Exam notes Abnormal

Mood disorders
Lack of interest in usual activities
Change in body weight
Insomnia or hypersomnia
Loss of energy
Problems with concentration
Recurrent thoughts of death
Grandiose ideas
Diminished need for sleep
Flight of ideas
Psychomotor agitation
Types of depression DSM-5 (APA, 2013)
Major depressive disorder – intense symptoms, lasting more that 2 months.
Dysthymia disorder – less severe symptoms and lasting 2+ years
Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder – severe recurring tantrums, verbal or behavioral
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder – mood swings associated with the cycle.
Just depression without the mania is Unipolar
Types of Bipolar DSM-5 (APA, 2013)
Bipolar Disorder I – severe mania and depression, possible psychosis.
Bipolar Disorder II – hypomania (not severe enough to impair functioning) and depression
Cyclothymic disorder – within a 2-year period there is a cycle of hypomania and depression,
with no history of depression or mania.
Euthymia – symptom free normal states.
Aetiology of depression
A combination of genetic predisposition and psychological and medical factors
 Genetic disposition
o Hereditary, 3x more likely to get it if a first degree relative also has it
o Twin concordance rate, is a lot higher for monozygotic twins
 the difference between monozygotic and dizygotic concordance rates
is enough to indicate a strong genetic component (Kendler et al.,
 Low levels of Serotonin and Norepinephrine
o In the 1950s medicine to lower blood pressure was found to lower levels of
either (monoamine neurotransmitters) and cause depression
 Therapeutic effect takes two weeks, but the levels go up instantly?
 Also helps with anxiety, which isn’t understood why?
 Other compounds increase monoamine neurotransmitters, but they
don’t have an antidepressant effect
 Cortisol levels
o The stress hormone, studies believe those with depression have more of it
(Young, 2004)
o Constant high stress might deplete serotonin stores.
Treatments for Depression
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Behavioral activation therapy
Treatments for Bipolar
Mood-stabilizing drugs
Antipsychotic Drugs
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Family-focused therapy (FFT)
Prevent the depletion of neurotransmitters
in the brain;
 Tricyclics – prevent the absorption
of serotonin and norepinephrine.
Side effects include increased heart
rate, dry mouth and constipation.
 Selective serotonin reuptake
inhibitors; stop the reuptake of
serotonin. Side effects include
nausea, anxiety and indigestion.
Producing a seizure by the application of an
electric current to the brain. Short-term
side effects are headache, and muscle ache.
LT – memory problems.
The identification and modification of faulty
cognitions and problematic behaviors.
Beck – 1967. Turning negative schemas into
healthy/positive ones. Reasons for
 Arbitrary inference
 Selective abstraction
 Over generalization
 Magnification and minimization
Law of effect – Thorndike’s proposal that
behavior that is rewarded will be repeated,
and visa versa.
Believes depression results from a lack of
positive reinforcement, so goal is to
increase number of enjoyable activities.
Lithium. Effective at both manic and
depressive symptoms. SE, thirst, gain
weight and blurred vision. Alternative –
Sodium Valporate.
Altering levels of neurotransmitters
commonly dopamine and serotonin
Grandiose ideas may be challenged during
a manic phase as well as behavioral
strategies to reduce psychomotor agitation.
Educating family and friends to improve
coping method.
Enhance positive communication patterns
within the family, as well as strategies to
help everyone cope.
Examples of essay
1. Compare depression and mania while discussing the symptoms of each.
2. Contrast unipolar depression and bipolar disorder while discussing the symptoms of
3. Describe the biological, psychological, and sociocultural perspectives of depression.
4. Describe the possible roles of neurotransmitters in unipolar depression.
5. Distinguish among the three diagnostic options for bipolar disorder.
6. Discuss the biological theory of bipolar disorder.