Lt6 – Psychological Problems Depression Defining Depression



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LT6 – Psychological Problems - Depression


Defining Depression

ABC Model of Depression

Social Rank Theory of Depression





The number of young children between 15 & 16 with depression has doubled between the 1980s and 2000s




  • A combination of anxiety and depression accounts for 1/5 of work absence.

  • Between 4 & 10 % of people in the UK will experience depression at some point in their lives.

  • Major depression is thought to the second leading cause of disability worldwide.

  • One report showed 19% of males had been diagnosed with depression compared to 33 percent of females.

  • According to 2004 statistics 1.4 % of 11-16 year olds are seriously depressed

  • In a Time to Change survey from 2013 the highest rates of depression were reported by Indian respondents (61%)
Key statistics:

Ellis (1962) said that good mental health is the result of rational thinking. To Ellis, poor mental health (such as depression) was a result of irrational thinking. He defined these irrational thoughts not as illogical or unrealistic thoughts, but as any thoughts that interfere with us being happy and free of pain. He used the ABC model to explain how irrational thoughts affect our behaviour and emotional state:

A: Activating Event - Ellis focused on situations in which irrational thoughts are triggered by external events. According to Ellis we get depressed when we experience negative events and these trigger irrational beliefs e.g. failing an important test or ending a relationship might trigger irrational beliefs.
B: Beliefs - Ellis identified a range of irrational beliefs. ‘I-can’t-stand-it-itis’ is the belief that it is a disaster whenever something does not go smoothly. Utopianism is the belief that life is always meant to be fair.
C: Consequences - When an activating event triggers irrational beliefs, there are emotional and behavioural consequences. E.g if you believe you must always succeed and then fail at something this can trigger depression.



Social Rank Theory suggests that depression is a natural reaction to help us come to terms with the consequences of losing.

It suggests we have evolved to accept a subordinate position.

It also prevents us from aspiring to achieve a higher status than we currently have to avoid future disappointment.

Therefore they reduce efforts and ambitions which can lead to depression.
The role of a lower rank in reducing conflict

In evolutionary terms, by accepting a lower rank in society, this prevents the person who has won from inflicting further injury on the loser and that ensures the loser will not try again to gain a higher rank in society.


By yielding to the winner, it allows the loser to maintain a place in society, which millennia ago, would have allowed the loser to have continued protection of the group.




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