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Thursday, 8 April 2010

Biological Depression & Learned Helplessness

In psychology there are many theories on how depression is caused, why its caused, and how people can prevent from becoming depressed. A scientific psychologist named Martin Seligman created the theory of learned helplessness. Through the study of his dogs during an experiment of saliva and food. What Martin Seligman was able to conclude was that learned helplessness was condition of a human being or an animal in which it has learned to behave helplessly, even when the opportunity is given for the human or animal to restore itself it does not work, and when they are presented an opportunity to avoid unpleasant or harmful circumstances to which they are subjected they still remain helpless. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses come from the lack of control one has in a situation. The environmental theory of depression states depression is caused by factors outside of our reach for example having it in our genes or as a medical illness have nothing to do with it. This theory states that situations such as prolonged stress at home or work, coping with the loss of a loved one, or traumatic events may cause depression. that Learned helplessness and the environmental theory of depression coincide with each other. The reason for it is that the environmental causes of depression may cause learned helplessness. As an example i will use the torment someone goes through in the office, working there for years and not getting a raise and not ever getting complimented on their work or promoted. The person who is working as hard as they can for years soon will get tired and become depressed at the workplace. Doing the same thing over and over again and never getting reward made the person become helpless and give up working because he or she was never rewarded. In conclusion, through the biological theory of depression we believe that learned helplessness was a big factor that can effect biological depression or a factor that can contribute to getting depressed biologically.

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