A clear picture of the causes of depression and real ways of overcoming it is still missing. Psychotherapy has not developed effective methods of combating depression, although it uses the results of studies of such sciences as neurobiology, sociology, biology and general medicine. Therefore, conducting a depression case study in the framework of psychotherapy gives scientists the opportunity to build hypotheses in different directions.
The Current Situation
Meanwhile, the scale of the problem is enormous. Doctors have long recognized depression as a disease of the century – it affects ten percent of the world’s population. Every year up to 800 thousand people in the world, decide to commit suicide because of this scourge. Here we can see the practical application of a case study depression. The scientific development of this problem and the development of ways to overcome this disease will help to save a really large number of people.
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In the past two decades, this condition has grown to the level of not only the most important medical, but also socioeconomic problem. As predicted by experts, by 2020, depression will occupy the second place among all human diseases. Neither living well-being nor high incomes nor stable economy protect from it- the prevalence of depression is high in both low-income and rich strata of the population, both in developing and in economically prosper countries. This makes a psychological case study on depression even more ambiguous and contradictory.
Main Theories Why Depression Occurs
To date, there is no unified theory and understanding of why this disorder occurs. More than ten theories and basic scientific research are trying to explain the causes of this painful condition. All available theories, paradigms can be conditionally divided into two groups. The first one is biological.
From biological theories, the most proven for today is the genetic predisposition. The essence of the teaching is that somewhere in the genus of the patient at the genetic level there was a failure, which is inherited. This “erroneous” predisposition is inherited and may be more likely to manifest itself under a certain confluence of life circumstances (stress factors, prolonged stay in conflict, chronic illness, alcoholism, etc.).
One Real Example
Winston Churchill is one of the examples that prove this theory. So conducting a case study depression patient on the basis of his personality makes sense. When we talk about Churchill, we think of a great man with extraordinary abilities, who had a sharp mind and a great sense of honor. But few people know that the Prime Minister of Great Britain suffered from serious clinical depression. In the Churchill family, five of the seven last Dukes of Marlborough suffered from severe melancholy. Pathologically burdened heredity not only determined the ups and downs of the mood of the greatest English politician but also influenced his political activity. Affective disorders in a noble family had a different cause. Churchill’s father, a member of the House of Commons and Chancellor of the Treasury, contracted syphilis long before his startling career. When the disease reached its climax, he began hallucinations, which often caused confusion and horror among others. Progressive paralysis led him to death at the age of 45 years. His mother, the daughter of a wealthy American businessperson, grew up a very nervous child and was considered one of the most beautiful women of her time. The genetic predisposition to pathologies also affected the fate of Churchill’s daughters. The eldest, Diana (1909), in 1953, fell into a long depression and, without a noticeable improvement in her condition, moved from one psychiatric clinic to another. And not recovered, began to seek consolation in alcohol. In the end, in 1963 she committed suicide. Younger daughter Sarah also suffered from alcohol dependence.
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Churchill himself could work day and night during the ascent. He was unusually versatile, even universal, and tireless in his work, continuously writing letters, books and making speeches, impatient, impulsive and irritable, brave to imprudence, boundlessly authoritarian. In conformity with his own confessions, he had a two or three year period of depression in his youth with thoughts of suicide. The second period of depression was observed at the age of 31-32 years, and the third – at 45 years, when he even refrained from reading and talking with others.
Another group of theories of understanding the disease refers to the so-called psychological or socio-psychological approaches. Here the explanation of the onset and course of the disease is based on studying the problems of patient communication, the characteristics of his personality, the psychological problems of his growing up, living in the present, the level of stress.
Therefore, a case study for depression is a difficult task. Researchers are faced with a large number of theories and hypothesis, and each of them has a right to exist. Depression is a very ambiguous condition, and a very large number of people are susceptible to this disease due to various factors.