Module 7 Discussion -- Depression sucks
Depression is the most common of the psychological disorders after phobias. Recent
studies show that between 15 and 25 percent of us have suffered a clinically
diagnosed major depressive episode in the past few years -- up to half of us will likely
experience at least one such depression at some point in our lives (Patton, 2009). Feelings
of depression are often the result of a very sad experience or difficult circumstances and
then are normal and expected, and even helpful to us so that we realize how seriously our
situation is affecting us so we can get help and support or make changes, but other times
it spirals out of control and becomes dangerous.
The DSM-5 lists the following criteria for depression:
Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week
period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is
either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
(1) depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective
report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful).
Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.
(2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the
day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by
(3) significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than
5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.
(4) insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
(5) psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not
merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)
(6) fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
(7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be
delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)
(8) diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either
by subjective account or as observed by others)
(9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without
a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide
------------ ---------------Please consider all three of these ideas carefully:
a) Imagine someone who has global, stable and internal explanations for why she has
problems with friendships. Give some specific sentences she might use to describe her
I am not social and do not comprehend what is wrong with me
I am always uncertain if people will like me or find me interesting, so I do not approach
People might judge me or make fun
I lack social skills thus I find social integration difficult
People always feel uncomfortable and try as much as possible to avoid associating with
When growing up I was told by classmates that I seem and act weird, so people see me as
I am from a relatively underprivileged background, so it is hard to make friends with
b) Can you see how these explanations are related to shame and may lead to depression?
Yes. There is a pervasive sense of low self-esteem and the person interprets her inability
not to make friends as a problem within her and not in the acquaintances. The feeling of
not feeling worthy, not being like and self-acknowledgement that they have a problem,
which maybe just but a false assumption, may result in depression. Again, experiences
could shape the ideology of low self-worth, for instance past abusive relationships, being
mistreated at home or being recurrently bullied in the early developmental stages. Also,
negative opinions of one-self or ones status can lead to false assumptions about who other
people view them. This could also lead to aspects of shame as well as depression.
c) Study the discussion of Beck’s cognitive therapy carefully. Ca...