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Abnormal Psychology and Major Depressive Disorder

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    This research paper will examine the concepts of psychopathology, or abnormal psychology and how it deals with a various set of symptoms or behaviors that manifested by functional impairments in a person’s life. Psychological disorders (e. g. Major Depressive Disorder) and the causes of abnormal behaviour have been understood by a various different theories and have been documented throughout historical transformations. Additionally, this research illustrates the Causes of the Depression, Treatments of Major Depression, Preventive Strategies and Tips, Biblical Worldviews, as well as, cross cultural era’s.

    Behavioral models tend to focus on learned occurrences that result in psychopathology, whereby cognitive models tend to focus on the effects of distorted thought patterns within a clients state of mind. It is imperative to the understanding of psychopathology perspectives that provide clinicians a structure for how psychopathology progress can develop from infancy to being an adult. Lastly, with these perspectives in mind, it can aid in better understanding regarding the copious disorders that are documented throughout the classification manuals, such as outlined in the DSM-IV. Abnormal Psychology and Major Depressive Disorder

    According to the DSM-IV (2003), people who suffer from a major mood disorder, whether it is Unipolar Depressive, Bipolar Depression, or Symptoms of Mania, must either have a loss of interest or pleasure or a depressive mood in amongst daily behaviors that consistent up to two weeks in duration and even years. The criteria’s for the mood must correspond to a change within a person’s typical mood; educational activities, occupation, social, or other significant functions that are being negatively weakened by the change of mood. Depression is related to the person’s normal feelings of bereavement or grief in nature (i. e. after the loss of a loved one). Many depressive moods can be caused by substance abuse, such as: medications, alcohol, drugs, or perhaps a broad medical condition that is not exhibited as being a major depressive disorder. Furthermore, if the symptoms are prolonged by the cause of bereavement and if it persists for a period longer than two months or is distinguished by noticeable impairments, such as: sinister preoccupation with a sense of worthlessness, psychotic symptoms, psychomotor retardation, or suicidal ideation, then the disorder is distinguished, or accompanied by some other majority symptoms (APA, 2003).

    Historical Depressive Symptoms Historical, and more within the last 3 decades, most clinicians have observed considerable understanding in the stages, or practices, of cognitive therapy and cognitive theory in terms of how to treat depression. What was understood in former years, such as: major depression, and depression, was also known as melancholia. It is now frequently known as a major clinical depressive disorder by several healthcare experts, and with its long history, it is has similar conditions being referred to a classical times.

    While numerous biographers have talked about how cognitive therapy (CT) can be refined and modified as being the most present discrepancy found in a reliable structure that gives more meaning to the roles of the dysfunction, it also exhibit a logical course in its onset to depression (Carolina, Peter, Stephen, 2007) The view of stress goes back to the time of Hippocrates who had thought that the toil (ponos) and the suffering coupled with disease (pathos) was: essentially, the body fighting back to restore itself to its normal state (Girdlera & Klatzkinb, 2007).

    The work of an English scholar, by the name of Robert Burton (2010), was known of in the 17th century and wrote a book entitled, The Anatomy of Melancholy. It drew on the author’s own experiences and numerous theories. In just one theory, Burton believed that melancholy could be prevented with a sufficient sleep, music, healthy diet, and “consequential work”, as well as having a balanced social life with friends and family. Moreover, in the period of 18th century, the theory of melancholia, which is linked to a Major

    Depressive Disorder, had become progressively more challenged by electrical and mechanical explanations; whereby, if a person exhibited a gloomy and dark state of mind it was also proved that the person gave way to a depleted state of energy loss (Girdlera & Klatzkinb, 2007). The term “depression” was derived from a Latin verb deprimere, “to press down. ” Dated as far back to the 14th century, the term “to depress” meant to bring down in spirits or to conquer (AllDisease. org, 2011).

    Even though melancholia continued to be the leading diagnostic expression, depression increased its frequency (its usage of name) in the medical field and was a synonym by the end of its century. The DSM-I (1952) (as cited in Girdlera & Klatzkinb, 2007) refers to depressive reaction and the DSM-II (1968) (as cited in Girdlera & Klatzkinb, 2007) depressive neurosis, as words that define an extreme reaction to an identifiable conflict or an internal circumstance (DSM, 2000). Causes of the Depression

    It appears that psychological, social, and biological factors will all play a role into the various degrees that cause depression. Many theorists believe that the depression will occur due to any present and past stressors. On the same token, it can be linked to the nature versus nurture theory, the influences of western society environment, or one’s genetic makeup. Nonetheless, the rate of depression will differ from one person to the other being that two people will have a different gene structure. There are many substances that can relate to major depression, such as the use of alcohol, drugs, or any street narcotics.

    It is also said that depression can transpire due to the increase or active hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, which is increased when stress comes on (BIC, 1985). Other known causes are an increase level of cortisol, which acts as a life support to the adrenal hormone. It is then responsible for maintaining homeostasis: in other words “the stress hormone” because its job is to regulate, modulate, or influences many of the transformations that happen when the body response to stress (Wilson, 2010).

    Other causes can be due to an increase to the pituitary glands, which affects the endocrine system, resulting in the most adverse reaction. This particular disorder has been known to be related to one’s biological clock. Those who are depressed will exhibit a change in moods after they are robbed of sleep. Additionally, in states where the sun doesn’t shine, primarily due to the seasonal change, the absence of proper light is also known to be linked to depression making it harder to sleep. This is commonly referred to as insomnia if it has become too chronic.

    The roles of light therapy and sleep deprivation are similar and they can often affect one’s depression like an anti-depressant drug. In addition, there is correlation between the loss of nerves in certain regions of the brain and depression that affect one’s memory and mood alterations (Wilson, 2010). Treatments of Major Depression According to Ronald J. Comer (Comer, 2011), entitling his book called, Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology, he wrote: A careful look at treatment studies reveals that one-third of people with Unipolar depression are not helped by interventions of any kind.

    Thus in recent years, three more promising biological approaches have been developed – vagus nerve stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and deep brain stimulations (p. 204). However, a person can find many assurances throughout scientific research. Typically, there are three frequently used treatments to treat depression: Medications, Psychotherapy, and Electroconvulsive Therapy. Psychotherapy is the most conducive therapy: especially, for adolescents and children, while electroconvulsive treatments are used for adults and is usually not very popular.

    First, the vagus nerve stimulation is responsible for sending electrical impulses to the brain in an attempt to enrich the brain and recover depressive symptoms. The procedure used to stimulate the vagus nerve is an apparatus called a pulse generator and is implanted, surgically, into a person’s chest. As a wire is thread under the person’s skin, it connects with the pulse initiator to the left nerve of the vagus within the neck. As the electrical pulse signals are sent, it will signal the affective mood receptors, which can increase symptoms of depression.

    Secondly, the repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), there is an influx of interest in field of neuropsychiatry for neurology treatments. This treatment sends a pulsed magnetic signal to the brain and can momentarily inhibit or stimulate particular areas. The TMS cortex can then create visual scotomas or phosphenes. Thirdly, the deep brain stimulations (DBS), is another form of neurological therapy in which small electrical signals stimulate the person’s brain and had proven to help people cope with symptoms of health conditions, but it is not the cure all (AllDisease. org, 2011).

    Preventive Strategies and Tips for Depression The most preventive strategies of therapy, when treating depression, can include Solution and Interpersonal Focus, as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Cognitive Restructuring or CBT). While depression has been proven to be a treatable condition, such as those listed above, it is not possible to prevent depression in every circumstance because depression may be activated by a chemical imbalance within the brain. For a lot of people who suffer from depression, antidepressants may not be the most helpful treatment that is coupled by therapy.

    Some may prefer a more holistic approach, such as natural remedies. For example, a person can decrease the effects by educating themselves when identifying the symptoms and signs of depression. In addition, depression can often be prevented or lessened when a person makes a habitual pattern to have good health. This includes, exercise, taking time out for fun and relaxation, not overworking, reducing anxieties and fears through prayer and meditation, proper eating habits, taking time to socialize, and finding joy in one’s occupation.

    These can all help prevent depressive moods (Natural Remedies for Depression, 2010). Psychotherapy can help ease the discomforts of depressive symptoms and facilitate a person to cope with the stress’ that cause or activate depression. In essence, Psychotherapy can actually change the brains chemistry, in addition to a person’s thoughts: especially, ones that are intense or chronic. Additionally, meditation has shown up in countless of research studies as a having several health benefits. As well as recovering positive mood changes, stress and anxiety issues.

    As meditation is practiced over a period of time, it promotes peace and tranquility while letting faulty thought patterns. This has been extremely helpful, as depressive patients often suffer from negative thoughts, which can be repetitive by nature (Natural Remedies for Depression, 2010). Cross Cultural Healthcare is, no doubt, a complexity of issues. Cultural and language barriers cause difficulties in the framework of which the worldview is formed. Over the last decade, depressive disorder has materializes as being one of the world’s most major health and social problem (as cited in Marsella, 2003).

    This can be attributed to a variety of psychological (e. g. , loss of meaning, identity confusion and conflict, powerlessness, learned helplessness), biological (e. g. , chronic diseases, toxin exposure, longevity, medications, malnutrition), environmental and social cultural (e. g. , displacements due to natural disasters and war, urbanization, hasty social changes, conflicts in role confusion, sexism and racism, and cultural collapse and dissolution) factors linked with the exacerbation etiology, and the lack of maintenance when depressive disorders are experience (Marsella, 2003).

    As a result of worldwide risk and burdens within depressive experience and disorders, professionals and researchers have become increasingly aware of the essential to improve the awareness of complex interests correlated to these problems. The DSM-IV (2003) provides an extensive registrar for culturally-bound disorders (e. g. , koro, susto, latah- delusional disorders) and it denotes that that these should be taken into consideration.

    However, it is does not offer exact procedures for assessing and diagnosing cultural-bound disorders, nor does it provide any advice regarding the risks of utilized by diagnosticians DSM-IV categories for those who are out of the Western hemisphere (2003). Culture influences have experienced communication barriers when it comes to diagnosing the symptoms of depression. Misdiagnosis or under-diagnosis can be reduced by being aware and educated to the various cultural and ethnicities, more specifically when analyzing the criteria’s of Major Depression Episodes.

    For instance, in a number of cultures, depression can be viewed somatically, especially in light of guilt or sadness. Biblical Worldview of Major Depression Disorders Biblical worldview should always start with the view of man spread throughout the pages of the Bible: at every place in the globe, and at any given time throughout history. The World Health Organization states that, “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (WHO, 2011). Health by this tandard of Biblical reference can only exist in the Garden of Eden and in heaven for fellow believers. No matter what scientific or medical technology advancements we achieve in our society: again, altered by the fall, disorders of every kind will be widespread and ongoing until the day of death or the resurrection when Christ returns for His believers. Therefore, the WHO description, while it is a noble objective, will never achieve a degree of fulfillment on this planet (WHO, 2011). In addition, there are countless of examples of disagreements between the contemporary medical science and Bible.

    Biblical understanding will include scientific research: yes, in addition to biblical discernment because God is a Sovereign God who oversees both the physical and spiritual cosmos. Moreover, there are several references to depression throughout bible, one of mankind’s most distressing and common afflictions. It should be no wonder where the first human beings experienced depression had been discovered with Adam and Eve, subsequent to Fall. Christianity often becomes ignored more than being attacked. The intellectual environment on most secular campuses is not explicitly anti-Christian; rather, it’s based on an unbiblical worldview.

    That worldview creates ideas, assumptions, practices about life, one’s values, society, and wrong expressions of truth that proves contrary with Biblical knowledge. The result of this resistance, is in deed, implicitly undermines the word of God and His ability to restore one’s faith and health as we are reminded in Jeremiah 30:17, “For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds,’ says the LORD, ‘ Because they called you an outcast saying” (NIV 2008). Conclusion In this research, the reader will have a better understanding about some of the major depressive disorders.

    Although the term ‘abnormal behaviour’ is sensitive in the context of psychological disorders or contextual factors (e. g. Major Depressive Disorder), they have been recognized cross-culturally and over many decades of time. The field of psychopathology, or abnormal psychology, deals with a variety of forms in behaviour issues and symptoms that can plague people’s livelihood. Sometimes they are genetically pre-disposed and in other times, they are brought on by stressors or significant circumstances in one’s life. These paper views the symptoms that constitute psychological disorders or mental illnesses. Throughout history, t is important to know the causes of abnormal behaviour: especially, in light of depression and how it has been grossly misconstrued or developed in terms of worldviews. Furthermore, getting a sense of what is now understood, it is clear that there is a lot more advancement needed in the area of depression. In essence, this is what makes the study and research of abnormal psychology so intriguing.


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    Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed. , text rev. ). Washington, DC: Author. American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision: DSM-IV-TR. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.. ISBN 0890420254. Burton, R. (2010). The Anatomy of Melancholy. N. p. : Project Lutenburg. , eBook. Retrieved Date __, 20__, from http://www. gutenberg. org/ebooks/10800 Carolina, M. , Peter, F. , & Stephen, S. R. (2007). Major Depressive Disorder and Cognitive Schemas. Washington, WA: American Psychological Association.

    Comer, R. J. (2011). Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology (6th ed. , pp. 193-213). New York, NY: Worth Publishers. Girdlera, S. S. , & Klatzkinb, R. (2007). Neurosteroids in the context of stress: Implications for depressive disorders (ed. , Vol. 16, pp. 125-139). Chapel Hill, NC: Department of Psychiatry. National Institute of Mental Health. (1989). Plan Talk about Depression. Rockville, MD: U. S. Department of Health & Human Services. Natural Remedies for Depression: Alternative Treatments to Antidepressants. (2010). N. p. : Depression-help-resource. com. Retrieved October 13, 2011, from http://www. epression-help-resource. com/natural-remedies-for-depression. htm Marsella, A. J. (2003). (e. g. , Bebbington, 1993; DesJarlais, Eisenberg, Good, & Kleinman, 1995). Cultural Aspects of Depressive Experience and Disorders. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture (Unit 9, Chapter 4). ©International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology. NIV (2008), (NIV ed. ) AL: Zondervan. Live Application Study Bible, used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. Schwartz, A. , & Schwartz, R. (1993). Depression: Theories & Treatments. New York: Columbia University Press. The Biblical and Christian W. 2007). Worldview in Medicine: Choosing Life and Health or Disease and Death. Covenant Enterprises: The Biblical and Christian Worldview. Retrieved Date __, 20__, from http://www. biblicalworldview21. org/Medicine/Brief_Worldview_Medicine. asp Wilson, D. (2010). The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. N. p. : Mind Mine. Retrieved Date __, 20__, from http://www. adrenalfatigue. org/cortisol-and-adrenal-function. html World Health Organization. (2011). “Mission Statement”. N. p. : WHO. Retrieved Date __, 20__, from http://www. who. int/bulletin/mission_statement/en/index. html

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