Individual has feelings of intense sadness and/or guilt
There is a lack of enjoyment or pleasure in activities which used to elicit such feelings
Sufferer finds it difficult to get off to sleep and difficult to wake up
Their levels of motivation are very low
An imbalance of neurotransmitters is thought to cause depression
Only 50% success rate
Could be ANY neurotransmitters!
There is a deficit in the dopamine reward system caused by low serotonin levels
Placebos often as effective as SSRIs
It is thought that the levels of noradrenalin may also be too low
These chemical imbalances may be the result of genetic tendencies as there appears to be a genetic link to depression
There are suggestions that the high levels of cortisol associated with stress may also play a role in the development of depression
Drug treatments use psychoactive drugs that change the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain
Fast-acting, But still take a while to work...
e.g. antidepressants increase the availability of serotonin or other monoamines as low levels of monoamines are implicated in unipolar depression.
ECT may be better for extreme cases?
Psychiatrists will adjust the quantity of a drug so it is tailored to the level needed for that patient
Addictive, Withdrawal effetcs
Antidepressants for treating mental disorders are available on prescription and patients will be monitored to ensure they are responding to the drugs
Enable day-to-day life
Can be taken during pregnancy?
Relies on patient taking
There are several different categories of drugs for treating unipolar depression and it may be necessary to try several different ones until the drug that suits a particular patient best is found
Treats symptoms, not cause
Faulty thought processes that are learned may cause depression
Symptom not cause?
Supporting evidence in teenagers
The individual has a negative self view which affects the way they interpret the world
The more the person interprets things negatively the more depressed they become causing mood to spiral downward
Catastrophising is involved as the individual interprets every situation in the worst possible way, seeing disaster where there is none
Helplessness will develop, driving depression even deeper
Seligman's Animal Research
The therapy works to try and help the patient identify negative and unhelpful thoughts and to try and change them.
May be a symptom, not a cause
The rationale of CBT is that our thoughts affect our feelings and behaviour, and so by changing our thoughts, we can make ourselves feel better.
No better than other therapies?
Effective alongside drug treamtents, Most studies suggest a mix of therapies is more effective
This may involve drawing diagrams for the patients to try and show them the links between their thinking, behaviour and emotions.
The therapy is collaborative, the therapist and the patient will agree on what the patient wants to change.
Not suitable for everyone
Usually it takes place once a week and consists of at least five-to-twenty sessions, progress is reviewed at around 20 sessions.