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"It is proposed that a large proportion of episodes of depression result, at least in part, from the interaction between individuals cognitive vulnerability and the social context in which he or she lives" (Champion & Power, 1995, p.485).

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Kathryn Smith 20089003 PSY3004 Clinical Psychology "It is proposed that a large proportion of episodes of depression result, at least in part, from the interaction between individuals cognitive vulnerability and the social context in which he or she lives" (Champion & Power, 1995, p.485). Critically evaluate this claim about the origins of depressive episodes. Depression is defined as a 'wide spectrum of changes in mood and affective state, ranging from severity from the normal mood fluctuations of everyday life, sometimes called sadness or despondency, to severe psychotic episodes.' (Nicholi, 1998, p.309). Depression results in the inability to take interest in anything as well as being able to perform even the most ordinary tasks. Depressed individuals often feel guilty as well as no self-worth and often think of committing suicide. Clear thinking is diminished and anxiety, lack of energy and enthusiasm is taken over. It is to be believed that one in five become clinically depressed at some stage in their lives (Kessler et al. 1994). Depression has long been an area of key interest for scientific analysis, due to its costs to society. Furthermore, it is a well known epidemiological observation that approximately twice as many women than men become depressed. (Bebbington, 1990; Wiessman & Kierman, 1977). Factors such as menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage and menopause could be responsible for depression in women, as well as additional responsibilities such as juggling the care of children and employment. ...read more.


redundancy). * Vulnerability Factors - Social/personal characteristics which increase the likelihood of an individual developing an affective disorder in presence of sever life stress (a provoking agent). Brown & Harris (1998) hypothesised that vulnerability factors reduced the individuals psychological resourced to cope. It reduces their self-esteem. However, they found it is not individual provoking agent or vulnerability factors that cause depression; it is their combined effect which causes depression. Kendler et al (2000) found previous evidence had suggested that the etiologic role of stressful life events in major depression is reduced in recurrent versus first-onset cases. Rutter et al (1975) carried out interviews on working class mothers and found evidence to support that lower social class groups were at a higher risk of depression. It has been suggested that psychosocial factors might play a role in creating vulnerability to depression as well as provoking it. Cassel & Kaplan (1972) showed that women without social support stood more chance of complications in life and therefore leading to depression. Provoking agents have contributed to depression and also illustrates a vulnerability factor. There is evidence to suggest that events can act as symptom formation factors and that the link is much what would be expected from everyday emotional responses to events. In general, feelings of depression will follow something that has happened and about which little or nothing can be done. ...read more.


The only thing that can be ascertained from the current theories of the origins of depression is that psychology is still very far from discovering the true cause of the disorder. Though treatment is becoming more available and socially acceptable, the origins of depression are still highly personal. Dobson (2001) explains that people get depressed as a result of a complex interaction of various factors. There are individuals who may become depressed in almost any social circumstances and there are social circumstances in which almost any individual may become depressed (Champion et al, 1995). Reference American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Washington, D.C. American Psychiatric Association (2000). Stressful Life Events and Previous Episodes in the Etiology of Major Depression in Women: An Evaluation of the "Kindling" Hypothesis. 157:1243-1251 Brown, G.W. & Harris, T (1979). Social Origins of Depression. London: Tavistock Publication. Brown, G.W. & Moran, P (1994). Clinical and psychosocial origins of chronic depressive episodes. I: A community survey. The British Journal of Psychiatry 165: 447-456. Brown, G.W., Harris T.O., Hepworth C., Robinson R (1998). Clinical and psychosocial origins of chronic depressive episodes. II. A patient enquiry. The British Journal of psychiatry, 135: 231-246. Klein, M. (1935) A contribution to the psychogenesis of manic-depressive states. The Selected Melanie Klein, 116-145. Macmillan, New York. Nicholi, A (1988). The New Harvard Guide to Psychiatry. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press: Cambridge ...read more.

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