Depression — Behavioural, Emotional and Social Characteristics
Depression is classified as a mood disorder. DSM-V distinguishes between major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder which is long term and/or recurring.
Behavioural Symptoms/Characteristics of Depression:
|Shift in activity levels||Individuals may see a reduction or increase in their activities. Many individuals experience reduced energy levels, a sense of tiredness and a need to sleep all of the time. Some become increasingly agitated and restless and may pace around the room.|
|Sleep||Some individual sleep more whilst other individuals sleep less.|
|Appetite||There is a great variation in this factor, some individuals eat more whilst others eat less.|
Emotional Symptoms/Characteristics of Depression:
|Formal diagnosis||A formal diagnosis requires that an individual holds five symptoms of depression which must include either sadness or loss of interest and pleasure in normal activities.|
|Sadness||A very common feeling associated amongst depression sufferers (along with feelings of emptiness). People may feel worthless, hopeless, have low-self-esteem (generally suffer from negative emotions).|
|Loss of interest/pleasure||In usual hobbies and activities. Such behaviour is often associated with the feeling of losing control.|
|Anger||Directed towards others or turned inwards on the self.|
Cognitive Symptoms/Characteristics of Depression:
|Negative self-concept||An individual may feel guilt or that they are worthless/don’t matter.|
|Negative view of the world||An expectation that things are always going to turn out badly rather than positively.|
|Negative view of the future||Depression sufferers believe that negative situations are never going to change.|
There are many psychological and biological explanations of depression however, as part of the AQA Psychology A level specification the requirement is that students can explain depression from a Cognitive perspective. Click here to learn about the Cognitive Explanation of depression.
Click here to learn how Cognitive psychologists would treat depression.