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Depression Treatment Changes in 2006-2017 Research Paper


Depression is a rather common psychological disorder that is one of the most popular objects of research among scholars and healthcare practitioners (Goodwin 259). This health condition may lead to such adverse effects as aggression, guilt, sadness, and even suicidal tendency. The history of investigating depression takes its roots from Ancient Greece where the disease was referred to as melancholy (Hofmann et al. 174). Over time, it became considered a mental disorder and was addressed with a combination of medication and therapy (Hofmann 182). Over the past ten years, some of the approaches to the treatment of depression remained the same whereas many new methods replaced the old ones. In general, it is possible to say that the scholarly conversation on depression has changed over time. A comparison and contrast of sources from within 2006-2010 and 2013-2017 will demonstrate the divergences in scholarly thought on depression.

Evidence from Research

As the article by Goodwin indicates, the scholarly thought of a ten-year-ago period was concentrated on physical illnesses associated with depression (259). The author emphasizes that such health conditions as heart disease or stroke may have a “putative direct impact on depression neurobiology” (260). Goodwin explains that patients who have such diseases are more exposed to depression since they realize the mortality risks associated with their illnesses (260). The author also investigates the association between depression and such nonspecific somatic issues as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain (Goodwin 261). According to research, depression starts with “minor depression” that used to cause much misunderstanding about the disease (Goodwin 261-262). The confusion appeared because of similar symptoms such as low energy and self-esteem, pessimism, reduced productivity, and irritability.

With the increased responsiveness to treatment, such clinical cases started to be considered as depression (Goodwin 262). Chronic pain and chronic fatigue are also defined as syndromes causing “controversial diagnosis” (Goodwin 262-263). However, as the author notes, no sufficient interventions have been performed due to the lack of financial support. The article by Hofmann et al. also focuses on the difficulties associated with the management of depressive disorders in the first decade of the twenty-first century (169). The scholars investigate the effect of mindfulness-based therapy (MBT) on patients with depression. As a result of a meta-analytic review, Hofmann et al. conclude that MBT has a positive impact on patients with depression (180). Although MBT is not diagnosis-specific, it can help to manage processes that appear in multiple disorders by altering a variety of “emotional and evaluative dimensions” (Hofmann et al. 180). The authors remark that MBT may be applied in general practice.

Articles published within the current decade have a different focus and suggest modernized approaches to the problem of depression. Hawton et al. dedicate their study to suicide as the most crucial threat of depressive disorder (17). Although research has a small sample, the outcomes of the analysis are significant. Hawton et al. investigate the connections between depression and suicide and note that nine out of ten people who commit suicide suffered from some depressive disorder (18). What is particularly valuable about the study is the analysis of differences between males’ and females’ disposition to suicide. Hawton et al. remark that men suffering from depression are more likely to commit suicide than women with depressive disorder (20-21).

Apart from gender peculiarities, the authors identify such suicide-related factors in depressive people as family psychiatric history, a severe form of depression, “comorbid disorders,” a previous attempt to commit suicide, and hopelessness (Hawton et al. 27). Based on the analysis of many sources, researchers remark a variety of new approaches to the treatment of depression. A study by Zupan et al. also outlines modern ways of managing the investigated disorder and focus on such mechanism as memory bias (300). The authors analyze the impact of positive and negative biases on people’s emotional regulation in depression. Zupan et al. remark that there is a lack of positive self-referent bias in older patients (309). As a result, such individuals are less likely to cope with depressive disorders. The authors conclude that patients’ negative self-views may “reduce the saliency of positive memories” and lead to mood disorders (Zupan et al. 309).

Comparison and Contrast of the Sources to Support the Argument

The sources from 2006-2010 and 2013-2017 have in common the general theme of investigation, all of them being focused on depression. However, the approaches to managing depressive disorder are different in the two decades of the twenty-first century. Goodwin and Hofmann et al. emphasize the physical illnesses associated with depression and remark that research is limited due to insufficient financial possibilities of researchers. Hawton et al. and Zupan et al. concentrate on the psychological implications of depression and discuss modern interventions and approaches to managing this condition.

Despite the differences, there are also some similarities between the analyzed articles. While Goodwin focuses his study on physical illnesses related to depression, he also mentions that there is a high likelihood of depression leading to suicidal tendencies in people (259). Thus, this article has a common element with the study by Hawton et al. that is concentrated on risk factors for suicide in patients suffering from depression (26). This element, as well as the general description of depressive disorder, constitutes some correlation between the articles. However, Hawton et al. pay more attention to investigating the connection between depression and suicide that Goodwin does.

A significant divergence between older and more recent sources is the description of the possibilities of research in 2006-2010 and 2013-2017. Upon the analysis, it becomes apparent that there has been a great improvement in research of depressive disorder. Scholars have proved that this condition is rather threatening, and more attention has led to more funding for analysis and interventions. Prominent progress in the investigation is revealed through specific angles if research in recent articles. Hawton et al. analyze the differences in exposure to depression and its adverse outcomes in males and females. Zupan et al. investigate age peculiarities of depression. Therefore, modern sources provide deeper analysis and more possibilities for investigating depressive disorder than outdated studies.

The Purpose of the Project

The project aimed to demonstrate the similarities and divergences between approaches to treating depression in modern scholarly thought and the research studies performed nearly ten years ago. Literature review made it possible to elucidate the major concerns of scholars and practitioners about depression, its forms, complications, and ways of treatment. As a result of the project, it may be concluded that present-day scholars pay more attention to the psychological dimension of depression as opposed to physiological focus preferred by older studies. However, despite some divergences in research, there is a common opinion about depression and its manifestations. Both modern studies and the ones published nearly ten years ago concentrate on the issue of depression’s highly negative psychological outcomes and emphasize the need for a thorough investigation of this condition.

Works Cited

Hawton, Keith, et al. “Risk Factors for Suicide in Individuals with Depression: A Systematic Review.” Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 147, no. 1, 2013, pp. 17-28.

Hofmann, Stefan G., et al. “The Effect of Mindfulness-Based Therapy on Anxiety and Depression: A Meta-Analytic Review.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, vol. 78, no. 2, 2010, pp. 169-183.

Goodwin, Guy M. “Depression and Associated Physical Diseases and Symptoms.” Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, vol. 8, no. 2, 2006, pp. 259-265.

Zupan, Zorana, et al. “Memory Bias in Depression: Effects of Self-Reference and Age.” Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, vol. 36, no. 4, 2017, pp. 300-315.

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