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4 Tutorials that teach Situational Depressive Disorders
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Situational Depressive Disorders

Situational Depressive Disorders

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Description:

This lesson will identify, describe and differentiate the primary symptom(s) for situational depressive disorders.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This lesson is going to cover situational depressive disorders by examining:

  1. Endogenous Depression
  2. Postpartum Depression
  3. Seasonal Affective Disorder

1. Endogenous Depression

There are several depressive disorders known as situational depressive disorders. These are a type of mood disorder that usually involves an environmental factor and a biological one. Another way to think of this is that they have both nature and nurture causes. These disorders will show the same symptoms of depression like lack of hope or joy, lack of activity, changes in sleeping patterns, and will last for an extended length of time

Endogenous Depression is a form of depression with a very specific genetic component that's related to a person's brain's ability to produce certain types of neurotransmitters, like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Because this person has certain genetic or innate problems with developing these kinds of neurotransmitters, it can lead to a person experiencing depression throughout their lives.

Term to Know

  • Endogenous Depression
  • A form of depression with a specific genetic component related to the brain’s production of neurotransmitters.

People are born with this type of disorder, however, it only develops as a result of experiences that are especially traumatic or stressful. This is a good example of the interaction between nature and nurture, because there is a biological component influenced by the environment.


2. Postpartum Depression

Another situational dependent depressive disorders is postpartum depression, which is a depression the develops in a woman after giving birth. It is called "baby blues,"  but it only occurs in about 10% of women. This can be very severe with extreme cases resulting in psychosis.

Term to Know

  • Postpartum Depression
  • Depression that develops in a woman after giving birth.

This disorder is caused by the interaction of nature and nurture as well. The environmental cause is the pregnancy, but there are certain changes in the hormonal levels of these women who have a very specific sensitivity to those kinds of hormones. Not every woman who has a baby will develop it because certain people are biologically predisposed to developing this.


3. Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder is one of the more common types of depression. It's the type of depression where a person experiences mood changes along with the changes in the seasons. This is not a unique disorder within the DSM IV, rather  it is a symptom of major depressive disorder. This is something used to diagnose another type of disorder, but it hasn't necessarily gained its own place.

Term to Know

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • A type of depression where a person experiences mood changes along with changes in the seasons, particularly during autumn and winter.

Outside of the DSM and in the wider medical community, it's definitely gaining a lot more ground and recognition. Seasonal Affective Disorder has a definite evolutionary and biological component to it. People have developed this because, over time and through evolution, they have developed changes in their activities and their behaviors during certain parts of the year.

During the winter time a person is lot less active because it's colder outside, and they can't do as much. There is definitely also a biological component to this as well. There's a specific part of our brain, in the hypothalamus, that is light sensitive. That can actually help us in developing our treatments.

When we talk about treatment, we're also talking about prevention. This involves helping  people that might be predisposed prevent developing depression at all. Ways that these disorders can be prevented may include:

  • For those predisposed towards Endogenous Depression, prevention may include helping people reduce and stress within their lives.
  • Postpartum depression has been linked especially with weak social support. Prevention can include making sure a woman has support of friends and family.
  • Since Seasonal Affective Disorder has a physical cause, physical treatments like light treatment, where a person is exposed to more bright lights, are being tried.

Summary

Endogenous depression is a disorder someone is predisposed for. It is triggered by environmental factors like traumatic or stressful events. Postpartum depression is another disorder that has both biological and environmental factors. A woman can have a sensitivity to the hormones that follow pregnancy. Seasonal affective disorder is a disorder that is caused by the changes in season in someone predisposed for it. One way of treating these issues is to enact preventative measures in those predisposed to these disorder.

Source: This work is adapted from Sophia Author Erick Taggart

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Endogenous Depression

    A form of depression with a specific genetic component related to the brain’s production of neurotransmitters.

  • Postpartum Depression

    Depression that develops in a woman after giving birth.

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder

    A type of depression where a person experiences mood changes along with changes in the seasons, particularly during autumn and winter.