Clinical Depression


Explain different perspectives in the diagnosis of abnormal behaviour.

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There are many degrees of depression that can occur in a person which varies from low sense of feeling to very serious long lasting depression. However this type of depression is among the more severe forms of depression which is also know or called as major depressive disorder. There are many symptoms that can diagnose clinical depression in an individual like in the case of Julie who worked before as a PA to the Government minister who slowly started developing the symptoms of clinical depression. She started experiencing very depressed moods like feeling sad or empty and also slowly started to reduce interest or feeling in any kinds of activities. Julie also started to lose weight although she did not diet and a decrease or sudden increase in her appetite. She also experienced a feeling of fatigue and loss of energy which in turn affected her performance at work and hence this lead to a feeling of worthlessness and excessive guilt. She also faced a lot of trouble in making decisions and also concentrating. Julie also started to suffer from insomnia and frequent recurrent thoughts of suicide and death or attempt to suicide crossed her mind (Clifford 2010).

Tools and Techniques to diagnose depression:

When there is a patient suffering from clinical depression like in this case Julie, it is very essential to get reliable and correct forms of confirming the diagnosis and also recording the progress of the patient over a period of time. Hence the tools that are required to diagnose must be user friendly and require many sound tools that can give useful information that are valid, consistent and are reliable for different types of patients and also their settings. Therefore in many clinical settings they are multiple goals to assess or diagnose it thus carefully choosing the tools is a very crucial matter. Any assessment should be individualized so as to acknowledge all the cultural and language barriers, age specific issues, impairments or any other psychiatric illness (Davison 2008). The clinician rated scales are available along with some inventories that are self- reported and also available in the public interest. Therefore a clinically useful diagnostic test plays three important roles such as they provide an diagnosis that are correct, support a therapy that is effective for the patient and in turn helps the patient to lead to a better result.

Perspectives of clinical depression:

Many psychologists do not approach abnormal psychology in the same manner hence there are different ways to study abnormal psychology such as biological, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive and also humanistic approach.

Biological Approach– this approach mainly aims on the problems that are related to mental disorder of the patient and involves any type of physical illness, damage to the brain and also chemical imbalances. In case of Julie this approach is attributed to her depression due to a chemical imbalance in the brain which in this case she is prescribed an antidepressant that would correct the chemical imbalance (Kovacevic 2013).

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Psychodynamic Approach– this approach aims at seeing the odd behavior of the patient who comes under a conflict that takes place between desires and urges. Many psychologists said that when conflict occurs in early life and is not resolved it leads to mental illness and abnormal behavior. According to this approach Julie’s depression is caused by her repressing anger, this anger then turns inward and becomes self-hate that results in depression. Thus the treatment would include talking sessions with the concerned therapist who will talk about all the incidents that have been experienced by the patient from her childhood years (Nolen-Hoeksema 2013).

Behavioral Approach-this approach is mainly about observing the various behaviors of the patient and the psychologists tend to believe that the behaviors are learnt through a complicated system of punishments and rewards. Thus the behavioral treatment aims at changing the behaviors of the patient that is suffering from mental illness or disorders and not on addressing the causes that underlie these behaviors. In the case of Julie, a behavioral therapist would look at her behaviors of disengaging from her friends and family, not socializing with anyone and stays home all day in bed as the main problem (Osborn 2009).


Therefore in conclusion it can be said that depression is a common disorder that occurs among the population in general and this type of mental illness is associated with the individual and family suffering that results in an increase in the risks of suicide, impairment and a high raise in the costs of health care facilities and also a huge loss in the productivity of the individual (Schacter et al 2010).

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Clifford, Katrina (2010). “The thin blue line of mental health in Australia”. Police Practice and Research 11 (4): 355.

Davison, Gerald C. (2008). Abnormal Psychology. Toronto: Veronica Visentin. p. 3

Kovacevic, Filip (2013). “A Lacanian approach to dream interpretation”. Dreaming 23 (1): 78–89.

Nolen-Hoeksema, Susan (2013). Abnormal Psychology (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Osborn, Lawrence A. (2009). “From Beauty to Despair: The Rise and Fall of the American State Mental Hospital”. Psychiatric Quarterly 80 (4): 219–31

Schacter, Daniel L.; Gilbert, Daniel T.; Wegner, Daniel M. (2010). “Identifying Psychological Disorders: What is Abnormal?”. Psychology (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers. pp. 550–8 [553].