Research Paper: Depression Theories Various

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[. . .] In a study, any patient who admitted thoughts of suicide, immediately denied, retracted, or justified such a statement, making it hard for an examiner to determine whether the patient was truly depressed. [13: Cheung, R. (2010). Culture Different and Treatment of Depression: An International Approach to Depression and Mental Health is Needed. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from http://www.suite101.com/content/culture-and-diagnosing-and-treating-depression-a199792. ] [14: Cheung, R. (2010). Culture Different and Treatment of Depression: An International Approach to Depression and Mental Health is Needed. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from http://www.suite101.com/content/culture-and-diagnosing-and-treating-depression-a199792. ]

Another example of cultural norms relating to discussing depression is often found in immigrant communities, where mental illness is immediately thought to make one "crazy" and remain undiscussed subjects. Chinese immigrants to the United States, for example, will display culturally acceptable behaviors, such as boredom or fatigue, which can be symptoms of depression, instead of the more traditional expression of depression, sadness, because this is culturally unacceptable. Cultural norms are thus shown to play a very important part both in the determination and treatment of depression. [15: Kleinman, A. (2004). Culture and Depression. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp048078. ]

Biological Theory

The Biological theory of depression was very briefly discussed in the psychology section. This theory aims to explain the biological or anatomical causes of the disease, instead of focusing on what it means to an individual or a larger group, as the theories above. In biological theory, what causes depression is very scientific. The classic theory suggests a shortage of noradrenalin and serotonin in the synaptic clefts, and theories that are more modern have suggested that other neurotransmitter systems also play a role in the disorder. In biological theory, instead of being a consequence of a certain culture, group, or psychological aspect, depression is the cause of a disturbed balance between cerebral regulatory systems. This relatively straightforward explanation of the biological theory, which is also widely accepted in scientific circles (though not by all who study depression), thus leads one to view the causes of depression form a narrow point-of-view, though a very specific one, which attributes for the relative shortness of this paragraph. However, this theory, and the subsequent studies based upon it, will contribute to the treatment section below. [16: Oulu University Library. (2003). Biological aspects of depression. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from http://herkules.oulu.fi/isbn9514270215/html/x294.html. ]

Treatments

From the discussion above, one can see the various theories posited in relation to depression, which are many and varied. Yet, one theory cannot account for all aspects of this complex disorder, and neither can any singular treatment based upon such a theory. For this reason, this section will discuss examples of treatments related to all four theories, beginning with treatments that take into account psychological theories, and continuing with sociologically, culturally and biologically-based treatments.

One psychologically-based treatment is that of Cognitive Therapy and it is based on the cognitive theory of depression as discussed above. This psychotherapy helps patients become aware of their own pessimistic views and their own distortions or "cognitive errors" and the "underlying assumptions of these thoughts." In this therapy, the patient is also encouraged to find support for negative assumptions and modify them into positive assumptions or more balanced assumptions in view of the patient's own information. These treatments have been quite successful, though only for those who have a strong emphasis on these specific depressive symptoms as outlined by the cognitive theory. Furthermore, this is only one example of a psychologically-based treatment, based on only one theory. One must note that due to the length of the discussion here, it is impossible to include multiple examples, though many do exist. [17: Davidson, K.W., & Rickman, N., & Lesperance, F. (2004). Psychological Theories of Depression: Potential Application for the Prevention of Acute Coronary Syndrome Recurrence. Retrieved from Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehaviaral Medicine, 66, pp. 165-173. Retrieved from http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/content/66/2/165.full#R16-1020. ]

With respect to sociologically-based treatments, advice is the more prevalent option. Kimberly Kaplan, for example, recognizes that suffering from depression hinders one from enjoying many activities, and in today's fast-cased world being left behind is harsh and lonely. She thus advises trying to speak to a therapist, friends, and even performing self-examination exercises. Having a job is also a way in which one can feel socially accepted and successful. A further suggestion is finding a share group (i.e. A group of people who also suffer from depression) and socializing with that group to find similarities and overcome problems. [18: Kaplan, K. (2011). Sociological Theory for Getting Over Depression. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from http://www.ehow.com/way_5289930_sociological-theory-getting-over-depression.html.]

With respect to treatments taking into account cultural theories, a physician must be aware of cultural norms for a certain patient, and devise a specific program. For those groups in which mental health issues are socially unacceptable, physicians must evaluate other ways in which to help the patient cope with depression. One suggestion can be finding a job for a patient from a group with a strong work ethic, for example. However, it is important that treatments are tailored to a specific patient's needs. [19: Cheung, R. (2010). Culture Different and Treatment of Depression: An International Approach to Depression and Mental Health is Needed. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from http://www.suite101.com/content/culture-and-diagnosing-and-treating-depression-a199792. ]

Lastly, with respect to biological theory-based treatments, scientific research is vital. A study conducted in 2010 states that the finding of "various structural and chemical abnormalities in the brain through neuroimaging" has been the foundation in depression research in the last year. This study further states that the research combines various brain areas to arise specific symptoms, and that the new data could contribute to further understanding and treating depression. Specific treatments are not given as part of this study, but "biological" treatments will usually include medication, such as anti-depressants. [20: Papageorgiou, G. (2010). Biological theory of depression in the light of new evidence. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from http://www.annals-general-psychiatry.com/content/9/S1/S47. ]

Conclusion

This paper has discussed various theories of depression and has expanded upon treatments that take into account these theories. Some treatments have been proven effective, and others have been illustrated simply as examples or as evidence of much needed field research. Depression has been shown to be a complex illness explained by various intelligent minds in different ways, yet in order to treat this disorder, one must take into account all this knowledge, and hope that advances in scientific research, such as that illustrated above, will provide for better treatments and, finally, more effective relief from depressive symptoms. [END OF PREVIEW]

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