Psychological factors of depression

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  • Psychological explanations of depression
    • Psychoanalytic theories
      • unconscious forces and experiences during early childhood contribute to the development of depression in adult hood
      • Freud's oral stage has the most contribution
        • In this psychosexual stage infants develop towards maturity
        • individuals needs which are not met by parents become fixated and are inclined to be independent on others
          • Shah and waller
            • men who had lost their fathers were more likely to score high on a scale of depression
        • dependency personality makes them vulnerable to depression
        • they spend much of their time trying to seek love and approval from others
      • Bibring
        • result of low self-esteem
          • brought by harsh or critical parents
          • child fails to live up to their unrealistic  ego
      • comer
        • psychoanalytical therapies have not proved successful with depression
          • reductionist and it ignores biological factors
    • behavioural theories
      • lewinsohn
        • due to a lack of positive reinforcement
        • due to them avoiding social situations are coming of badly in social situations
      • increased further by the depression as people distance themselves from depressed people
    • cognitive-behavioural theories
      • Becks theory of depression
        • they feel the way they do because they have a negative interpretation of the world
          • negative schema
          • the negative schema is activated with they enter a new situation that resembles the situation where the schema was learnt
          • Bates
            • non-depressed participants became more depressed when given negative automatic statements
      • Seligman
        • learnt when a person tries to control unpleasant life experiences
          • develop a feeling of no control over their life
          • learned helplessness impairs their future performance in situations that can be controlled
          • based on animals studies
            • been supported by human studies
        • Abramson develops the theory to consider a hopeless personality
          • these please expect bad to happen not good and don't believe they have the resources to change a situation
    • sociocultural factors
      • kendler
        • life vents act as a trigger to those with a genetic vulnerability to depression
        • females with recent negative life events and a genetic vulnerability were most at risk
        • diathesis model
      • social networks
        • depressed individuals tend to report a lack of social contact
          • Billings
            • less able to handle negative events due to a lack of support
        • Joiner et al
          • depressed people have difficulties with social skills eg eye contact and frequent fear of rejection
            • cause and effect
        • are a lack of social skills a cause or an effect of depression
      • Brown and Harris
        • aim to prove that depression followed major life events
        • Studied women in Camberwell
          • gender biased
        • concluded two circumstances that increased risk to depression
          • long term difficulties
            • eg a long term difficult relationship
          • existence of vulnerability factors
            • eg three or more children under age of 14
            • not working outside the home
            • lack of a confiding relationship
              • supports social network theory
            • stress can be an effect as well as a cause

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