Essay about Positive Psychology and Depression

3578 Words Dec 15th, 2012 15 Pages
Positive Psychology in the Treatment of Major Depression
Positive psychology is a strengths-oriented, positively focused approach to human behaviors and thoughts that is relatively recent to the overall field of psychology. Previous schools of thought had always focused on the abnormalities, weaknesses, and pathologies of people. Positive psychology is an exceptionally new branch of psychology and aims at making life more fulfilling, enjoyable, and happy instead of just tolerable; they wish to promote mental health and well-being instead of only treating disorders. This research paper will address the roles that hope, gratitude, forgiveness, resilience, optimism, and self-efficacy play in one’s life, and how these characteristics can
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It is possible that directly building these positive resources may also buffer against their future reoccurrence.” (Seligman et, al., 2006)
Logically, major depression would be well treated when using a positive psychology oriented approach. People who suffer from depression experience anhedonia – an inability to experience pleasure in activities which it is usually produced. They lack positive affect, show a lack of engagement in meaningful activities, lack of feeling of purpose, and lack of feeling of meaning. These people no longer find any interest in things such as sex, food, bonding with friends, favorite past times, and work. (Brynie, 2009) A study by Barnaby D. Dunn, published in July of 2012 also found that people suffering from depression also do not experience anticipation or recognize positive emotions the way those unaffected do. (Dunn, 2012) The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines anticipation as “1: b. the act of looking forward; especially: pleasurable expectation. 2: a mental attitude that influences a later response.”(Merriam-Webster, 2012) From this, it is understood that people suffering from depression, and therefore anhedonia, not only miss out on the pleasure normally experienced during enjoyable activities, they also do not even

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