Depression is a common mental health disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control (2011) depression affects 1 in 10 Americans in the U. S. alone. Depression does not know race, ethnicity, age or gender. “The cognitive perspective on the cause of depression believes that depression can be caused by faulty thinking, low-self-esteem, a negative outlook on life, or influenced on ones gender, race, socioeconomic status, levels of social support, and stress or other environmental events” (Capella University, 2013).
Cognitive relates to conscious intellectual activity such as thinking, reasoning, and remembering (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 2013). Early life trauma, stress and how it affects the genes and the environment all fall under the umbrella of the cognitive perspective. They can all play a role on the cause of depression. This paper will discuss how early life trauma can predict depression as well as effect genes that cause depression, and will also discuss how a neighborhood can influence depression. Early Life Trauma and Depression. Any person experiencing trauma in their life can have a difficult time managing through it.
Those who experience early life trauma can have it possibly lead to depression. “Early life trauma is generally referred to as the traumatic experiences that occur to children aged 0-6. These traumas are situations that threaten the safety of the child or their caregiver. Which can include intentional violence, the result of a natural disaster, accidents, or war. Young children also may experience traumatic stress in response to painful medical procedures or the sudden loss of a parent/caregiver” (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, n. . ). “When children experience negative events in life they try to the cause of the event so that they can attach some type of meaning to the negative event” (Ingram, 2003). When negative situations occur some children tend to see themselves as the cause of these negative events, which effect a child’s self-perception of themselves (Ingram, 2003). Persistent negative events will cause the way they perceive themselves to continue to be negative. This is the beginning of hopelessness, and hopelessness leads to depression (Ingram, 2003).
Young children do not always know how to always correctly express themselves, they also may not always understand what is happening to them or the people they love. This can result in situations causing some sort of trauma or stress in their life. Early life trauma is also considered early life stress, and early life stress can affect your genes. The biochemical perspective on the cause of depression also deals with the genes and how they affect depression. The Biological Perspective on the Cause of Depression
The biological perspective suggests that a persons’ genetic makeup or hormones can cause depression. “The biological perspective suggests that depression is a result of family history (that is, a genetic link), a chemical imbalance in the brain (for example, depletion of the neurotransmitter serotonin), a specific medical condition (for example, underactive thyroid) or even increased levels of hormones (for example, cortisol – stress hormone)”(Capella University, 2013). According to Dr. Daniel Pine (2009), hormones can have some effect on emotions, anxiety, and depression.
Hormones are influences, hormones themselves don’t cause depression but hormones in addition to stressful environments or family history can cause depression. Early Life Stress and Genes Stress can affect more than a persons’ mood or health, some studies show that stress can affect the genes as well. Early stress as commonly been associated with the early onset of depression. When someone experiences stress early in life there can be a mutation in the Serotonin transporter that can put that person at a greater risk for depression (Drevets, 2009). Serotonin is a hormone that is found naturally in the human brain. Serotonin greatly influences an overall sense of well-being. It helps to regulate moods, temper anxiety, and regulate depression” (Wisegeek, 2013). The serotonin transporter also referred to as the SERT transporter comes in two forms, the SS and LL. In recent Seminal studies it has been discovered of you have the SS form and have early trauma or traumatic life events it puts you at a risk for depression (Mayberg, 2009).
Just because these genes are present in the body it is the environment that triggers them and causes the depression. Someone’s’ environment is simply their surroundings, which can simply be school, work, the mall or a neighborhood in which you live. Those who live in neighborhoods that are hostile, harmful or that prevent positive development can be at a high risk for depression. Adverse neighborhoods and depression Adverse neighborhoods appear to intensify the harmful impact of personal stressors and interfere with the formation of bonds between people (Cultrona, Wallace, Wesner, 2006).
Stress plays a central role that links neighborhood characteristics and depression. Neighborhood characteristics influence the levels of daily stress imposed upon residents, influence people’s vulnerability to depression following negative events in their lives, and interfere with the formation of bonds among people. (Cultrona, et. al, 2006). According to Cultrona, Wallace and Wesner (2006) neighborhoods affect depression and other forms of mental health. I agree with this because I believe some are a product of their environment to some degree.
Some neighborhoods are worn down, poverty stricken, and negative. Recent research has revealed that depression and characteristics of the neighborhoods where people live are linked together (Cultrona, et al. , 2006). Neighborhood characteristics include the quality of housing, resources available, and the safety. Neighborhood characteristics influence the level of daily stress imposed on its residents, influence a person’s vulnerability to depression following negative events in their lives, and interfere with the relationships between the people.
Ingram (2003) says that interpersonal relationships are needed to buffer against stress and provide support. Summary and Conclusion Depression can happen to anyone at any time, if the elements that cause depression are present. The cognitive perspective shows us that depression may be caused by early trauma, stress and genes or the environment. Sometimes these situations that affect ones mood or outlook on life are out of our control.
When these things begin to spin-out of control depression can find a foundation to present itself however, there are medicine and therapy that can help relieve us of the depression symptoms. Removing the triggers from your surroundings, and changing them could assist with the problem. For some only medication will help. There is so much information concerning the causes and effects of depression this has the possibility of never ending but if one may be able to catch the symptoms early so that they can treat it before it takes over their life.