November 30, 2014
Depression is a mood disorder that deprives an individual of the ability to lead a life that is filled with happiness, joy and contentment. The effects of depression can be destructive on the mental abilities, physical health and emotional stability of those that suffer with this disorder. Individuals may choose to not seek help due to embarrassment or a lack of admitting there is a problem. Others may choose to seek help to end the cycle of unanswered questions and enrich and improve their quality of life while producing a sense of normalcy. A widespread form of depression is Major depression.” Some 15 million people in the United States suffer from major depression, and at any one time, 6 to 10 percent of the U.S. population is clinically depressed” (Feldman, 2013). Periods of mild, moderate and severe depression can occur several times in a lifespan. Dysthymia, a less severe type of depression, is comprised of lingering symptoms that limit the ability of functioning well or feeling good. Depression is also consistent with bipolar disorder. Mood changes are typified by Bipolar disorder. The mood changes are severe lows (depression) and highs (mania). The mood changes are most often gradual (Grohol, 2006). People who suffer from major depression feel useless, lonely and cry uncontrollably. They feel hopeless and beyond help and have a greater risk for suicide. The symptoms of depression also hinder the ability to enjoy pleasurable activities. These feelings may be experienced for months or years (Feldman, 2013).
The research methods used to investigate psychological disorders include case studies, data collection (narrative interviews) and data analysis and observations of behavior. According to Yin (2003) “A case study is convenient for studying current events in connection to real life contexts and is well-suited to answering questions of “how” and “why”(Ahlstrom, 2007).
Several factors amplify the risk of depression in men and women. Interpersonal dependency, (the need to please others and emotional and social support from others) increase the risk of depression and negative mood in men. A greater interpersonal dependency and relative autonomy of men contribute to the risk of depression among women (Brewer, 2014).
A negative component associated with depression is an influence to
engage in risky behavior. Men react to depression with increased competition and risk-taking. Women suffer exclusion from social groups and threatens the social support received (Brewer, 2014). A positive component associated of depression is an increase of analytical thinking. Depressed individuals perform better on certain tests and do a better job solving social problems (Andrew, 2009).
Mood disorders have genetic and biochemical origins. Researchers have found that changes in the functioning of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain play a role in the development of depression (Feldman, 2013). Behavioral theories of depression claim that stress creates a reduction in positive reinforcers. The reductions of these positive reinforcers begin the withdrawal process. The attention produced by depressive behavior continues to reinforce the depression (Feldman, 2013). Cognitive factors contribute to mood disorders. Psychologists suggest that depression is a direct reaction to learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is the anticipation that life’s events are uncontrollable and the individual has no way of escape. As a result, people surrender to events which produce depression. Also, theorists suggest that depression derives from learned helplessness and the expectation that negative events are unavoidable (Feldman, 2013). The Cognitive theory of depression indicates that depressed individuals feel he or she is to blame when situations go awry. Focusing on the negativity promotes the inability to actively change their environment. Negative thoughts lead to...
References: Grohol, J. (2006). Types & Symptoms of Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/types-and-symptoms-of-depression/000649
Ahlstrom, B., Skärsäter, I., & Danielson, E. (2007). Major Depression in a family: what happens and how to manage . Issues In Mental Health Nursing, 28(7), 691-706.
Brewer, G., & Olive, N. (2014). Depression in men and women: Relative rank, interpersonal dependency, and risk-taking. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 8(3), 142-147. doi:10.1037/h0097761
Feldman, R.S. (2013) Psychology and your life. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Andrews, P. & Thompson, J.A. (2009). The bright side of being blue: Depression as an adaption for analyzing complex problems. Psychological Review, 116 (3), 620-654
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