The cognitive approach to explaining depression

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  • The cognitive approach to explaining depression
    • Theory
      • Looks at mental processes
      • Thoughts/ beliefs/ attitudes/  schemas
      • Depressed people think negatively/ irrationally
    • Beck's negative triad
      • 1: Negative view of word- there is no hope anywhere
      • 2: Negative view of the future- reduces hopefulness, enhances depression
      • 3: Negative view of self- enhances depressive feelings, confirms existing emotions of low self esteem
      • Leads to depression because a person develops a dysfunctional view of themselves/ the world regardless of reality of situation
      • Cycle of negativity
    • Ellis' ABC model
      • Depression less to do with events in our lives, more our irrational thoughts of them
      • A: Activating event e.g break up
      • B: Beliefs- irrational beliefs triggered by A. 'It's all my fault'
      • C: Consequence- emotional/ behavioural consequences can be negative and cause depression
    • Evaluation
      • Can only get info about what people are thinking from self report data. May not be completely truthful/ accurate
      • Therapy reduces irrational thinking/ reduces depression
      • Doesn't explain anger/ hallucinations/ delusions associated with depression.
      • Possible that someone could be depressed for no apparent reason. Not certain of cause/effect. Biological?
      • Depression isn't always abnormal. Some people have bad lives so negativity is perfectly normal


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