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'Critically consider the view that depression has psychological origins.'

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Introduction

'Critically consider the view that depression has psychological origins.' There has been much research into the psychological causes of depression from many different perspectives. These however do not create a whole picture if biological explanations are subsequently disregarded. Biological causes seem to lack full explanation and support in terms of scientific research and some of the theories and notions seem to be contradictory. Depression certainly does seem to run in families. The concordance rates for unipolar depression are significant and those for bipolar are extremely high (40% and 72% respectively in MZ twins). This suggests that genetics play a significant role in levels of inherited susceptibility. ...read more.

Middle

With the psychodynamic model, it is stated that depression is a reaction to actual or symbolic loss e.g. a friend or job, respectively. Freud stated that greater loss and grief during childhood increased susceptibility and the depth of depression experienced. However, Crook and Eliot '80 found little evidence of a connection between early loss and risk of depression in later life. The behavioural model demonstrates learned helplessness in Seligman's '67 study. In this experiment, dogs were subjected to unavoidable electric foot shocks and then avoidable ones. The dogs had learnt in the first condition that they could not escape and thereafter did not try to escape from the second, as they believed the same to be true. ...read more.

Conclusion

These negative thought patterns create something of a downward spiral in the individual, as their outlook becomes increasingly negative. Cognitive therapies are very effective which seems to suggest that this may be one of the most significant causes. On the other hand, it cannot yet be proved whether negative thinking causes the depression or depression causes the negative thinking. As shown, there are numerous explanations offered by various perspectives, all of which have received varying degrees of support from research studies. Currently, much of the thinking behind the findings is not complementary, as theories often do not mix. It is also a very complex issue to distinguish causality and effect. Consequently, there is still some way to go before an explanation encompassing all of the information brought to light can be widely accepted. Jo Taylor ...read more.

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