Description: Listen to this piece from the CBC radio program “The Current” that reports upon a novel way to think about clinical depression.
Source: CBC Radio – The Current
Date: January 12, 2015
Depression Might be an Allergic Reaction to Stress
Links: Lead article/broadcast – http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/current_20150112_82971.mp3
(please contact Mike Boyes – firstname.lastname@example.org if download link is not working)
Within Psychology and especially at the introductory level, we typically describe clinical depression as a neurochemical problem. Certainly the effectiveness of drugs aimed at adjusting the neurochemistry of individuals struggling with depression (e.g., Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac) suggest that a brain chemical imbalance is a viable account of what is going on in depression. Of course, the bigger questions involve speculating about what induces brain chemical changes and how is it that life experiences might be linked to things like clinical depression. This story on The Current broadens our thinking about the complexity of experiential and biological forces involved in the appearance of the symptoms of clinical depression.
Questions for Discussion:
- How does the theory of depression discussed in the story differ from the neurochemical theory discussed in most introductory textbooks?
- Did the approach to studying depression using rats being bullied by aggressive rats make sense as a model for studying depression?
- What sorts of things does this theory suggest we ought to be thinking about in relation to depression (e.g., in terms of causes, treatments, and preventative mental health advice)?
References (Read Further):
Jones, Kenneth A. and Thomsen, Christian (2013) The role of the immune system in psychiatric disorders. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, 53, 52-62. Abstract -http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1044743112001844
Slavich, George M. and Irwin, Michael R. (2014) From stress to inflammation and major depressive disorder: A social signal transduction theory of depression. Psychological Bulletin, 140(3), 774-815. Abstract — http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2014-01013-001