Depression

1. Define mood disorders and contrast major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder

  • Mood disorders: A psychological disorder characterized by the elevation or lowering of a person's mood, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
  • "true clinical depression is a mood disorder, which can interfere with everyday life for an extended time"
  • Major depressive disorder: Mental disorder characterized by a pervasive and persistent low mood that is accompanied by low self-esteem and by a loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities.


  • Bipolar disorder: A mental disorder marked by alternating periods of elation and depression.


  • The difference between major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder is with major depression, a person is at a constant low point and is always sad. Bipolar people experience periods of happiness and sadness which can alternate very quickly.

2. Discuss the facts that an acceptable theory of depression must explain

  • Inactive and are unmotivated
  • Sensitive to negative happenings, expect negative outcomes, and often recall negative information.
  • Depression is widespread, the causes of depressions are incredibly common which suggests so is depression.
  • Women- depression, anxiety, and inhibited sexual desire
  • Men- alcohol abuse, antisocial conduct, and lack of impulse control
  • Women get sadder than men, men get angrier than women.
  • Most major depressive episodes self terminate, therapy tends to speed recovery, most people suffering major depression eventually return to a normal without professional help.
  • Stressful events related to work, marriage, and close relationships often precede depression.
  • With each new generation the rate of depression is increasing and the disorder is striking earlier.

Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

3. Summarize the contributions of biological perspective to the study of depression, and discuss the link between suicide and depression


  • focuses on genetic influences
  • linkage analysis
  • association studies
  • studies on abnormalities in brain structure and function have shown that:depression can be genetic


-norepinephrine and serotonin are scarce during depression

-activity in the frontal lobes is slowed

-stress-related damage to the hippocampus increases risk to depression

-despair drives some people to suicide


  • People rarely commit suicide while in the deepest part of depression with lack of energy and initiative, but the risk increases when they become capable and begin to rebound and follow through with the act
Big image

4. Summarize the contributions of the social cognitive perspective to the study of depressions, and describe the events in the cycle of depression


  • Negative thoughts influence biological events which amplify negative thoughts
  • May arise from learned helplessness and lead to self fulfilling prophecy
  • Women are nearly twice as vulnerable to depression(overthinking and better retention emotional memories)
  • Draws attention to the power of self-defeating beliefs and negative explanatory styles


Depression can be


  • Brought on by stressful situations
  • Adaptive- lying low and gaining insight to improve future experiences


4 stages in the cycle of depression


  1. Negative, stressful events
  2. Interpretation through a pessimistic exploratory style
  3. Creates a hopeless, depressed state
  4. Changes the way the person acts, negative cognitive and behavioral changes


How to break the cycle


  • Moving to a different environment
  • Reversing our self blame and negative attributions
  • Turning our attention outward
  • By engaging in more pleasant activities and more competent behaviors