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Mental Disorders

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Depression is known as the 'common cold' of psychological problems and is thought that it is the most common problem people face. For psychologist to correctly diagnose depression several characteristics need to have occurred for a certain period of time. At some point in time of our lives we have all described ourselves as being depressed for example we may feel lonely, sad or even rejected. Whilst these feelings are perfectly normal for us to experience depression is classed as a mental disorder and for a psychiatric diagnosis the symptoms experienced by the individual needs to be quite different from our everyday life experience of sadness and loneliness. Bipolar disorder is a type of depression commonly known as manic depression. The symptoms of bipolar consist of the patient feeling abnormally euphoric and full of energy, the patient may also experience irritable mood swings and feel elated. Patients experience a decreased requirement of sleep, talkative and rapid speech, inflated self-esteem, racing ideas and thoughts and an increase in goal directed activities. ...read more.


Over a couple of days, this activity increases to the point where she is unable to control her actions and attempts to break the furniture. This case shows the symptoms that a bipolar sufferer experiences. It demonstrates the manic side of the disorder and also the depressive side. Unipolar depression differs from bipolar depression because the symptoms consist of intense feelings of guilt, lack of enjoyment or pleasure in activities or company, frequent negative thoughts, low self -esteem difficulty in initiating action and making decisions, loss of energy and disturbance of weight, sleep and appetite. These symptoms come and go in cycles and during episodes symptoms can be extremely severe. Unlike bipolar which sees the patient experiencing both depressive and manic moods, unipolar sees the patient experiencing severe depressive symptoms with no high. A case of unipolar is that of Spitzer et al (1981). A 55 yr old man has suffered from decreased appetite and a 23 kg weight loss over the past six months. ...read more.


Ferster (1965) stated that depression is a result of a reduction in reinforcement. It is presumed that certain events, such as death of a loved one induce depression because they reduce positive reinforcement. Depressed individuals are less socially active which leads to concern so their symptoms are noticed and receive attention it is argued that this reinforces the depressed behavior. The Cognitive Model focuses on the theory that people become depressed when they believe that nothing they do will improve their situation. Learned helplessness enables the depressive to see that they are to blame and not the situation and that they have failed on not just one specific thing but various things. Aaron Beck (1976) described irrational thinking as the cause of depression and proposed three factors that contribute to a persons vulnerability to depression. Theses three factors are the cognitive triad Negative view of self Negative view of the world Negative view of the future This cognitve triad consists of negative thoughts that depressed individuals have about themselves, the world and the future. Depressed patients usually regard themselves as helpless, worthless and inadequate. Leanne Luke ...read more.

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