Psychological Theories Of Depression

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“A depressed man lives with his mind turned back in his past, where he discovers causes that might “explain” his suffering or signs of predestination for his endless failure”. This is how Giovan Battista Cassano, director of the department of psychiatry in the University of Pisa, in Italy, defines the “negative thinking” of depressed people, one of the cognitive symptoms that characterizes the disorder. Unipolar depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is the most commonly diagnosed form of depression, whose diagnosis requires at least five symptoms of depression that must last at least 2 weeks, one of which must be abnormal loss of interest in activities or depressed mood. The symptoms, that must be severe enough to interfere with…show more content…
Among the psychological theories of depression, the most effective in treating the sense of guilt and lack of self-confidence are the behavioral theory and the cognitive theory. The first one suggests that depressive symptoms arise from the reduction of positive reinforcers in life. The individual withdraws from activities which are perceived as meaningless. The withdrawal will lead to further reduction of reinforcers, which will result in even more withdrawal. Behavioral therapy, therefore, focuses on the increase of positive reinforcers and decrease of withdrawal actions by helping the patient to interact in a different manner with other people and the environment. After a functional analysis of symptoms and the circumstances under which the symptoms appear, the therapist helps the client to change the aspects of the environment which are cause of depressive…show more content…
Several studies, however, showed that, despite the differences of approach among treatments, psychological therapies have the same positive effect of drug therapies in treatment of unipolar depression (Derubeis, Gelfand, Tang, Simons, 1999). This paper, therefore, will investigate the effectiveness of cognitive and drug therapy, in order to establish whether a combination of them, in comparison with each single treatment, might be more effective in the relieve of both physical and cognitive symptoms of depression. In fact, while cognitive therapy alone would reduce the negative way of thinking of depressed people, and the use of reuptake inhibitors would improve the mood and decrease physical symptoms, the combination of them might reduce a larger number of symptoms, both cognitive and physical. We hypothesize, therefore, that individuals who receive both cognitive and drug therapy will have higher reduction of symptoms than individuals which receive only one of these

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