Psychological explanations for depression

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Freud (1917) believed that depression was related to childhood experiences of loss and grief, however, as a child, these feelings are unacceptable to the super ego and therefore repressed. As an adult, when grief and loss is experienced, the adult regresses to the child like state of experiencing grief and loss. 

Bowlby (1973) offered an alternative psychodynamic explanation which says that seperation from the mother as a child and loss of the secure base can lead to depression later in life.

  • Swaffer and Hollin (2001) found that young offenders who repressed anger had increased vulnerability to developing depression, supporting the psychodynamic model.
  • Harlow et


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