Major Depression and Suicide
AB200 Introduction to Applied Behavioral Science
Nov. 03, 2014
Major Depression and Suicide
The word depression is used for a wide range of mental states. On one side are passing moods of disappointments, regrets, or anxiety that almost everyone experience one time or another. On the other side there are symptoms which are described by many psychiatrists as clinical depression. This is a lingering feeling of despair that last for weeks at a time. Normally when a doctor or psychiatrists make a diagnosis of clinical depression is when a person suffers from most or all of a group of symptoms for longer than two weeks.
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This brings about a question, why do people get depressed? According to ABC’s of the human mind by readers digest(1990) states that when a person experience a death in the family, losing a job, or even moving to another community can all bring on unhappiness, worry, or grief. It goes on to say that depression that follow such are described as reactive, meaning that they result from external causes.
In the case of Joe he has a history of depression within his family of origin which resulted in suicide. Although many severely depressed people feel that their misery is their own fault, or is the result of a character weakness or maybe a spiritual flaw, this view ignores documented scientific evidence that major depression can be genetically induced. Readers Digest (1990). As we reflect back to the case of Joe, his father, grandmother, and two uncles suffered with the same abnormal condition and one of Joe’s uncles committed suicide as a result. The perspective of Spencer A. Rathus indicate that “there is a tendency for suicide to run in families (Bongar, 2002; Joiner 2002) Many suicide attempters have family members with serious psychological problems, and about 25% have family members who have taken their own lives. (Segal& Roy, 2001; Sorenson & Rutter, 1991). The casual connection is unclear; however do people who attempt suicide inherit disorders that lead to suicide? Does the family environment subject family members to feeling of hopelessness? Does the suicide of a family member give a person the idea of committing suicide, or create the impression that he or she is destined to commit suicide. These possibilities and others- such as poor problem-solving ability form a major list of contributors. (Rathus 2007, p447)
Beck (1967) described depression as an illness that presents an individual with a desolate mood, a loss of interest and pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disrupted sleep pattern or appetite, a loss of energy and poor concentration. These problems become ingrained in the individual and can cause serious problems in their ability to cope with their day to day responsibilities. There are many psychological theories of what causes depression and how we should treat them, but which theory is the most appropriate?
He reports that cognitive psychology can explain how individuals become depressed due to faulty thinking patterns which affect their perceptions of themselves, the world and the future. Beck (1967) uses his cognitive triad to explain and treat depression. He believes that these faulty thinking patterns combined with negative schemas and cognitive biases can cause depression by producing an inescapable cycle of negative thoughts. Under this approach cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to help depression, while this has be shown to be helpful, maybe it over emphasizes the importance of cognitive processes as it is possible that people’s negative emotions are not maladaptive but are realistic...