Unipolar Depression’s Etiology by Sociocultural, Psychodynamic and Behavioral

Topics: Behaviorism, Psychology, Sigmund Freud Pages: 5 (1570 words) Published: May 2, 2014
Dominick Tammara
Unipolar Depression’s Etiology by Sociocultural, Psychodynamic and Behavioral Theories Unipolar depression is a psychological disorder which has seen a surge in the last 50 years. It has been discussed in numerous works of art, and has even become a public health issue because of its prevalence. Evidently, this psychological condition is complicated, and diminishes performance in many areas. Due to the fact that it has been reaching epidemic proportions, it has become a mayor health issue in many countries around the world, as it interferes with the capacity to work, maintain social bonds, and be productive in general. One of the main problems with this disorder is that its cause is not precisely known. Theories abound as to what the etiology of unipolar depression could be, and because most psychological schools are incommensurable, each one supports a different explanation. Sociocultural, psychodynamic and behavioral theories will be explored to discuss their proposals with respect to the cause of unipolar depression, including the similarities and differences between them.

As the objective of this paper is to discuss different theories, the exact nature of the disorder will be described as generally as possible. Unipolar depression entails a prolonged collection of negative signs and symptoms, which may include lethargy, crying, irritability, negative — including suicidal — thoughts, emotional sensibility, loss of sexual appetite, numbness of the senses, lack of interest, diminishment in concentration and attention, and sensation of corporal heaviness. These markers must present themselves during a continued and long period of time, usually thought of from two to three weeks; momentary bouts of sadness do not count towards this diagnosis. Also, the condition must be considered abnormal. Different cultures perceive sadness differently, and it is important to consider this when making a diagnosis; also, periods of mourning and response to emotional turmoil are considered factors that complicate the application of this category.

The sociocultural approach focuses on the social and cultural context of the individual, from where they believe mental disorders stem; in the case of unipolar depression, this entails the nature of contemporary Western civilization, lower socioeconomic levels and the female gender. The culture in which we live can be described as fast, omnivoyeur and discriminative. There is a need for everything to be done as soon as possible, and with novelty. This wears people out, as it is almost impossible to keep up with what society demands, as it doesn’t respect the time people usually need. Every day, the time a person is expected to mourn, or take care of a new-born child gets shorter; new gadgets come out, and old ones are updated, with vertiginous speed. Thus, it is difficult for a person to maintain the rhythm that civilization imposes, causing feelings of inferiority and hopelessness. Technology has also made intimacy scarce, with cameras and modes of registration virtually everywhere you go. This constant watch by an anonymous other augments the pressure on the common man to give the best of him, which is always more than he can give. Finally, the ridiculous standards of normalcy, which are imposed imperatively, are a cause of discrimination and feelings of inadequacy. In this aim for perfection, what the person can actually offer is never enough, causing discrimination for virtually everyone.

Nevertheless, those most segregated are the ones that suffer from depression the most. Usually this entails those in lower socioeconomic classes. Due to the importance of money in the society, and its unequal distribution, those who have less of it are more restricted than those for whom it abounds. Even such basic, necessary things such as food, shelter and medical assistance come at a price, which is not always affordable for everyone. Many people must maintain more than one job...
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