Approaches toDepression DEPRESSION By Charles Sorrese By Charles Sorrese
What is Depression? Aside from temporary “blues”, clinical depression is a mental illness often characterized by consistent feelings of sadness, no matter what circumstances one may be in. Depression can also be described as having an abnormally low mood that a person is unable to snap out of. There are different approaches that psychologists may use in order to treat people suffering from depression.
Psychoanalytical Approach This approach emphasizes personality analysis through talk or couch therapy. According to Freud, the causes of depression stem from early childhood experiences. These causes can be found by analyzing the problems in the development of the “Psychosexual stages”, and then understanding them in order to overcome them.
Trait Approach This approach looks at depressionas an action of a persons character. A person would be said to be depressed because that is just naturally who they are. Example: Just as some people may be naturally positive or happy, some people may just naturally be negative or depressed.
Biological Approach The biological approach to depression suggests low levels of the neurotransmitter Serotonin. The biological approach also emphasizes that if a person is depressed then they may be genetically predisposed to depressed. Ways to combat this would include taking medications to increase Serotonin levels in the brain.
Humanistic Approach The humanistic approach suggests depression occurs when an individual is unable to cope with their life's circumstances. This prevents them from reaching self actualization, or their highest potential. This approach emphasizes a holistic view of human beings, as well as giving human beings the power and choice to choose their own destiny.
Behavioral and Social Learning Approach The behavioral and social learning approach suggest that depression is something that people learn through interactions in the environment and in their social world. This can include things we observe in other people, in the media, in school, etc. We would then learn to be depressed by observing it in others. If depression is learned, then it can also be unlearned.
Cognitive Approach People suffering from depression often have self-deprecating thoughts. They think things such as “I can’t”, “I’ll never be able to”, “I’m not good enough”, etc. The Cognitive approach is to get people to change their thinking in order change how they see themselves, as well as how they see the world.
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