ABS 200 week 3 Assignment Case Study Selection Depression

Case Study #1: Depression

ABS200: Introduction to Applied Behavioral Sciences (COB1546A)


Case Study #1: Depression

Depression is a debilitating mental disorder and among the more common in recent years. It is one that struck large interest for me when reviewing case studies because I have experienced it myself and still do to a degree. This disorder is considered multidimensional, which means that there’s more than one linking source that contributes to the problem as well as there being multiple methods for solution. According to case study #1, Joe is suffering from severe depression and has had a family history of the condition. This particular case has piqued my interest because it is something that has affected my life in more ways than one. There are two main categories of depression, but there are several different types. Depression can affect many aspects of a person’s life and in this particular case study; I will clearly identify my case study selection from the clinical psychology perspective, why it was chosen to be examined, and the overall importance of understanding the depression disorder.

Case study #1 describes Joe as a man who struggles with severe depression having inherited the same condition as his father and grandfather. Joe has lived through the experience of having this genetic disorder as well as being influenced with personal loss and the grief attached to each circumstance. This mental disorder has inflicted the men in Joe’s family in a relatively profound way and at some point, was influential in the suicide of one of his uncles. Apparently, Joe’s journey into depression began when he lost his job. When his wife divorced him and took their children from the home, the disorder became debilitating. Depression often occurs from hormonal and chemical imbalance in the brain. According to an article titled Is Depression Hereditary, “Psychiatrists acknowledge that depression tends to run in families…” and “Our genetic code (DNA) predisposes us to certain diseases and there is no reason why depression may not be part of that” (Depressiond, 2011) which would suggest that there are genetic vulnerabilities to the disorder. There are environmental and circumstantial influences that can produce symptoms as well. In Joe’s case, he didn’t develop his problem with depression until the loss of his job and eventually the separation from his family deepened the symptoms. According to Irving Kirsch, psychology professor at the University of Hull in the UK, “Depression is, in many cases, a normal reaction to a terrible state of affairs. People get depressed when they lose something in their life, especially the loss of a loved one, and when they face economic pressures and stress” (What You Should Know About Depression, 2014). This would certainly apply in Joe’s case and would produce the theory that Joe is in fact experiencing depression, but in order to properly diagnose, further evaluation may be necessary given the predisposing elements in Joe’s family history.

Depression is a very complex and multifaceted disorder; one that requires ample study to properly diagnose. This subject was chosen because it covers areas that I have personally experienced and will broach areas that I wish to understand further through the course of development over the next few weeks in this class. I believe that I will find this disorder more common place in my field of study and know that a more in depth understanding of this particular disorder would enable me to grasp what I will be dealing with when I begin my career in Substance Abuse Counseling. I have known a great number of people who consider themselves to be dually diagnosed when they begin to address their substance abuse problem. In short, I intend to use this opportunity to gain a more educated perspective on the disorder and to understand more of what I expect to deal with in my intended career.

The topic of depression is important because it afflicts so many and often has fatal impact on the suffering party if left untreated and ignored. According to the text Applied Psychology, “Depressed individuals exhibit a range of motivational deficits, including a loss of interest in normal daily activities or hobbies, and a lack of initiative and spontaneity” (Graham, 2011). Depression is a disorder that influences an impact that affects every aspect of a person’s daily life if it is severe enough in condition. Exploration of this topic is necessary in regards to the subject of psychology because it has such a profound affect upon a person when it is being experienced. A lacking of knowledge in this particular disorder would lead to misdiagnoses and death due to ill understood symptoms and characteristics of the noted dysfunction.

In conclusion, the case study being discussed covers the topic of depression where it concerns a man named Joe. This man has had a family history of the disorder, but in regards to his noted initiation point of symptoms, it appears as if genetics do not necessarily play full part in his disorder. An article discussing genetic influence to depression disorders, suggests that there are traits and circumstantial evidence that suggest depression to be genetic; however, psychology professor Irving Kirsch would say that trauma and life stresses are highly influential to suggest that even if there are genetic markers to link his disorder back to family inheritance it may not be the root problem. This topic was chosen to be examined because I believe it to be highly important in the future of my chosen career. Understanding the multifaceted disorder of depression is important because it can impact a person’s life to the point of aiding in the abrupt end of it and limited knowledge of this disorder would inhibit someone in the field I chose to pursue since it has such a broadly influential range of symptoms and sources.


Davey, Graham. Applied Psychology. John Wiley & Sons UK, 2011. VitalBook file.

Depression D (2011) Is Depression Hereditary? Retrieved from: http://depressiond.org/is-depression-hereditary/

What You Should Know About Depression. (2014). Nutrition Health Review: The Consumer’s Medical Journal, (111), 10-11 2p.