Freud • Freud thought that depression occurs when somebody has suffered a loss of a loved one during childhood. • He said that there is similarities between the response to losing a loved one and depression • These include: extreme sadness, loss of appetite, disturbed sleep and withdrawal from social life.
Freud • Freud said that during adulthood, people seek to compensate for their loss and become overly dependant on other for love and affection. • Blattsuggests that depression can be seen as an appeal of love and security. • Some people become depressed without losing a loved one. Freud explained this by suggesting that the loss can be imagined or symbolic.
Supporting Evidence • Paykel & Cooper (1992) – About 10% of people who experienced early loss later became depressed. • This study supports Freud's theory but it shows that not everyone who suffers from depression has experienced loss. • Roy (1981) – Children who lose a parent are more susceptible to become depressed. • Shah & Walter (2000) – Many people who suffer from depression describe their parents as ‘affectionless’.
Other Research • Comer (2002) – The psychodynamic approach to treatment of depression has not been shown to be very effective • If the treatment for depression in not effective, is the theory correct? • Lewinsohn & Hoberman (1982) – Children who lose a parent are no more susceptible to depression that children whose parents survive.
Summary • Overall, some parts of Freud's theory has been shown to be correct. For example, people who suffer loss at an early age are likely to get depression later on. • On the other hand, research shows that not everyone who has depression have experienced a loss or have been treated unfairly during childhood. This suggests that depression can be cause by experiences in adulthood as well as childhood.