Nature vs. Nurture in Depression

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					Nature vs. Nurture in
         By Tori Lewis, Emma
Montgomery, and Soleil McGhee
     Causes of Depression
 It has been believed that depression is caused by an
  imbalance of the brains natural chemicals.
 Depression passed down in families through genes.
 Depressive disorder is often associated with changes
  in brain structures or brain function.
 Physical changes in the body can trigger depression.
  I.e.) heart attack, stroke, Parkinson's disease
 Stress has also been a factor that’s has been an on
  set of depression.
 A combination of genetic, psychological, and
  environmental factors is often involved in the onset of
    Stress and Depression
 Stress is thought to mobilize the
  sympathetic nervous system that
  triggers the fight-or-flight response and
  many physiological reactions.
     Stress and Depression
 Factors
 Research in primates show maternal deprivation
  stresses young animals and may predispose them to
  a lifetime of overreaction to stress
 In a study of Old Order Amish in Pennsylvania, the
  rate of depression was extremely low
 Research conducted in working-class neighborhoods
  suggests that the combination of life stress and
  inadequate social support contributes to women's
  greater susceptibility to depressive symptoms.
 Surgeon General concludes: "Something about the
  environment thus appears to interact with biology to
  cause a disproportionate incidence of depressive
         Cognitive Theories
 According to cognitive theories, depression arises
  from a subjective feeling of helplessness and
 Critical factor is the interpretation of the stressful
  event rather than the actual event, itself
 Adolescent girls suffer from depression in far greater
  numbers than boys, possibly because they are more
  socially-oriented and more dependent on positive
  social relationships.
  Wangby, M., L.R. Bergman, and D. Magnusson,
of Adjustment Problems in Girls: What Syndromes
       Emerge,” Child Development (1999):

 Although 40 percent of non-depressed girls engaged
  in property crimes, 68 percent of girls who were
  mildly to moderately depressed did so.
 42 percent of girls who were not depressed engaged
  in crimes against other persons, compared with 82
  percent of mildly to moderately depressed girls.
 57 percent of mildly to moderately depressed girls
  engaged in higher levels of aggressive behavior,
  compared with only 13 percent of those who were not
     Depression and Crime Cont.
 Moderately depressed girls were more likely to
  commit property crimes and crimes than girls not
 preliminary findings suggest mildly to moderately
  depressed girls may be at risk of engaging in
  antisocial behavior
 Benefit of treatment:
 Undermining the development and maintenance of
  antisocial behavior
 reducing depression.
 Self-help
   Exercise - triggers the production of endorphins.
    These natural opiates are chemically similar to
    morphine. They may be produced as natural pain
    relievers in response to the shock that the body
    receives during exercise.
   Exercise boosts activity in the brain's frontal lobes
    and the hippocampus.
   Studies have found that exercise increases levels
    of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.
    (Associated with mood elevation)
 Depressive illness is caused by a decrease of
  certain chemicals or neurotransmitters in the
  brain that are responsible for mood.
  Antidepressants stimulate chemical changes
  that increase the levels of these
  neurotransmitters. Three main
  neurotransmitters associated with mood are
  serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.
         Medicine Examples
 Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), Affects the uptake
  of all three neurotransmitters associated with mood:
  serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.
 Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), an older
  class of antidepressants, increases levels of all three
  neurotransmitters by inhibiting an enzyme
  responsible for inactivating them.
 Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) delay
  the reuptake of one of these neurotransmitters,
  serotonin, thus raising levels in the brain. With more
  natural levels of serotonin in the brain, mood is
  elevated from the depressed state to a more normal
  state of mind.
           Talking therapies
 Supportive counseling helps ease the pain of
  depression, and addresses the feelings of
  hopelessness that accompany depression.
 Cognitive therapy changes the pessimistic ideas,
  unrealistic expectations, and overly critical self-
  evaluations that create depression and sustain it.
 Cognitive therapy helps the depressed person
  recognize which life problems are critical, and which
  are minor.
 Helps people to develop positive life goals, and a
  more positive self-assessment.
 Problem solving therapy changes the areas of the
  person's life that are creating significant stress, and
  contributing to the depression.
   Studies (Gerald Haeffel)
 Gerald Haeffel and colleagues at the University of
  Notre Dame.
 Investigate depression while taking both genes and
  environment into consideration.
 Haeffel studied 177 male adolescents from a Russian
  juvenile detention facility. They were given a
  depression assessment, a questionnaire designed to
  determine their mothers’ parenting style, and tested
  for the specific dopamine transporter gene previously
  implicated in depression. The results showed that
  neither cruel mothering patterns, nor the dopamine
  transporter gene alone predicted depression. A
  combination of both, however, resulted in a higher
  risk for depression and suicidal tendencies.
   Studies (Gerald Haeffel)
 This study is groundbreaking because it is the
  first to support the theory of a dopamine
  transporter gene in depression.
 It also represents a modern understanding of
  the interaction of nature and nurture.
 As scientists like Haeffel begin to more
  frequently use a combination of genetic and
  environmental experimental designs, we will
  inevitably gain a much deeper, and more
  accurate, understanding of human behavior.
    Studies (Teuting - 1981)
 Teuting carried out a study in 1981 to
  measure the amount of serotonin and
  noradrenaline in urine samples of depressed
  and non depressed participants.
 He found empirical support for the biology of
 Depressed participants had lower levels of
  these two neurotransmitters in their urine,
  compared to control participants.
        Nature Vs. Nurture
 "The outside environment creates a stimulus
  and response relationship that defines who
  we are.” (The surgeons general report)
 Our mental well-being is dependent on the
  brain's neurons and how they connect and
  interact with other neurons, but it takes a
  push from the outside environment to start
  the process

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