Depression Theories | Simply Psychology (2022)

Psychological Theories of Depression

By Dr. Saul McLeod, published 2015

Depression is a mood disorder which prevents individuals from leading a normal life, at work socially or within their family. Seligman (1973) referred to depression as the ‘common cold’ of psychiatry because of its frequency of diagnosis.

Depending on how data are gathered and how diagnoses are made, as many as 27% of some population groups may be suffering from depression at any one time (NIMH, 2001; data for older adults).

Depression Theories | Simply Psychology (1)

Behaviorist Theory

Behaviorism emphasizes the importance of the environment in shaping behavior. The focus is on observable behavior and the conditions through which individuals' learn behavior, namely classical conditioning, operant conditioning and social learning theory.

Therefore depression is the result of a person's interaction with their environment.

For example, classical conditioning proposes depression is learned through associating certain stimuli with negative emotional states. Social learning theory states behavior is learned through observation, imitation and reinforcement.

Operant Conditioning

Operant conditioning states that depression is caused by the removal of positive reinforcement from the environment (Lewinsohn, 1974). Certain events, such as losing your job, induce depression because they reduce positive reinforcement from others (e.g. being around people who like you).

Depressed people usually become much less socially active. In addition depression can also be caused through inadvertent reinforcement of depressed behavior by others.

For example, when a loved one is lost, an important source of positive reinforcement has lost as well. This leads to inactivity. The main source of reinforcement is now the sympathy and attention of friends and relatives.

However this tends to reinforce maladaptive behavior i.e. weeping, complaining, talking of suicide. This eventually alienates even close friends leading to even less reinforcement, increasing social isolation and unhappiness. In other words depression is a vicious cycle in which the person is driven further and further down.

Also if the person lacks social skills or has a very rigid personality structure they may find it difficult to make the adjustments needed to look for new and alternative sources of reinforcement (Lewinsohn, 1974). So they get locked into a negative downward spiral.

Critical Evaluation

Behavioral/learning theories makes sense in terms of reactive depression, where there is a clearly identifiable cause of depression. However, one of the biggest problems for the theory is that of endogenous depression. This is depression that has no apparent cause (i.e. nothing bad has happened to the person).

An additional problem of the behaviorist approach is that it fails to take into account cognitions (thoughts) influence on mood.

Psychodynamic Theory

During the 1960's psychodynamic theories dominated psychology and psychiatry. Depression was understood in terms of:

  1. inwardly directed anger (Freud, 1917),
  2. introjection of love object loss,
  3. severe super-ego demands (Freud, 1917),
  4. excessive narcissistic, oral and/or anal personality need (Chodoff, 1972),
  5. loss of self-esteem (Bibring, 1953; Fenichel, 1968), and
  6. deprivation in the mother child relationship during the first year (Kleine, 1934).

Freud’s psychoanalytic theory is an example of the psychodynamic approach. Freud (1917) prosed that many cases of depression were due to biological factors. However, Freud also argued that some cases of depression could be linked to loss or rejection by a parent. Depression is like grief, in that it often occurs as a reaction to the loss of an important relationship.

(Video) Major Depressive Disorder | Clinical Presentation

However, there is an important difference, because depressed people regard themselves as worthless. What happens is that the individual identifies with the lost person, so that repressed anger towards the lost person is directed inwards towards the self. The inner directed anger reduces the individual’s self-esteem, and makes him/her vulnerable to experiencing depression in the future.

Freud distinguished between actual losses (e.g. death of a loved one) and symbolic losses (e.g. loss of a job). Both kinds of losses can produce depression by causing the individual to re-experience childhood episodes when they experienced loss of affection from some significant person (e.g. a parent).

Later, Freud modified his theory stating that the tendency to internalize loss objects is normal, and that depression is simply due to an excessively severe super-ego. Thus, the depressive phase occurs when the individual’s super-ego or conscience is dominant. In contrast, the manic phase occurs when the individual’s ego or rational mind asserts itself, and s/he feels control.

In order to avoid loss turning into depression, the individual needs to engage in a period of mourning work, during which s/he recalls memories of the lost one. This allows the individual to separate him/herself from the lost person, and so reduce the inner-directed anger. However, individuals very dependent on others for their sense of self-esteem may be unable to do this, and so remain extremely depressed.

Critical Evaluation

Psychoanalytic theories of depression have had a profound impact on contemporary theories of depressions. For example, Beck's (1983) model of depression was influenced by psychoanalytic ideas such as the loss of self-esteem (re: Beck's negative view of self), object loss (re: the importance of loss events), external narcissistic deprivation (re: hypersensitivity to loss of social resources) and oral personality (re: sociotropic personality).

However, although being highly influential, psychoanalytic theories are difficult to test scientifically. For example, many of its central features cannot be operationally defined with sufficient precision to allow empirical investigation. Mendelson (1990) concluded his review of psychoanalytic theories of depression by stating:

'A striking feature of the impressionistic pictures of depression painted by many writers is that they have the flavor of art rather than of science and may well represent profound personal intuitions as much as they depict they raw clinical data' (p. 31).

Another criticism concerns the psychanalytic emphasis on unconscious, intrapsychic processes and early childhood experience as being limiting in that they cause clinicians to overlook additional aspects of depression. For example, conscious negative self-verbalisation (Beck, 1967), or ongoing distressing life events (Brown & Harris, 1978).

Cognitive Approach

This approach focuses on people’s beliefs rather than their behavior. Depression results from systematic negative bias in thinking processes.

Emotional, behavioral (and possibly physical) symptoms result from cognitive abnormality. This means that depressed patients think differently to clinically normal people. The cognitive approach also assumes changes in thinking precede (i.e. come before) the onset of depressed mood.

Beck's (1967) Theory

One major cognitive theorist is Aaron Beck. He studied people suffering from depression and found that they appraised events in a negative way.

Beck (1967) identified three mechanisms that he thought were responsible for depression:

  1. The cognitive triad (of negative automatic thinking)
  2. Negative self schemas
  3. Errors in Logic (i.e. faulty information processing)

The cognitive triad are three forms of negative (i.e. helpless and critical) thinking that are typical of individuals with depression: namely negative thoughts about the self, the world and the future. These thoughts tended to be automatic in depressed people as they occurred spontaneously.

For example, depressed individuals tend to view themselves as helpless, worthless, and inadequate. They interpret events in the world in a unrealistically negative and defeatist way, and they see the world as posing obstacles that can’t be handled. Finally, they see the future as totally hopeless because their worthlessness will prevent their situation improving.

Depression Theories | Simply Psychology (2)

As these three components interact, they interfere with normal cognitive processing, leading to impairments in perception, memory and problem solving with the person becoming obsessed with negative thoughts.

Depression Theories | Simply Psychology (3)

(Video) Introduction to Psychology Depression and Major Depressive Disorder

Beck believed that depression prone individuals develop a negative self-schema. They possess a set of beliefs and expectations about themselves that are essentially negative and pessimistic. Beck claimed that negative schemas may be acquired in childhood as a result of a traumatic event. Experiences that might contribute to negative schemas include:

  • Death of a parent or sibling.
  • Parental rejection, criticism, overprotection, neglect or abuse.
  • Bullying at school or exclusion from peer group.

However, a negative self-schema predisposes the individual to depression, and therefore someone who has acquired a cognitive triad will not necessarily develop depression. Some kind of stressful life event is required to activate this negative schema later in life. Once the negative schema are activated a number of illogical thoughts or cognitive biases seem to dominate thinking.

People with negative self schemas become prone to making logical errors in their thinking and they tend to focus selectively on certain aspects of a situation while ignoring equally relevant information.

Beck (1967) identified a number of systematic negative bias' in information processing known as logical errors or faulty thinking. These illogical thought patterns are self-defeating, and can cause great anxiety or depression for the individual.For example:

  1. Arbitrary Inference. Drawing a negative conclusion in the absence of supporting data.
  2. Selective Abstraction. Focusing on the worst aspects of any situation.
  3. Magnification and Minimisation. If they have a problem they make it appear bigger than it is. If they have a solution they make it smaller.
  4. Personalization. Negative events are interpreted as their fault.
  5. Dichotomous Thinking. Everything is seen as black and white. There is no in between.

Such thoughts exacerbate, and are exacerbated by the cognitive triad. Beck believed these thoughts or this way of thinking become automatic. When a person’s stream of automatic thoughts is very negative you would expect a person to become depressed. Quite often these negative thoughts will persist even in the face of contrary evidence.

Critical Evaluation

Alloy et al. (1999) followed the thinking styles of young Americans in their early20s for 6 years. Their thinking style was tested and they were placed in either the‘positive thinking group’ or ‘negative thinking group’. After 6 years the researchersfound that only 1% of the positive group developed depression compared to 17%of the ‘negative’ group. These results indicate there may be a link betweencognitive style and development of depression.

However such a study may sufferfrom demand characteristics. The results are also correlational.It is important to remember that the precise role of cognitive processes is yet to bedetermined. The maladaptive cognitions seen in depressed people may be aconsequence rather than a cause of depression.

Learned Helplessness

Martin Seligman (1974) proposed a cognitive explanation of depression called learned helplessness. According to Seligman’s learned helplessness theory, depression occurs when a person learns that their attempts to escape negative situations make no difference.

As a consequence they become passive and will endure aversive stimuli or environments even when escape is possible.

Seligman based his theory on research using dogs.

Depression Theories | Simply Psychology (4)

A dog put into a partitioned cage learns to escape when the floor is electrified. If the dog is restrained whilst being shocked it eventually stops trying to escape.

Dogs subjected to inescapable electric shocks later failed to escape from shocks even when it was possible to do so. Moreover, they exhibited some of the symptoms of depression found in humans (lethargy, sluggishness, passive in the face of stress and appetite loss).

This led Seligman (1974) to explain depression in humans in terms of learned helplessness, whereby the individual gives up trying to influence their environment because they have learned that they are helpless as a consequence of having no control over what happens to them.

Although Seligman’s account may explain depression to a certain extent, it fails to take into account cognitions (thoughts). Abramson, Seligman, and Teasdale (1978) consequently introduced a cognitive version of the theory by reformulating learned helplessness in term of attributional processes (i.e. how people explain the cause of an event).

The depression attributional style is based on three dimensions, namely locus (whether the cause is internal - to do with a person themselves, or external - to do with some aspect of the situation), stability (whether the cause is stable and permanent or unstable and transient) and global or specific (whether the cause relates to the 'whole' person or just some particular feature characteristic).

In this new version of the theory, the mere presence of a negative event was not considered sufficient to produce a helpless or depressive state. Instead, Abramson et al. argued that people who attribute failure to internal, stable, and global causes are more likely to become depressed than those who attribute failure to external, unstable and specific causes. This is because the former attributional style leads people to the conclusion that they are unable to change things for the better.

Critical Evaluation

Gotlib and Colby (1987) found that people who were formerly depressed are actually no different from people who have never been depressed in terms of their tendencies to view negative events with an attitude of helpless resignation.

(Video) Origins of Dr. Aaron Beck's Theory of Depression

This suggests that helplessness could be a symptom rather than a cause of depression. Moreover, it may be that negative thinking generally is also an effect rather than a cause of depression.

Humanist Approach

Humanists believe that there are needs that are unique to the human species. According to Maslow (1962) the most important of these is the need for self-actualization (achieving out potential). The self actualizing human being has a meaningful life. Anything that blocks our striving to fulfil this need can be a cause of depression. What could cause this?

  1. Parents imposing conditions of worth on their children. I.e. rather than accepting the child for who s/he is and giving unconditional love, parents make love conditional on good behavior. E.g. a child may be blamed for not doing well at school, develop a negative self-image and feel depressed because of a failure to live up to parentally imposed standards.
  2. Some children may seek to avoid this by denying their true self and projecting an image of the kind of person they want to be. This façade or false self is an effort to please others. However the splitting off of the real self from the person you are pretending to be causes hatred of the self. The person then comes to despise themselves for living a lie.
  3. As adults self-actualization can be undermined by unhappy relationships and unfulfilling jobs. An empty shell marriage means the person is unable to give and receive love from their partner. An alienating job means the person is denied the opportunity to be creative at work.

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APA Style References

Abramson, L. Y., Seligman, M. E., & Teasdale, J. D. (1978). Learned helplessness in humans: critique and reformulation. Journal of abnormal psychology, 87(1), 49.

Alloy, L. B., Abramson, L. Y., Whitehouse, W. G., Hogan, M. E., Tashman, N. A., Steinberg, D. L., ... & Donovan, P. (1999). Depressogenic cognitive styles: Predictive validity, information processing and personality characteristics, and developmental origins. behavior research and therapy, 37(6), 503-531.

Beck, A. T. (1967). Depression: Causes and treatment. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Beck, A. T., Epstein, N., & Harrison, R. (1983). Cognitions, attitudes and personality dimensions in depression. British Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy.

Bibring, E. (1953). The mechanism of depression.

Brown, G. W., & Harris, T. (1978). Social origins of depression: a reply. Psychological Medicine, 8(04), 577-588.

Chodoff, P. (1972). The depressive personality: A critical review. Archives of General Psychiatry, 27(5), 666-673.

Fenichel, O. (1968). Depression and mania. The Meaning of Despair. New York: Science House.

Freud, S. (1917). Mourning and melancholia. Standard edition, 14(19), 17.

Gotlib, I. H., & Colby, C. A. (1987). Treatment of depression: An interpersonal systems approach. Pergamon Press.

Klein, M. (1934). Psychogenesis of manic-depressive states: contributions to psychoanalysis. London: Hogarth.

Lewinsohn, P. M. (1974). A behavioral approach to depression.

Maslow, A. H. (1962). Towards a psychology of being. Princeton: D. Van Nostrand Company.

(Video) Depression: Psychodynamic Perspective

National Institute of Mental Health. (2001). Depression research at the National Institute of Mental Health http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/complete-index.shtml.

Seligman, M. E. (1973). Fall into helplessness. Psychology today, 7(1), 43-48.

Seligman, M. E. (1974). Depression and learned helplessness. John Wiley & Sons.

Further Information

Abnormal PsychologyCBTAn Overview of PsychopathologyPsychoanalysisMedical Model of AbnormalityBehavioral TherapyCognitive TherapyList of Support GroupsCampaign against Living MiserablyMen do cry: one man’s experience of depressionNHS Self Help Guides

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McLeod, S. A.(2015, January 14). Psychological theories of depression. Simply Psychology. www.simplypsychology.org/depression.html

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FAQs

What are the main theories of depression? ›

The attributional reformulation of the learned helplessness model (Abramson et al., 1978) and Beck's cognitive theory (Beck et al., 1979) are the two most widely-accepted cognitive theories among contemporary cognitive models of depression (Vázquez et al., 2000).

What psychological theory explains depression? ›

Behaviorist Theory

Therefore depression is the result of a person's interaction with their environment. For example, classical conditioning proposes depression is learned through associating certain stimuli with negative emotional states.

What are theories of the causes of depression? ›

Research suggests that depression doesn't spring from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. Rather, there are many possible causes of depression, including faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, and stressful life events.

What is Beck's theory of depression? ›

Beck's cognitive theory of depression proposes that persons susceptible to depression develop inaccurate/unhelpful core beliefs about themselves, others, and the world as a result of their learning histories.

What is Beck's cognitive theory? ›

Beck's cognitive theory considers the subjective symptoms such as a negative view of self, world, and future defining features of depression. The model assumes that psychopathological states represent extreme or excessive forms of normal cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning.

What are the different models of depression? ›

Depression is a medical condition that affects your mood and ability to function. Depression types include clinical depression, bipolar depression, dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder and others. Treatment options range from counseling to medications to brain stimulation and complementary therapies.

How does Behaviourism explain depression? ›

Operant conditioning (Lewinsohn, 1974) considers the cause of depression to be the removal of positive reinforcement from the environment, or situations that would serve to reinforce 'maladaptive' behaviour, leading to increased social isolation, and an inability to seek or respond to alternative sources of positive ...

What is Freud's psychodynamic theory? ›

Freud believed human behavior could be explained by intrapsychic processes and interpersonal patterns outside of a person's conscious awareness and based on their childhood experiences. A general definition of psychodynamic theory is that forces outside of a person's awareness explain why they behave a certain way.

How does the humanistic approach explain depression? ›

Humanistic approaches would look on depression as a disturbance in a person's ability to grow to their full potential. Every individual holds the key to their own ability to facilitate change given the right conditions for growth and self-actualisation.

What is hopelessness theory of depression? ›

Hopelessness and Hopelessness Depression

That is, the hopelessness theory predicts that the interaction between negative cognitive styles and negative life events engenders a sense of hopelessness. This hopelessness, in turn, was hypothesized to be sufficient by itself to bring about depression.

What are psychology theories? ›

A psychological theory is a fact-based idea that describes a phenomenon of human behavior. A theory is based on a hypothesis, which is backed by evidence. A psychological theory has two key components: It must describe a behavior. It must make predictions about future behaviors.

Which of the following is one of the most influential theories of depression? ›

22) Which of the following is one of the most influential theories of depression? Freud's Psychodynamic Theory.

What is Albert Ellis theory? ›

Albert Ellis (1957, 1962) proposes that each of us hold a unique set of assumptions about ourselves and our world that serve to guide us through life and determine our reactions to the various situations we encounter.

What is Ellis ABC model? ›

Albert Ellis developed the ABC model to help us understand. the connection between adversity (A), our beliefs (B), and our emotional and behavioural responses (C). ■ Sometimes our beliefs about a situation are not accurate, and our reactions. undermine resilient responses.

What is the artifact theory? ›

The first theory, artifact theory, suggests that the difference between genders is due to clinician or diagnostic systems being more sensitive to diagnosing women with depression than men.

What is Bandura's social learning theory? ›

Albert Bandura's social learning theory suggests that observation and modeling play a primary role in how and why people learn. Bandura's theory goes beyond the perception of learning being the result of direct experience with the environment.

What are the main theories of CBT? ›

CBT theory suggests that our thoughts, emotions, body sensations, and behavior are all connected, and that what we think and do affects the way we feel. Thousands of research trials have demonstrated that CBT is an effective treatment for conditions from anxiety and depression to pain and insomnia.

What is the learned helplessness theory? ›

Learned helplessness is a state that occurs after a person has experienced a stressful situation repeatedly. They come to believe that they are unable to control or change the situation, so they do not try — even when opportunities for change become available.

What are the 7 forms of depression? ›

7 Common Types of Depression
  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) ...
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) ...
  • Bipolar Disorder. ...
  • Postpartum Depression (PPD) ...
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) ...
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) ...
  • Atypical Depression.

What are the 8 forms of depression? ›

Types of Depression
  • Major Depression.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder.
  • Bipolar Disorder.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Psychotic Depression.
  • Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • 'Situational' Depression.
23 Jun 2021

What are the 3 stages of depression? ›

Living with depression every day is a reality for millions of people, but not everyone knows it. There are different forms of depression and different stages, as well.

How would psychodynamic perspective treat depression? ›

Psychodynamic therapy for depression helps to promote self-examination and self-reflection. It will allow you to develop coping strategies to deal with new problems based on awareness and intentional action, rather than reactive feelings and behaviors.

What are the 3 principles of psychoanalytic theory? ›

The three areas are those of the dynamic unconscious, the plasticity of the interpersonal drives, and mastery of experience through reversal of voice.

What is an example of psychodynamic theory? ›

Psychodynamic Theory Examples

Some examples include: Early childhood events may cause some people to develop a nail-biting habit. A childhood incident that caused fear in the past may trigger anxiety in adulthood. Behaviors such as obsessive handwashing are often linked to may be linked to childhood trauma in the past.

How many psychodynamic theories are there? ›

There are four major schools of psychoanalytic theory, each of which has influenced psychodynamic therapy.

Is CBT a humanistic approach? ›

CBT focuses on science while the Humanistic Approach is a more social matter. Unlike Humanism, CBT is a form of cognition.

What is the humanistic approach theory? ›

The humanistic approach emphasizes the personal worth of the individual, the centrality of human values, and the creative, active nature of human beings. The approach is optimistic and focuses on the noble human capacity to overcome hardship, pain and despair.

How does the humanistic theory explain mental illness? ›

In the humanistic vision, human dysfunctions are caused by a faulty or interrupted development process; essentially human problems are due to immaturity, generally of the social/emotional variety. The goal of a humanistic therapy is thus to promote social/emotional maturity and growth.

What is response styles theory? ›

The response style theory of depression posits that children and adolescents respond to their depressed moods in a stable and structured manner (a 'style'), and that the way they respond affects the severity and duration of depressive moods (Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991).

Who gave hopelessness theory of depression? ›

In this article, we elaborate two possible mechanisms for the beneficial effect of social support on depression by incorporating social support into a specific etiological model of depression, the Hopelessness Theory of depression (Abramson, Metalsky, & Alloy, 1989).

Who developed hopelessness theory of depression? ›

Abramson et al. (1989) provided two elaborations of this basic diathesis–stress relationship. First, the specific vulnerability hypothesis of the hopelessness theory posits that individual variability may exist across differ- ent domains (e.g., interpersonal or achievement) in the tendency to form negative inferences.

What are the 5 psychological theories? ›

There may be several different theories within an approach, but they all share these common assumptions. The five major perspectives in psychology are biological, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive and humanistic.

What is Jean Piaget's theory? ›

Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development suggests that intelligence changes as children grow. A child's cognitive development is not just about acquiring knowledge, the child has to develop or construct a mental model of the world.

What are the 4 types of theory? ›

Sociologists (Zetterberg, 1965) refer to at least four types of theory: theory as classical literature in sociology, theory as sociological criticism, taxonomic theory, and scientific theory. These types of theory have at least rough parallels in social education.

What is the leading hypothesis of the cause of major depression? ›

The monoamine hypothesis is the most common of such hypotheses of the pathophysiology of MDD. This hypothesis is quite simple and easily understandable; the concentrations of monoamines, such as serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine, in synaptic gaps are decreased in the depressive state.

What is the behaviorist theory? ›

Behaviorism focuses on the idea that all behaviors are learned through interaction with the environment. This learning theory states that behaviors are learned from the environment, and says that innate or inherited factors have very little influence on behavior.

Which of the following is one of the most influential theories of depression? ›

22) Which of the following is one of the most influential theories of depression? Freud's Psychodynamic Theory.

What is hopelessness theory of depression? ›

Hopelessness and Hopelessness Depression

That is, the hopelessness theory predicts that the interaction between negative cognitive styles and negative life events engenders a sense of hopelessness. This hopelessness, in turn, was hypothesized to be sufficient by itself to bring about depression.

What are the cognitive theories? ›

Cognitive theories are characterized by their focus on the idea that how and what people think leads to the arousal of emotions and that certain thoughts and beliefs lead to disturbed emotions and behaviors and others lead to healthy emotions and adaptive behavior.

What is John B Watson's theory? ›

Watson believed that psychology should primarily be scientific observable behavior. He is remembered for his research on the conditioning process. Watson is also known for the Little Albert experiment, in which he demonstrated that a child could be conditioned to fear a previously neutral stimulus.

What is BF Skinner's theory? ›

Skinner's theory of learning says that a person is first exposed to a stimulus, which elicits a response, and the response is then reinforced (stimulus, response, reinforcement). This, ultimately, is what conditions our behaviors.

What are the 3 behavioral theories? ›

The most-often used theories of health behavior are Social Cognitive Theory, The Transtheoretical Model/Stages of Change, the Health Belief Model, and the Theory of Planned Behavior.

How would psychodynamic perspective treat depression? ›

By making the unconscious elements of their life a part of their present experience, psychodynamic therapy helps people understand how their behavior and mood are affected by unresolved issues and unconscious feelings.

What is the learned helplessness theory? ›

Learned helplessness is a state that occurs after a person has experienced a stressful situation repeatedly. They come to believe that they are unable to control or change the situation, so they do not try — even when opportunities for change become available.

What is the leading hypothesis of the cause of major depression? ›

The monoamine hypothesis is the most common of such hypotheses of the pathophysiology of MDD. This hypothesis is quite simple and easily understandable; the concentrations of monoamines, such as serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine, in synaptic gaps are decreased in the depressive state.

Who gave hopelessness theory of depression? ›

In this article, we elaborate two possible mechanisms for the beneficial effect of social support on depression by incorporating social support into a specific etiological model of depression, the Hopelessness Theory of depression (Abramson, Metalsky, & Alloy, 1989).

Who developed hopelessness theory of depression? ›

Abramson et al. (1989) provided two elaborations of this basic diathesis–stress relationship. First, the specific vulnerability hypothesis of the hopelessness theory posits that individual variability may exist across differ- ent domains (e.g., interpersonal or achievement) in the tendency to form negative inferences.

Who developed the hopelessness theory? ›

The hopelessness theory of depression, mainly contributed by Martin Seligman, theorizes that the cause of depression is due to a belief that one has no control over the outcomes of their life, leaving them hopeless.

What is cognitive theory of anxiety? ›

A cognitive model of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is described. The model asserts that generalized anxiety is an abnormal worry state. In this model, GAD results from the usage of worrying as a coping strategy and subsequent negative evaluation of worrying.

What is cognitive theory of emotion? ›

The cognitive appraisal theory asserts that your brain first appraises a situation, and the resulting response is an emotion. According to this theory, the sequence of events first involves a stimulus, followed by thought, which then leads to the simultaneous experience of a physiological response and the emotion.

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