Vulnerability to Depression

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In the article “Do Negative Cognitive Styles Confer Vulnerability to Depression?” by Lauren B. Alloy, Lyn Y. Abramson, and Erika L. Francis, they explain how negative cognitive styles confer vulnerability to depression when people confront negative life experiences. Depression is a serious psychological health disorder, with significant penalties in terms of human distress, lost productivity, and even fatalities. Up to date estimates suggest that 16% of the population will experience an event of depression at some time in their lives. Furthermore, people who experience a major depressive event are at increased risk for future episodes, with each episode significantly increasing risk for following episodes. Given this public health significance, significant research interest has been devoted to understanding essential causes of depression. In a biological outlook on depression, abnormal genetic or biochemical processes incline some individuals to depression. Conversely, in a cognitive perspective, the way people understand events in their lives has a very important effect on their weakness to depression. One example of a cognitive perspective is the hopelessness theory in which people believe that negative events in their lives are stable and global in that it will last “forever” and will affect everything he or she does causing a maladaptive cognitive (Alloy, Abramson, Francis, 1999). This article proposes that negatively biased negative self description provides the foundation for a cognitive vulnerability to depression. That is, a person whose mind set is negatively biased when processing information about one’s self may be particularly vulnerable to depression. For instance, when confronted with an unfamiliar situation, a vuln... ... middle of paper ... ... a full marathon, just getting a person’s heart rate up can do wonderful things for their attitudes in life. Walking works wonders. High risk students showed greater support, quicker processing, and enhanced recall of negative depression-relevant adjectives involving incompetence, worthlessness, and low motivation (Alloy, Abramson, Francis, 1999). For these issues, the counseling center should have a support group for students. Often when a person is depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into one’s shell, but being around other people will make a person feel less depressed. To prevent depression, being with peers dealing with the same situations in college can go a very long way in reducing a sense of isolation and worthlessness. Support groups can also give confidence to one another, give and receive guidance on how to cope, and share college experiences.

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