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Lecture 6

Psychology 2030A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Explanatory Style, Mass Suicide, Electroconvulsive Therapy

Course Code
David Vollick

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Chapter 7: Mood Disorders
huge part of mental disorders; more frequently diagnosed;
DSM Table 7.1, 7.2 & 7.3
Major Depression: An Overview
Major depressive Episode: Overview and defining features
o Extremely depressed mood state for at least 2 weeks
o No mania
o Cognitive symptoms (feeling worthless, indecisive)
o Vegetative or somatic symptoms- central to the disorder (change of appetite, change of
weight, change in sleep, cant concentrate)
o Anhedonia- loss of pleasure/interest in usual activities
o Decreased delta (slow wave), Deepest stage of sleep
o Average duration if untreated is 9 months (if you have more than one and if you don’t
recover well in between, you are at greater risk of having another one)
Major Depressive Disorder
o Single episode- highly unusual
o Recurrent episodes- more common
o Severe cases- residual symptoms and high likelihood of subsequent episodes (
Major Depressive Episode
If it lasts more than 5 years, increased risk of residual symptoms, another episode, and
incomplete inter-episode recovery
DSM Table 7.4
Dysthymia Disorder: An Overview
Overview and Defining Features
o Defined by persistently depressed mood that continues for at least 2 years
o Symptoms of depression are milder that major depression
o Symptoms can persist unchanged over long periods (e.g. 20 years or more)
Facts and Statistics
o Late onset- typically in the early 20’s
o Greater chronicity, poorer prognosis before 20’s
Double Depression
Overview and Defining Features
o Person experiences major depressive episodes and dysthymic disorder
o Dysthymic disorder often develops first
Facts and Statistics
o Quite common- high relapse
o Associated with sever psychopathology
o Associated with problematic future course
o Normal reaction to the loss of something or someone; hopelessness, helplessness
o Pre-loss dependency predicts pathological grief response
Bipolar I Disorder
Overview and Defining Features
o Alternations between full manic episodes and depressive episodes
o One experiencing mania can also experience depression/anxiety
Facts and Statistics
o Average onset is 18 years, but can begin in childhood (could have to do with child abuse
and changing family systems i.e. parents spending more time at work than with the family
o Tends to be chronic
o Suicide is a common consequences

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DSM Table 7.5
Bipolar II Disorder
Overview and Defining Features
o Alternations between major depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes
o Less intense than BI
Facts and Statistics
o Average onset of 22 ears, but can begin in childhood
o Only 113% of cases progress to full bipolar I disorder
o Tends to be chronic
DSM Table 7.6
Cyclothymic Disorder
Overview and Defining Features
o More chronic version of bipolar disorder (can remain in either a manic or depressive state
for years)
o Manic and major depressive episodes are less severe
o Manic or depressive mood states persist for long periods- never out of control (can be seen
as very explosive, moody, high-strung)
o Pattern must last for at least 2 years (1 year for children or adolescents)
Facts and Statistics
o Age of onset 12- 14 years
o Cyclothymia tends to be chronic and lifelong
o Most are female
o High risk for developing bipolar I and II
Additional Defining Criteria for Mood Disorders
Symptom Specifiers
o Atypical- oversleep, overeat, gain weight and are anxious
o Melancholic- severe somatic symptoms, more sever depression
o Chronic- Major depression only, lasting 2 years
o Catatonic- very serious condition, absence of movement i.e. for schizophrenia, might just
stand with their arms out for half an hour for no reason
o Psychotic- mood congruent/incongruent hallucinations/delusions
o Postpartum- severe manic or depressive episodes post childbirth (2-3 days after)
McGill- low SES and high stress
Specifiers Describing Course of Mood Disorders
Course Specifiers
o Longitudinal Course- past history and recovery from depression and/or mania; these
people recover fully between episodes
o Rapid cycling pattern- applies to bipolar I and II disorder only; 4 manic or depressive
episodes in one year; severe; treatment not effective
o Seasonal patters- SAD- weather episodes (mainly depression) are more likely
Increase in melatonin?? Lack of sunlight so exposure to special light bulbs has been
proven to help
Phototherapy, CBT
Mood Disorders: Additional Facts and Statistics
Lifetime Prevalence
o Rates in Canadian studies variable ranging from 4.1% in the Ontario Health Survey to 11%
in surveys in Toronto and Calgary
Sex Differences
o Females are twice as likely to have a mood disorder compared to males
o Boys more depressed than girls in early childhood, females more depressed from then
until 65, then gender imbalance in depression disappears
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