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Depression by Mind Map: Depression
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Intense sadness/guilt

Individual has feelings of intense sadness and/or guilt

Lack of enjoyment

There is a lack of enjoyment or pleasure in activities which used to elicit such feelings

Sleep problems

Sufferer finds it difficult to get off to sleep and difficult to wake up

Low motivtion

Their levels of motivation are very low

Biological Explanation: Monoamine Hypothesis

Imbalance in neurotransmitters

An imbalance of neurotransmitters is thought to cause depression

Low serotonin

There is a deficit in the dopamine reward system caused by low serotonin levels

Low noradrenalin

It is thought that the levels of noradrenalin may also be too low

Genetic link

These chemical imbalances may be the result of genetic tendencies as there appears to be a genetic link to depression

High cortisol

There are suggestions that the high levels of cortisol associated with stress may also play a role in the development of depression

Biological Treatment: Anti-Depressants

Change neurotransmitter levels

Drug treatments use psychoactive drugs that change the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain

E.g. affect monoamines

e.g. antidepressants increase the availability of serotonin or other monoamines as low levels of monoamines are implicated in unipolar depression.

Dosage can be adjusted

Psychiatrists will adjust the quantity of a drug so it is tailored to the level needed for that patient

Available on perscrption

Antidepressants for treating mental disorders are available on prescription and patients will be monitored to ensure they are responding to the drugs

Patient can try different types

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

Cognitive Explanation

Fault thought processes

Faulty thought processes that are learned may cause depression

Negative self-view

The individual has a negative self view which affects the way they interpret the world

Downward spiral

The more the person interprets things negatively the more depressed they become causing mood to spiral downward

E.g. Catastraphising

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

Cognitive Treatment: CBT

Identifies negative thoughts

The therapy works to try and help the patient identify negative and unhelpful thoughts and to try and change them.

Changing out thoughts changes our behaviour

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.

May involve diagrams

This may involve drawing diagrams for the patients to try and show them the links between their thinking, behaviour and emotions.

Collaborative therapy

The therapy is collaborative, the therapist and the patient will agree on what the patient wants to change.

Once a week for 5-20 weeks

Usually it takes place once a week and consists of at least five-to-twenty sessions, progress is reviewed at around 20 sessions.