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-1Lecture #29 Mental Disorders (part III) Ÿ (Not responsible for post traumatic syndrome from last lecture slides) Ÿ Depression is one of the most profound human experience because it is fundamentally about loss Ÿ Depression involves wide range of symptoms, core features are persistent feelings of sadness, despair, unpleasant mood, persistent inability to take routine or pleasurable activities Ÿ Two sides of face of depression, persistent of sadness and anti anehidonia (lack of pleasure or joy) Ÿ Disturbances of sleep, appetite, difficulty with concentration, fatigue Ÿ Why do we as a species seem to have this predisposition, to become distressed (like how anxiety was important to adapting to our environment) but what function does depression serve? Ÿ What might be some of the reasons to why we are depressed Ÿ Evolutionary theory is the least disputed theory, organized principle and framework for all of the life sciences, it postulates that there is variation in our design of features, some of us are taller, shorter, weaker, stronger Ÿ Some of these design features are heritable (biological basis, we pass then on to our offspring) Ÿ Not all features are heritable, and to the extent that some of us have designed features equip us to our peers to make us more superior, allow some to be better suited in environment, reproduce better, survive longer Ÿ Those designed features that work well are passed along, the ones that don’t work well tend to die off, and over time the more useful features tend to spread, so long as the environment and the problems in the environment are the same, the features become typical of the species (universal to all humans) Ÿ Things that seem to be good, overtime become typical of the species, what the species is known for, e.g. the giraffe and their elongated necks Ÿ If we look at our species today and see something that is universal, its possible that that thing evolved, and was adapted, since we all have it Ÿ We as a species have a peculiar universal, the capacity to be sad Ÿ If you study any group of people, at some point, everyone will report being sad, we as a species are not vulnerable to this feeling, we all feel sad Ÿ Set of circumstances that can make anyone sad, universal, capacity of being sad and depressed, none of us are immune, if that’s the case, perhaps there is some function of this, why is it that at species has this predisposition Ÿ Depression is intermittently so maladaptive, very unproductive, less socialized, there are a lot of things depressed people do that seem almost intermittently maladaptive, so how could this be an evolved trait Ÿ The rank theory or social competition theory of depression, rank theorists think that over the course of human evolution, resources were in scarceness, reproductively related to resources, food, territory, things that matter to our survival and reproduction was not in abundance, not enough to go around Ÿ As a result, members of the same species must compete for them, out of such competition for resources, hierarchy emerges, some members will win more often than lose (top of the hierarchy) Ÿ Hierarchy is a summary of your wins to losses Ÿ And those who emerge at the top, have priority of access to all of resources Ÿ Hierarchy is a feature of just about any social organized species (a universal concept), so not surprising that most species seemed to have evolved particular behavioural strategies to pursue hierarchy Ÿ To become equipped with competitive behaviours, two basic strategies involving strategies to escalate and de-escalate competition Ÿ We are either going to pick a fight with someone, or surrender Ÿ To escalate a fight, this is a strategy we use when we can beat our competitor, when we are socially higher and more stronger, to someone who is inferior to us, we fight back Ÿ And if our competitor is more superior, stronger, we escape, run away, or surrender Ÿ Sometimes escape is not an option, if this is the limit, you can only fight or run away, the losing member who wants to escape but is cornered, so all it can do is fight (even thought they know they will lose. Risk being n=injured and killed|) Ÿ It would benefit if there was an alternate strategy to these two, when loss is predicted, but escape is not possible Ÿ Awide range of life have an alternate strategy which predisposed them to submissive behaviours, this is what we do when we cant escape, we yield=involuntarily defeat strategy or involuntary subordination, immediate response when your going to lose but you cant run away, you don’t want to do it, but you have to Ÿ Alot of parts, inhibit dominance behaviour, your losing the contest, you stop demonstrating behaviours that is going to bring on more attack, you start to submit submissive behaviour (e.g. when wolves are fighting, when the wolf stretches out its neck, that’s the cue to its component that it has given up) Ÿ Every species has its own signal of submissive behaviour, humans have an additional, we feel powerless, helpless, worthless, and all of these feelings put us in a losing state of mind which make us surrender faster, display of submission, inferiority Ÿ This strategy is supposed to be short lived, brief display (e.g. head down, shrunken posture, sadness seen at the end of a sports game, but it doesn’t last forever, it ends) Ÿ But in the event that reconcilia
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