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TORYILL DEACON OUTLINE TWO MAIN APPROACHES TO PSYCHOLOGY AND EVALUATE HOW WELL THEY ACCOUNT FOR ONE HUMAN BEHAVIOUR. In this essay I am going to discuss depression from a psychodynamic and bio-medical approach. I will describe what depression is and how a diagnosis of depression is reached. I will briefly outline what the psychodynamic approach to psychology is and how this approach explains depression. I will then evaluate how well the psychodynamic approach accounts for depression. Following this I will briefly outline the bio-medical approach to psychology and how this approach explains depression. I will also then evaluate this approach to discover how well it accounts for depression. Depression is a mood or affective disorder in which a sustained emotional state colours a person's perception, thoughts and behaviour; it is the most common psychological problem people face (Seligman 1973). It can be a response to certain life events or just part of everyday life. When a loved one dies or a relationship ends for example depression is a normal reaction. Most psychologically healthy people occasionally get the blues or feel down, this usually passes within a period of a few months. Clinical depression occurs when depression becomes hard to break out of, lasts a long time and affects a person's ability to function normally. To be diagnosed as clinically depressed, a person must display persistent low mood for at least two weeks, plus display at least five of the following symptoms ...read more.


Research has been conducted into the relationship between loss in early childhood and later depression and generally the results have supported Freud's theory that early loss predicts later depression (Jarvis, Putwain, and Dwyer, 2002, P. 165). Maier and lachman (2000) surveyed 2998 adults aged between 30 and 60 using questionnaires and telephone interviews. They found that symptoms of depression were more common in those who had lost a parent in childhood through divorce or death. Research into the link between anger and depression by Swaffer and Hollin (2001) produced partial support for Freud. They gave 100 young offenders questionnaires to assess anger and health. Depression, along with general health, was associated with levels of anger. Those who were found to have suppressed their anger having a greater tendency for depression. The positive points to the psychodynamic approach are that depression is linked with early trauma and some sort of disruption in early childhood relationships. Also Freudian theory is that early experiences of loss predicts depression in later life. However some research suggests that the psychodynamic approach in inadequate in explaining depression. There is no direct evidence that people who are depressed interpret the death or loss of a loved one as desertion (Davidson and Neale, 1990). Evidence suggests that depressed people direct excessive amounts of hostility towards people who are close to them, you would not expect this to happen if the anger is turned inward (Wissman and Paykel (1974). ...read more.


who studied 902 pairs of twins suggest that there is not a gene that causes depression but rather genetic factors make some people particularly susceptible to the depressing effects of life events. Although twin studies have shown that depression is more likely to be shared by identical twins they suggest only a moderate genetic influence especially in milder cases of depression. Twin studies suggest that rather than causing depression our genes merely make us more susceptible to it. The biggest advantage to this approach is that it takes the stigma out of mental illness. It says that something is going wrong; it is not the patients fault for getting ill. It takes away the blame. However a criticism of this approach is perhaps people are not taking responsibility for their illness. In conclusion, depression is a serious mental disorder with many distinct characteristics. Many explanations have been put forward to explain depression. A psychodynamic approach explains it as unconscious conflicts to do with loss and grief leading to anger being turned inwards on the self. A bio-medical approach explains depression as genetic factors and faulty functioning of neurotransmitters in the brain. Although both of these explanations have received support from various research studies it is clear that there is no one single explanation for depression. 1408 words REFERENCE LIST Gross, R.,& McIlveen, R. (2000). Aspects of psychology, psychopathology. Berkshire: Cox & Wyman. Jarvis, M., Putwain, D., & Dwyer, D. (2002). Angles on atypical psychology. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes LTD. Gross, R. & McIlveen, R. (1996). Abnormal psychology. Wiltshire: Redwood Books. ...read more.

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