Notes

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Depression Revision

EXPLANATIONS OF DEPRESSION

BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS

* GENETICS (McGuffin & Kendler)
* BIOCHEMICAL FACTORS (Amine Hypothesis)

PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS

- PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORIES (Freud)
- COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THEORY (Seligman & Maier) – Learned Helplessness and Attributional style - BEHAVIOURAL THEORY (Lewinsohn)
-COGNITIVE THEORY (Beck)

THERAPIES FOR DEPRESSIONS

BIOLOGICAL THERAPIES

* DRUGS (Monoamine-oxidase inhibitors & Tricyclic etc.)
* ECT

PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPIES

* CBT (done by Beck)
* PSYCHOANALYTIC THERAPY (Freud’s dream analysis etc. & IPT)

BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS OF DEPRESSION

Genetics

McGuffin = Found that MZ twins (identical) if one has unipolar depression the chances are 46% the other twin getting it as well. This stat is 60% in bipolar disorder.

Kendler = Idea of genetic predisposition to stress which was part of the DIATHESIS STRESS MODEL. VIRGINIA TWIN STUDY. When faced with negative life events if you had a twin with depression you were much more likely to become depressed yourself than a set of twins where neither of them were depressed.

* It could be that social learning theory is an explanation for depression and not genetics because commonly families live around each other so it could be this way in which depression is caused. * Reductionist theory (too simple)

* Nature vs. Nurture (it is impossible to change the way you are)

Biochemical

Amine Hypothesis = It is suggested that a cause of depression is low levels of certain Monoamine Neurotransmitters such as SEROTONIN, NORADRENALINE AND DOPAMINE. The Biochemical explanation states that use of drugs such as MAOI’S and Serotonin prevents the reuptake thus causing the neurotransmitters to continue along the nerve pathway preventing depression.

+ Evidence shows these drugs to be effective to a certain extent. _ They target the effects not the cause
- They are extremely reductionist ideas and it is suggested this system is a lot more complex - Could be the lower levels of these amine’s is a result of depression not a cause - Suicide is a serious risk from bringing someone with serious depression to a better state because now people feel less ‘lazy’ they may act of their earlier feelings. - Nature vs. Nurture argument, it is uncontrollable.

+ and – is that recent research at the University of Pennsylvania has shown that drugs are useful in cases of severe depression but actually placebo sugar pills act just as effectively as antidepressant drugs on people with minor depression.

N.B. There is also research that suggests another biological explanation for depression is WOMEN’S HORMONES. It is perhaps suggested with no strong evidence however that women are twice as likely to become depressed speculates that the ovarian hormones have a role to play. However, research by Nolen-Hoeksema found no convincing link in research done into a number of studies.

PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS OF DEPRESSION

Psychoanalytic theories

MANY DIFFERENT THEORIES HOWEVER THEY ALL STATE THAT ‘UNCONSCIOUS FORCES AND EXPERIENCES DURING EARLY CHILDHOOD CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELPOMENT OF DEPRESSION IN ADULT LIFE.’

Freud – Relates origin back to the oral stage of development. Individuals whose needs are not met by parents during the oral stage are inclined to become excessively dependent on other people. Because of their childhood they spend much of their time seeking the approval of others and when their needs are not met they can become angry. There anger is turned inwards.

Bibring – Based on Freud’s original work stated that depression was a result of low self-esteem brought about by harsh/ perfectionist parenting.

+ Freud’s work was vibrant and original for the time and it was important for stressing the role of early experience in creating a vulnerability to depression. - Might be that turning anger inwards/ Low self esteem is a result of depression not a...
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