Biological treatments for depression
Biological approach: assumes that depression is caused due to biological factors e.g. genes or lack of serotonin.
Biological treatments include:
- Drugs e.g. antidepressants
- Therapy such a electric shock therapy - unethical and not widely used.
Drugs work by addressing hormonal imbalance e,g, SSRI's stop serotonin being reabsorbed so it remains in the bloodstream.
Biological treatment illustrated by Karp et al:
- Reviewed previous research into effectiveness of single drug, cognitive + combined treatments for depression.
- Depression analysed using inventories and patients tested prior, during and after treatment.
- Single drug therapy just as effective as combined - supports value of drug treament.
- Also suggests cause of depression is biological and therefore bio treatments will be the best.
Behavioural treatment of depression
Behaviourists assume: depressive behaviour is learnt so the treatment is to unlearn it. Families and friends can reinforce positive behaviour - confronting and giving attention.
Behaviourist treatment will consist of:
- Positive reinforcement.
- Imitation of non-depressive behaviour.
- Association - of events and positive mood.
This treatment is illustrated through Lewinsohn's study:
- Evaluated the efficacy of a 'coping with depression' course with 59 teens.
- 3 groups. G1 recieved course (where they were given skills training inc. relaxation + neg thoughts). G2 teens received course + parents had course (taught to reinforce positive change). G3 control.
- Course was effective - only 52% of G2 were re-diagnosed with depression at the end of the course.
Cognitive treatments of depression
Cognitive assumes: depression is caused by faulty, illogical thinking. The cognitive triad - negative thoughts about themselves, the world and the future.
Therefore cognitive treatments deal with addressing the negative thoughts. For example, CBT.
- Idenitfiying the negative thoughts and coming up with realistic and plausible alternatives - addressing the nature of the depressive thoughts.
- Setting up targets and experiments to test old beliefs and demonstrate new ones.
- Reinforce success and build on targets.
The cognitive treatment of depression is illustrated by Beck et al's study:
- 44 patients diagnosed with moderate to severe depression split into two groups and had either 1 hour of cog therapy x2 a week of 100 Imipramine caps prescribed by 20 mins visit once a week.
- Cog group showed sig improvements (80%) compared to drug group (20%). Cog. better.Cog group showed sig improvements (80%) compared to drug group (20%).