Monday, 23 April 2018

Psychology of Depression

Psychology of Depression and Emotional Healing

(Please refer the flow chart for this article)

1) There are 3 types of depression: 1) Everyday depression 2) Major Depression which is persisting for 2 weeks 3) Severe Depression - of loss, thoughts of suicide, losing interest.

2) Major Depression is loss of pleasure - anhedonia along with great grief and great guilt. It has distorted thinking of terrible, getting worse and hopelessness. It is a disorder of thought rather than an emotion. It also features psychomotor retardation - moving and speaking slowly, eating and sleep also declines. They learn to be helpless, is quite generalized. The more someone has an internal locus of control, the less likelihood of depression. A major depression is an outcome of particularly severe lessons in uncontrollability. Exposed to stressors early in life have a life long increase in CRH (Corticocorpin Releasing Hormone) levels in their brain.

3) Stress and Depression go together. Stress: Human stress is a response due to uncontrollable ideas, protective and preparative thoughts. We call it anxiety, neurosis, paranoia or needless hostility. It is caused just by thinking (by imagining). Those with Major Depression experience more stressors and lack of social support, winding up, socially rejected. First Major Depression have undergone recent and significant stress. Stress emerges as triggers for first few depressions. Later mind clock takes over.
Link between Stress, Anxiety, Mental disorders and Depression: Stress leads to anxiety. Anxiety is of different types like phobia, OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), GAD(Generalized Anxiety Disorder), PTSD. Anxiety is disorganized coping with stress. Chronic anxiety leads to depression.

4) Psychodynamic: Psychological cause explained by Freud:
a.       Mourning is a normal depression and it recovers quickly.
b.      Melancholia is major depression.
Every loving relationship is a balance of hatred as well as love. Ambivalence of intense love and intense hatred cause Melancholia. Celebrating (the love) and Grieving (the hatred), the person under depression takes on some irritating traits of the other person to convince the argument and the world. Here the Aggression is turned inward.

5) Biological: 
1. Abnormal neurotransmitter levels and their abnormal communication
2. Abnormal hormone ratios
3. General vulnerability.
4. Extremes of psychological stress cause endocrine changes of depression. Genes, act in stressful environment, glucocorticoids is due to stress response. Stress and Glucocorticoids bring neurochemical changes of depression.
5. Limbic system involved in stress response. Above limbic is Cortex which thinks negative in people with chronic depression. Front portion of Cortex is ACC (Anterior Cingulate Cortex) involved in emotions like feelings of pain and fear. By Hypnotic Suggestion, by Counseling, ACC never becomes active. Another part Amygdala is hyperactive on depression being sad. Front of ACC is Frontal Cortex. Left PFC is associated with positive moods and right with negative moods (Choice is yours).

Hormones Glucocorticoids (prepares brain for future-next stressor) present in depression and Catecholamines(epinephrine and norepinephrine appears to deal with present situation-current stressor) in psychiatric disorders like coping activity or stress or anxiety. During trauma Amygdala learns to react in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  Glucocorticoids work differently in Amygdala. If sympathetic system is relaxed, Amygdala never reacts in PTSD - Relaxation can help.

Why only some of us fall prey to this awful depression?
Because some of us are exposed to lot more stress than others. Like, history of early life stressors makes lot more vulnerable. Stress depletes norepinephrine causing biology of vulnerability. It is the interaction between the ambiguous experiences that life throws at us and the biology of our vulnerabilities and resilience’s that determines which of us fall prey to this awful disease.

Emotional Healing by Relaxation (Hypnotherapy)
By relaxing the person, it is easy to access the exact memory that associate, distort, generalize, assume for processing the day-to-day information received by the brain. By accessing them we can identify and remove the cognitive distortions of CBT by understanding the Psycho-bio-social causes. Emotional healing by relaxation also helps to deal with the sub/un conscious memories of psychodynamic theory to balance the defense mechanisms-function of id, ego and superego.

Role of Positive Psychology and RajYoga to deal with Depression

Character, Strengths and Virtues are the bedrock of the human condition and that strength-congruent activity represents an important route to the psychological good life. Positive psychology is able to help people evolve toward their highest potential. The classification, similar to DSM and ICD, described in the book “Character, Strengths and Virtues” by authors Christopher Peterson and Martin E.P.Seligman published during 2004 concerned that inadequate progress was being made from well-worn problem-fixing approaches and that an approach based on recognizing people’s strengths and aspirations might prove more effective. Positive Psychology has devised a classification of character, strengths and virtues (addressing the “good” teenager concern) and ways of measuring them (addressing the program evaluation concern) and this classification and measurement strategies they have created can be applied much more broadly.

Rajyoga which is being taught since 1936 focuses on self awareness and empowerment of mind, the practice of which develops the character, strength and virtues described in Positive Psychology. To deal with Stress and Depression, which are the main cause of Physical and Mental illnesses, (modern medicine reveals that 75 to 90% diseases are psychosomatic–stress related), Brahma kumaris and Annamalai University, Tamilnadu has jointly introduced Diploma, P.G. and M.Sc courses on Counseling and Spiritual Health where Healthy Life Style, Managing Psycho-Bio-Social Cause, Emotional Healing and Self Empowerment through Spiritual Intelligence are being taught to deal with Non-communicable physical and mental diseases to create a stress free peaceful, happy and healthy life.


Azeem Dana (2014) “Instant Healing”, A guide for Emotional Healing: Bloomington-U.S.A: Balboa Press

Brahma Kumaris Godly World Spiritual University(1936), Rajyoga, Avyakt Murlis, Mount Abu, Shantivan, Rajasthan, India

Brahma Kumaris Godly World Spiritual University – Education wing, P.G.Diploma and M.SC Courses on Counseling and Spiritual Health, Annmalai University, TamilNadu India

Christopher Peterson and Martin E.P.Seligman, (2004) “Character Strengths and Virtues”: A Handbook and Classification; Oxford University Press,U.S.A

Deepak Chopra, M.D. Healing from Depression

McLeod, S. A. (2015). Psychological theories of depression. Retrieved from

Mental Health Strategy, Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Regression of Coronary Atherosclerosis through Healthy Lifestyle in Coronary Artery Disease Patients – Mount Abu Open Heart Trial (MAOHT) | Satish K. Gupta, Ramesh C. Sawhney, Lajpat Rai , V. D. Chavan, Sameer Dani, Ramesh C. Arora,W. Selvamurthy, H. K. Chopra, Navin C. Nanda | Indian Heart Journal 2011; 63:461-469

Robert M.Sapolsky (1994, 1998) Why Zebras Dont get Ulcer-the Acclaimed Guide to Stress and Stress related diseases and Coping, U.S.A

Seligman ME, et al. "Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions," American Psychologist (July–Aug. 2005): Vol. 60, No. 5, pp. 410–21.

Spirituality Health Inner Values Academy (2017) Shrimat Bhagawad Gita by God Shiva, Create Space, U.S.A

Taittriya Upanishad, Ancient Vedas, India

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