Depression: Affective Disorder

Characteristics of a Disorder 

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Depression: Affective Disorder

Symptoms of Depression

Emotional: Sadness; Depressed mood; Anhedonia; Orrtability 

Physiological: Insomnia; Appetitive disturbance; Catatonia; Fatigue

Cognitive: Poor concentration; Delusions and hallucination with depression thene; Poor self esteem

Types of Depression

Unipolar: Low mood; Wothlessness; Single episodes, periodic, outbreaks and continum

Bipolar: Mood flucates vetween manic episodes and depressive episodes and normnality; Can be slow or rapid cycles of each state

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Explanations of Depression

  • Seligman- Behavioural 
  • Wender- Biological 
  • Lauren- Cognitive 
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Seligman- Learned helplessness

Method and Procedure: Lab; 2 conditions: 1) dog in a shuttle box with electrified floor wirh 2 compartments, one compartment would have electric shock the other one would not 2) Placed in shuttle box after being in a box where there was no escape from electric shock 

Findings: All dogs in 1st condition escaped; 2/3 of 2nd condition dogs failed to jump to saftey

Conclusions: 'Dogs had learned to be helpless'; Associated electric shock with no escape = classical conditioning; Depression can be explained by learning via vicarious reinforcement

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Aim: investigate contribution and environmental factors in mood disorders

Participants: Adoptive and biological relatives of 71 adult adoptees; Mean age 43.7 with mood disorder;  71 adoptees with mean age of 44 whom were psychologically normal; Removed from mothers at early age

Methodolgy: Psychiatric evaluation of relatives; Independent blind diagnosis of mental hospital and other official reecords

Results: 8x increase in unipolar depression among biological relatives; 15x increase in suicide among biological relatives of adopted adults

Conclusions: Significant genetic link between unipolar depression and suicide

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Lauren Alloy

Aim: Investigate correlation between thinking patterns and depression 

Method: longlitudinal study using questionaire

Participants: 500 American students

Procedure: Cognitive attitude questionaire; 5000 students; 619 negative thinking; 585 positive thinking; Monitored groups for 6 years

Findings: 17% negative thinking developed depression; 1% in low risk 

Conclusions: Negative thinking positively correlated to depression; Supports cognitive approach

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Treatment for Depression

  • Lewinsohn- Coping with depression 
  • Karp and Frank- Combination therapy and depressed women 
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Lewinsohn- Coping with Depression

Aim: Evaluate efficacy of a 'coping disorder'

Method: Longlitudinal study; 69 adolescents; 15-18; Assessed by interview; Several depression measures

  • Group 1: Only adolescents recieved the course
  • Group 2: Adolescents revieved the course and their parents enrolled in a seperate parents' group
  • Group 3: Control group = waiting list

Findings: Group 1 = 43% reduction; Group 2 = 48% reduction; Group 3 = 5% reduction 

Conclusions: Efficacy of the 'coping with depression' course; Supports use of behavioural techniques used in conjugation with cognitive, biological and social methods 

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Karp and Frank

Aim: Compare drug treatment and non drug treatments for depression 

Participants: Women diagnoses with depression; 9 peices of research from 1974 to 1992; 520 women

Design: Meta analysis; Independent measures design; Single drug treatment, single psychological treatment or combined with placebo 

Procedure: Despression was analysed using depression inventories; Patients tested prior to treatment and after; Health practitioners used to assess participants due to nature of study

Findings: Psychological therapy did not increase effectiveness of drug therapy; Less attrition when combination of therpies used (more likely to continue with treatment if combination used)

Conclusions: Patient outcome not affected so much using combined therapy; Drug therapy is more effective on depression; Supports biological approach

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