An analysis of the psychology of depression

Psychological theories provide evidence-based explanations for why people think, behave, and feel the way they do.

An analysis of the psychology of depression

Abstract In this article we discuss the traditional behavioral models of depression and some of the challenges analyzing a phenomenon with such complex and varied features. We present the traditional model and suggest that it does not capture the complexity of the phenomenon, nor do syndromal models of depression that dominate the mainstream conceptualization of An analysis of the psychology of depression.

Instead, we emphasize ideographic analysis and present depression as a maladaptive dysregulation of an ultimately adaptive elicited emotional response. We emphasize environmental factors, specifically aversive control and private verbal events, in terms of relational frame theory, that may transform an adaptive response into a maladaptive disorder.

We consider the role of negative thought processes and rumination, common and debilitating aspects of depression that have traditionally been neglected by behavior analysts.

Up to 25 million people in the United States alone meet criteria for some type of depressive disorder in a given year M. Depressive disorders also result in considerable financial expenditure including time spent away from the workplace and an increase in health care costs.

Suicide is the ultimate cost. Perhaps nowhere in clinical psychology is the medicalization of behavioral problems more complete than with depression. Depression is largely seen by the general public and mainstream media as a neuropsychiatric illness e.

The basic ontological assumption is that depression is an illness that occurs episodically and can be described adequately in medical terms. Even in these cases, specialty referral is first to psychiatry for medication management, and only a small number of individuals diagnosed with depression will be seen by a clinical psychologist, much less a behaviorally oriented practitioner.

A hallmark of behavior analysis has been its condemnation of the misappropriation of lay terms as scientific, technical terms e. The first task is precise specification of the behavioral phenomena invoked by the term.

There are several obstacles to achieving this precision with the term depression, which have been excellently presented for the term anxiety by Friman, Hayes, and Wilson The case for depression is quite similar.

First, the term depression was never meant as a technical term and actually has a metaphorical, idiomatic basis. Second, our psychiatric nomenclature and mainstream usage of the term suggest that depression is an empirical phenomenon with an essential composition.

To a behavior analyst, the term depression is not a technical term, does not precisely map onto any empirical or behavioral phenomena, and has no essential composition. Thus, given the exhaustive medicalization of the phenomenon of depression, there exists an immense gap between a behavioral analysis of depression and mainstream usage of it as a medical term with its various associations and meanings.

The Nature of Clinical Depression: Symptoms, Syndromes, and Behavior Analysis

Behavior-analytic writings on clinical depression e. Although research on depression has outpaced research on virtually every other disorder by psychiatric and cognitive-behavioral researchers, behavior analysts have been alarmingly silent.

There are undoubtedly many reasons for this silence e. More relevant to the current paper is the possibility that the exhaustive medicalization of the term; the wealth of non-behavior-analytic research data on biology and genetics, personality, and cognitive factors; and the emphasis on private events in depression—on how depression feels and on changing that feeling—may function to evoke avoidance in behavior analysts.

In this paper we attempt to start at the beginning, with a discussion of what depression is to a behavior analyst and how this contrasts with mainstream usage of the term as a medical syndrome. We review the traditional operant model of depression that emphasized reductions in behavior as a response to environmental events.

We then tackle several areas of inquiry important to an understanding of depression that have traditionally been neglected by behavior analysts, including private events and the role of verbal behavior in depression.

An analysis of the psychology of depression

We see this not as completing a behavioral analysis but as a reminder of the importance of idiographic, functional analyses of specific individuals for this complex phenomenon.

Tacting Depression and Its Symptoms We describe depression in radical behavioral terms, emphasizing the occasions on which the term is used and deemphasizing any underlying unitary disease, physiological, or emotional state to which the term refers.

Depression comes from the late Latin word depressare and the classical Latin word deprimere. Thus, the core experience of depression appears to be a private event tacted as depressed or in psychiatric terms as dysphoric.

However, a minority of individuals will meet criteria for depression and deny depressed mood or present with irritable mood instead. These individuals may have deficits in accurate tacting of private experience, or they may represent diagnostic Type II errors and should not be classified as depressed.

It is important not to associate what is tacted as depression with a specific pattern of physiological responding or reify it as a particular emotional state.

The aim of any treatment is to lessen relapses and the recurrence of depression in patients. All patterns are different and the level in mental codes Fair Use Policy; An information analysis was used to weigh the effectiveness of the primary therapy. Psychology Essay Writing Service Essays More Psychology Essays. We can help with. Depression is a consequence of an ongoing struggle that depressed people endure in order to try and maintain emotional contact with desired objects. There are two basic ways that this process can play out: the anaclitic pattern, and the introjective pattern. 1. Introduction. Burnout is arguably one of the most popular research topics in occupational health psychology, and there is a good reason for this.

The antecedent conditions and underlying physiologies associated with the experience of depression may vary widely, and no core composition can be assumed. Emotional states such as sadness are simply co-occurring behavioral responses elicited unconditioned reflexes, conditioned reflexes, operant predispositions that appear to be integrated because the behaviors are occasioned by common discriminanda and are controlled by common consequences Skinner, For example, a child with overbearing parents experiences an emotional state of sadness and a co-occurring behavioral response of crying when her parents criticize her.Private psychological therapy, counselling and psychotherapy in Harley Street, Canary Wharf and Liverpool Street, Central London for children, adults and organisations.

Insurance registered top counsellors, psychotherapists, Chartered Psychologists. Irving Kirsch (born March 7, ) is Associate Director of the Program in Placebo Studies and a lecturer in medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

He is also professor emeritus of psychology at the Universities of Hull and Plymouth in the United Kingdom, and the University of Connecticut in the United States. Every month or so when I see my doc, I fill out a depression questionnaire, so that she can scribble a nice number in her notes to indicate the severity of my symptoms.

Perth Psychological Services (PPS) was founded in by Suzanne Midford. As a group we have respected expertise in a range of mental health areas such as the diagnosis and intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder, other neurodevelopmental disorders (including Selective Mutism, FASD, ADHD, Learning Disorders), Anxiety and Depression, Relationship issues, Parenting and Childhood .

An analysis of the psychology of depression

Psychoanalysis is a set of theories and therapeutic techniques related to the study of the unconscious mind, which together form a method of treatment for mental-health disorders. The discipline was established in the early s by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud and stemmed partly from the clinical work of Josef Breuer and others..

Freud first used the term psychoanalysis (in French) in Positive psychology continues to grow in size, scope, and widespread public interest since its inception nearly 20 years ago.

Positive psychology principles and ideas can be applied to a wide range of spheres, including schools, relationships, the workplace, the family home, and even the military (Cornum, Matthews, & Seligman, ; Matthews, ).

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