Cognitive Functioning in Depression
Nature and Origins
This chapter explores the psychiatric disorder of depression and the opening section provides relevant statistics and a brief history of related research on depression. This chapter focuses on depressive disorder, as opposed to a related mood disorder—bipolar disorder. This chapter examines in detail the parameters, role, and origins of cognitive dysfunction in depression. The related theories on the role of cognition in depression developed by Beck, Bower, and Teasdale are presented. This is followed by a review of existing empirical studies of cognitive function in depression which begins with the crude, early investigations based on self-report questionnaires to more recent studies which employ information-processing methodologies developed by experimental cognitive psychologists. Insights related to the linkage between depression and deficits in attention, memory, and judgment are then presented. The role of these cognitive biases in recovery from depressive episodes are explored and linked with the issues of childhood depression.
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