Depressionis common in majority of people. According to mind.
org.uk (2013) depression is medicalillness that shows symptoms of low mood that lasts for a long time, and affectsyour everyday life including the way you think, feel and react. Seligman (1973)stated that “depression is like the ‘common cold’ of psychiatry because of itsfrequency of diagnosis”. Psychiatry.
org (2017) states that depression affectsabout 6.7% of adults in each year. The biological and the psychodynamicapproach both attempt to explain depression in very different ways.
There aredifferent treatments arising from both approaches. This essay will lookthoroughly at the views of what depression is and treatments of depression onthe biological approach and psychodynamic approach. Thebiological approach believes that mental disorders such as depression arerelated to the functioning and physical structure of the brain. This approachfocuses on genetics, neuroanatomy, neurotransmitters and neurophysiology and italso believes that disorders have an organic or physical cause. According to Nemade et al (2007) in twinstudies, scientists have found that there is a powerful genetic influence indepression. Identical twins are three times as possible to have depression thanfraternal twins raised in the same environment. This is because fraternal twinsonly have fifty percent of the same genes in common.
This suggests thatdepression can be inherited. Even if twins are adopted they still have thevulnerability to become depressed. Thus, there is evidence that there is agenetic link to depression and it suggest that people may carry genes thatpredispose them to depression. This shows that depression could be because ofgenetic predispositions.
In astudy by Wender et al (1986) to investigate whether genetics or the environmentseemed to be more associated with depression in adopted adults. In this studyall participants were removed from their mothers at a young age. The resultsshowed that adoptive parents were eight times more likely to have depressionand the biological parents having depression correlated more significantly withdepression in the adopted children than the adopted parents having depression (Wenderet al, 1986). This shows that depression can be as a result of the biologicalapproach.On theother hand, in Monoamine Oxidase Hypothesis (MAOH) depression is said to because by a reduction of serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine (psychologywizard.net, 2017). These factors all causesmelancholic symptoms of depression. The high levels of these factors causemania and serotonin (5-HT), norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and dopamine areknown as monoamine oxidase (MAO) transmitter (psychologywizard.
net, 2017). TheMAOH is working backwards by understanding the mechanisms of the drugs that inducesor reduces depressive symptoms (psychologywizard.net, 2017). Davison and Neale(2001) supports MAOH, by saying that they are effective in treating depressionand there is a strong link is established between low levels of serotonin anddepression.
However,according to Claridge and Davis (2003) the MAOH is the longest standingbiological explanation for depression but it may take about seven-fourteen daysor more to work. As a result, by that time the neurotransmitters have alreadyreturned to their previous levels and hence, a little increase in theneurotransmitters is not enough to explain the reason that the drugs easedepression. Hence, there is no evidence that depression is caused by serotoninor whether depression causes low serotonin or is there another factor thatcauses the both. This shows that the MAOH may not always be a reliable sourcein explaining depression.Thereare two treatments according to the biological approach that will help intreating depression.
These two treatments are known as the tricyclicsantidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Thetricyclics antidepressants are one of the oldest classifications ofantidepressants and they are still widely used such as amitriptyline. They stopthe reuptake of noradrenaline and serotonin. However, patients may experiencesevere side effects such as shaking, dry mouth and weight gain.
The SSRIs arethe newest and they were developed in order to present a positive response tothe need for better tolerated such as fluoxetine. They are safer than TCAs,however, the are no less effective for the symptoms of depression. The levelsof serotonin that are raised are achieved by SSRIs and they produce a greatantidepressant effect, an example of this is Prozac. Therefore, thesetreatments can be proven to treat depression. However, according to Hatzinger(2010) the SSRIs were developed to reduce side effects, but it has been proventhat about 25 to 50% of people do not respond to the treatments.
Furthermore,other biological alternatives were introduced because some patients were notresponding to the treatments. Two of the biological alternatives are asfollows: electroconvulsive therapy and partial sleep deprivation are veryeffective in the treatment of critical depression. Light therapy is establishedtreatment alternative, in cases such as seasonal affective disorders. The othertreatment is rapid transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) this is a newbiological treatment approach and it has shown inconsistent results. Biologicaltreatments are not seen as effective enough on its own to use on patients andtherefore, patients are offered a combination of biological and psychologicaltreatments and are often used in combination. These are the treatments to treatdepression according to the biological approach.Accordingto McLeod (2014), the psychodynamic approach believes that problems are formedin the unconscious mind. These symptoms are seen as caused by hiddendisturbances and these causes includes unresolved issues during childhooddevelopment (McLeod, 2014).
McLeod(2014), states that the “treatment focuses on bringing the repressed conflictto consciousness, where the patient can deal with it”. Psychoanalysts believesthat depression is related back to the loss every child may experience whenthey are realizing the separateness from their parents early in childhood. Thisapproach assumes that the reduction of symptoms alone is unimportant, if the basicconflict is not resolved. It is believed that the neurotic symptoms will simplybe substituted. Failure to resolve this, the person may be predisposed todepression in later life.Accordingto Freud (1917), every stage of the psychosexual stage is linked with aconflict, that must be resolved before the individual can successfully progressto the next stage. In order to resolve these conflicts, it requires theexpenditure of the sexual energy and the more energy that is expended at aspecific stage, the more the important characteristics of that stage remainwith the individual as he/she matures psychologically.
Depression is caused bya combination of unconscious forces in early childhood experiences. Freud(1917) believed that depression begins from the oral stage of the psychosexualdevelopment which occurs during the first year of a child’s life. Within thisstage the child relies on their caregiver to satisfy their needs by oralfeeding. The individuals whose needs are unsatisfied or over satisfied duringthis stage may become fixated and are dependent on other people to maintainself-esteem. This personality allowsthem to be vulnerable to depression and they spend their time in seeking thelove and approval of others. Freud(1917) also assumed that deep in human’s unconsciousness, unknown to them arefeelings of hatred and negativity towards people they love, and this is turnedin on oneself. This is known as the unconscious process, this states that theindividuals do not connect their feelings with their parents.
For example; ifan individual experience a loss, later in their life, they may stir up theunresolved conflicts in their unconscious mind. However, this approach may be effective in various ways such as many ofthe different observations of psychodynamic therapists appear to be borne outin everyday life, for example defence mechanisms. Many people withpsychological disturbances do recollect childhood traumas and Freud’s theoryprovides a comprehensive framework to describe human personality. Freud (1917)rehumanised the distressed, thereby allowing their suffering to becomprehensible to the rest of society. Freud (1917) developed a method for thetreatments and thereby encouraging a more optimistic view regardingpsychological distress. Hence, mental illness could be treated in some cases.
On the other hand, Freud (1917) used a biased sample to relate to his study. Accordingto the psychodynamic approach the treatments involves in treating depression(psychoanalysis), are by encouraging the client to recall that experience andto unravel the fixations that have built up around it. Care is taken with transferencewhen working with depressed clients because of their overwhelming need to bedependent on others. The goal for theclients is for them to become less dependent and to develop a more useful wayof understanding and accepting the negative factors in their lives.Psychoanalysis is a long process which involves 2 to 5 sessions per week forseveral years.
There is a blank screen whereas the client will disclose verylittle information about themselves to ensure that the client will be able touse the space in the relationship to work on their unconscious withoutinterference. The therapist may use one or more of the following techniquessuch as free association, interpretation, therapist neutrality, transferenceand working through. These are the treatments of the psychodynamic approach. However,Shapiro and Emde (1991) states that psychodynamic therapies have beensuccessful only sometimes. Some depressed people may be uninterested toparticipate in the session and a more directive approach may be useful such asCBT. Other people may want a quick response and this treatment take some time.The psychoanalysis is very subjective as it depends on the therapistinterpretation.
Overall, this treatment is time consuming and people must beprepared to invest a lot of time into it. Some painful memories may be relived, and they might cause some moredistress. Psychoanalysis does not provide a proper balance of power between thetherapist and client. This therapy does not work for everyone and all types ofdisorders.Inconclusion, the biological and psychodynamic approach have aimed to explaindepression according to their approach and the treatments that may arise.However, there are strengths and weakness for both approaches.