Psychological causes behind Mood Disorders
Psychological and Biological Theories do not necessarily compete with each other as explanations of mood disorders. In fact, most current psychological theories view biological factors as one of many risks that predispose some people to develop mood disorders. But beyond these risks psychological factors influence the development of mood disorders.
Intimate Relationships and Depression –
Some psychological theories suggest that problems with intimate relationships can create a predisposition or act as a trigger for depression.
- Psychoanalytic Theories –
Psychoanalytic theories of depression are based once classic paper by Sigmund Freud. In Freud’s model, persons prone to depression harbour unresolved conflicts involving relationships with their care givers in infancy and childhood. Freud said that, in childhood these people were over indulged, suffered the loss of care givers, or were disappointed by them in some way. As a result, they became abnormally dependent on others to make them feel adequate, and were prone to anger when their dependency needs were not met. They are also come to feel worthless and have fragile self-esteem.
People with this developmental background are hypersensitive to later losses or disappointments because these later events reactivate the feelings of anger and powerlessness experienced in childhood. After the death of a loved one, e.g. depression – prone people will strongly identify with or introject the lost person, perhaps as a way of denying the loss. But people who mourn this way may also feel abandoned by and angry at the deceased. Freud said that depression results when this anger is turned inward against the introjected loved one and is coupled with a sense of inadequacy from unfulfilled early needs. Freud also suggested that depression stems high standards, or ego-ideals. Failure to live up guilt, failure and worthlessness (Becker & Schmaling 1991).
Modern psychoanalytic theorists have down played the importance of Freud’s “anger turned inward” view of depression. Instead, they have emphasized the importance of social and cognitive factors, such as impaired self-esteem, needs for external gratification and distorted cognitive processing within a revised psychoanalytic model (Arieti & Bempored 1978).
For example, John Bowlby (1980, 1988 a b) proposed a model of psychopathology that draws on biological and social research on animals and humans. Like Freud, Bowlby stresses the importance of early mother – infant attachment. He noted that the nature of this attachment serves as the child’s working model of the world and helps the child learn to regulate emotions. Disturbance of this attachment can lead to impaired emotional adaption (Cossidy 1988, Kobak & Sceery 1988). Children with secure attachments said Bowlby, learn how to recognize their own distress and how to seek support from care givers. Children with various kinds of insecure attachments may inhibit their support seeking when distresses either because they have learned that support will not forthcoming or because they are fearful of what form the support might take (Kobak & Sceery 1988; McCauley, Kendall & Pavlidis 1995).