Depression According to Cross-Cultural and Behavioural Perspective

Topics: Psychology, Behavior, Major depressive disorder Pages: 6 (1991 words) Published: April 14, 2008
Research Question: Depression according to the Cross-cultural and Behavioural Perspectives

Mariam Magdalena Diallo
Professor: Ms. Samineh Izedi

I- Introduction:

Depression is an illness that affects the psyche, the mind the soul and the physical aspects of the individual. Its symptoms are various and differ from one another. Through the Behavioural and Cross Cultural Perspectives within psychology’s theories clearly give a detailed explanation of this phenomenon. This essay will examine the way in which depression is viewed according to the cross cultural perspective that states that depressions are most likely to differ when looking at different races or ethnicities. This essay will also look at how behavioural factors such as the environment affect someone's experience of depression.

II- Depression:

Depression is an illness that involves the mood, thoughts, and the body that leads the depressed individual to be affected on many levels, such as its usual needs which are to eat, to drink and to sleep, also the one feels about his self. Depression being a disorder is not a “passing blue mood”. Individuals affected by this disorder cannot get out of depression without proper and adequate medication. Indeed without a medication followed the disorder can lat for more than a year. Depression risk factors are: a person’s sex it is said in multiple studies that women are more likely to get depressed because of many variables such as the post maternal period and other. The age is also an important variable that leads individuals to get depressed as their physical aspects, social status changes, the transitional phase by which they are going through might accentuate symptoms of depression. The Marital status when an individual stays a long time without being married or just experienced divorced the change might affect the individual’s self causing symptoms of depression. Social class, when an individual constantly feels that a lack of satisfaction of its social class or can’t achieve the social class he/she aims at, symptoms of depression can start appearing. The Genetic factors are such that they are non modifiable therefore if an individual presents a constant lack of satisfaction, or is predisposed to be depressed because of his genes he/she is more tend to be depressed.. The symptoms of depression encloses the loss of interest in things that were before enjoyed, a continuously sad and very anxious mood, unstable eating pattern; the individual might gain or loose (anorexia) weight, a multitude of negative feelings about the individual’s own self such as the feeling of worthlessness, guilt and social marginalisation, low energy level, bad mood of the individual, a feeling of being slow, also sleep disturbance with repeated oversleeping and insomnias, extreme fatigue. The symptoms also appear on the thinking level, the depressed individual finds hard to remember or analyse things, or making decisions. It also affects the individual’s character, he happens to be irritable easily, the individual also tend to think of death and suicide more often than the norm. Indeed the abuse of alcohol and drug can be considered as being signs of depression. There are three types of depression: dysthymia, major depression and bipolar disease. Major depression is when study, work, sleep, eat and enjoy other activities are affected. Whereas dysthymia is less severe in the sense that it has long term chronic symptoms that do not disable but cause the individual from feeling and functioning well. However, bipolar disorder is characterised by constant mood changes: from high moods to low moods. The mood changes are sometimes gradual and vary from one extreme to another. III-Cross cultural perspective:

"Cross-cultural psychology is the scientific study of human behavior and mental process, including both their variability and invariance, under diverse cultural conditions." (Ho & Wu, 2001, p. 4). It tends to extend and specify...
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