An Overview of Depression

An Overview of Depression


            Depression is a condition that can happen to any individual, regardless of their age and sex. It is characterized by changing moods, loneliness, and negative thinking. There are various methods in treating depression.

            This paper will delve on the various treatment methods used in removing depression as well as an assessment on the effectivity of each therapy method.

An Overview of Depression

            Depression is a condition that is commonly experienced by a normal individual. Once in a while, they would feel sad or tired. Regardless of color, age, or status in life, individuals get depressed at some point in their lives. However, females are more prone to be affected by this condition than males (Nemours Foundation, n.d).

            It is hard to understand an individual who is depressed. Usually, this condition is characterized by mood swings on the part of the depressed individual. However, this is not the only change that is manifested by a depressed individual. They may suddenly lose their appetite, their enthusiasm, and sometimes their sleeping habits (Nemours Foundation, n.d).

Causes of Depression

            Depression is a compendium of several factors. There are instances when it is rooted in the family of the individual. The genetic structure plays an important role in bringing about depression. However, this is not true all the time because even individuals who do not have a history of the condition experience depression from time to time (Nemours Foundation, n.d).

            Another possible cause of depression is the events that transpire in the life of a person can likewise stimulate depression. Losing a family member or favorite pet can be depressing as well. Divorce or separation of parents or transferring to another school can bring about depressive disorder (Nemours Foundation, n.d).

            Aside from that, the kind of atmosphere pervading in the family or community of the individual is a factor that causes depression. Alcoholic beverages and some substances contribute to the condition of depression (Nemours Foundation, n.d).

            Finally, depression is a symptom of some medical conditions such as hypothyroidism as well as undiscovered learning deficiencies among teens are depressing factors as well (Nemours Foundation, n.d).

The Kinds of Depression

            There are various kinds of depression. In some instances, the condition can be severe that may extend for weeks. For other persons, depression can be more subtle but may last for as long as years.  The condition that is intense but temporary is called major depression. In contrast, dysthymia is the enduring but less intense kind of depression (Nemours Foundation, n.d).

            Another kind of depression is known as adjustment disorder with depressed mood. This condition is brought about by the reaction of an individual to a certain event in their life. This results from the inability of a person to immediately cope with the tragic event that it becomes an interference to the normal activities of the person (Nemours Foundation, n.d).

            Another type of depression is bipolar disorder, otherwise known as manic depressive illness. Here an individual experiences major depression combined with manic attacks. Mania is a term that denotes a condition characterized for unusually high mood and excessive burst of unconventional activity or energy (Nemours Foundation, n.d).

Depression According to a Freudian/Psychoanalyst

            To a psychoanalyst, depression is an observable behavior. One can easily detect that an individual is depressed because it can be seen in their facial expression, gestures, and lack of communication. A depressed individual, to the mind of a psychoanalyst, will be inclined to engage in an interesting venture which is not the case if they are not depressed (Macdonald, n.d).

            According to a psychoanalyst, how an individual perceives their future has an impact on depression. Depressed people usually make connections between their past and future. If an event in their past is currently blocking their view of the future, this may be sufficient grounds for them not to pursue their goals for the future (Macdonald, n.d).

Depression According to a Behaviorist

            Most behavioral theories consider depression as a skill that can both be learned and unlearned. Depression resulted from the integration of individual environment and absence of personal skills. Since there are various stressing factors in their environment, an individual is no longer motivated by their environment because they do not find anything rewarding or favorable. For instance, people work regularly because they know that they will be compensated or rewarded for it (Nemade, Reiss, & Dombeck, 2007b).

            For behaviorists, the lack of positive motivation may hinder an individual from coping up with the situation. Depression may hit a terminated employee who is unable to find a replacement for their old job. A child who has just transferred to a new community may no longer find pleasure in making friends after losing their old peers (Nemade, Reiss, & Dombeck, 2007b).

Depression According to Cognitive Theorists

            To cognitive psychologists like Ellis and Bandura, depression is a result of irrational thoughts and absolute statements. They have the tendency to exaggerate expectations and make unqualified demands from other people (Nemade, Reiss, & Dombeck, 2007a).

            In addition, depressed people have the tendency to have certain preferences in receiving information. They dwell too much on negative information, reject the positive ones, and over-generalize events. For example, if things did not turn out the way they wanted, depressed people would usually think that everything will not be favorable for them. Depressed people have the tendency to overlook the positive side of things (their successes, achievements, etc.) (Nemade, Reiss, & Dombeck, 2007b).

The Biological View of Depression

            In the biological perspective, depression is seen as a physical illness brought about by deficiencies in the amount of serotonin and noradrenalin. This will explain the reason why a depressed individual exhibits a sudden drop in their mood and energy (Priest, 2006).

Treating Depression

            Depression is a condition that can be easily treated regardless of the severity of the condition. Because there is a tendency for depression to come back, maintenance therapy coupled with short-term treatment is recommended. Aside from that, there are other alternative treatment methods available for patients.

            Freudian/Psychoanalyst Method

            Generally, a psychoanalyst would attempt to eliminate all the symptoms of depression so that the patient can have a normal life again. Each psychotherapy session is short and has time restrictions. There are three methods of psychotherapy that the patient can choose: personalized, group, or family or marriage. Prior to the treatment, the psychotherapist would determine if psychotherapy is the appropriate treatment (Macdonald, n.d).

            With this kind of treatment, the patient should be honest with the therapist. The effect of psychotherapy is immediate but it would need from eight to ten weeks before the patient can fully recover. Psychotherapy is ideal for people suffering from mild to moderate depression (Macdonald, n.d).

            If the patient gets cured by psychotherapy, the therapist would make decision whether to continue sessions and the extent of the follow-up sessions (Macdonald, n.d).


            Cognitive behavior therapy sessions are personalized and brief. The focus of the therapist is on the current as well as what the patient knows. The aim of each session is to point out flaws in the thoughts and beliefs of the patient and then modify them through constant repetition (Nemade, Reiss, & Dombeck, 2007b).

            The main contention in behavior therapy is that the patients think negatively about their situation which results to undesirable behavior and feelings. In the first stage of the therapy session, the therapist aids the client in uncovering these thoughts. Next, the negative feelings are replaced by positive reinforcements (Nemade, Reiss, & Dombeck, 2007).

            Cognitive Behaviorists

            The focus of a cognitive therapist is to make the patient aware of faulty thoughts causing the depression, reinforce such behavior, and modify them. It is worth noting though that not all behavior distortions are being corrected but just those that may be leading to depressive behaviors. In this method, both the patient and therapist will discover ways on how to transform these ill thoughts into realistic ones (Nemade, Reiss, & Dombeck, 2007b).

            Biological Treatment

            Essentially, the best method of treating depression biologically is to take anti-depressant pills such as Prozac or Seroxat. The function of these medicines is to prevent the neurotransmitters from undergoing recycling process. Generally, this method focuses on breaking the “cycle of depression.”  Because anti-depressants may have side effects on the patient, it is recommended to seek prescription from the doctor (Nemade, Reiss, & Dombeck, 2007b).

The Effectiveness of Therapies In Treating Depression

In my opinion, I think psychotherapy is the most effective therapy in a sense that it gets rid of the root problem. Anti-depressants can have side effects and provides temporary cure only compared to psychotherapy. Another reason why psychotherapy in my view is more effective is because it has the likelihood of depression being eliminated permanently with follow-up therapy.


            Depression is a condition that can be easily treated. While there are many forms of therapies available to alleviate the condition of the depressed individual, the most effective way of treating depression is by removing negative thoughts.


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