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Saint Leo University Psychological Theory and Depressive Disorders Discussion

Saint Leo University Psychological Theory and Depressive Disorders Discussion

Question Description


post 1

Karen Aldana

July 22, 2020

Double Depression

This weeks readings was very interesting to me. I thought I knew a lot about depression, but I was surprised to learn about a few things this week. One thing I did not know was that people who suffer from major depressive disorder tend to have delusions and or hallucinations. “In such cases, the diagnosis is severe major depressive episode with psychotic features” (Hooley et al. 2020, pg. 214). I was also surprised to learn about double depression which is when someone meets the criteria for persistent depressive disorder but have instances where a major depressive episode occurs.

People with double depression feel their normal everyday persistent depression, such as feelings of hopelessness, having poor self-esteem and having low energy, but then can experience increased problems where they will meet the criteria for major depressive episode such as hallucinations and mood reactivity. Hooley et al. (2020) When I learned about this, I could only feel so sorry for someone suffering with this. Dealing with persistent depression is bad enough but add on top of that a major depressive episode must be unbearable. I know many people who have persistent depression think it can’t get any worse than this, but then it actually does. Unfortunately, this probably results in many suicides because people just cannot take the pain anymore.


Hooley, J. M., Nock, M. K., & Butcher, J. N. (2020). Abnormal Psychology (18th ed.). Boston: Pearson

post two

Cyclothymia and Bipolar I and Bipolar II

There are multiple depressive disorders, each having specific differences, as well as similarities. Some say depression is a normal emotion when going through difficult times; it keeps us from exhausting our energy on certain situations (Hooley et al. 2017). However, sometimes depression turns into a depressive disorder and interferes with daily function. Below, I will discuss the similarities and differences between three specific depressive disorders, cyclothymia and bipolar I and II.

Hooley et al. (2017), defined cyclothymia as “a mild mood disorder characterized by cyclical periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms.” For a diagnosis of cyclothymia, there must be a two year period of these hypomanic and depressive episodes; however, it is a one year span for a diagnosis in adolescents and children. (Hooley et al. 2017). In between episodes, a person with cyclothymia seems to function and adjust to life’s obstacles. Though symptoms are categorized as mild, and the person adapts well between episodes, cyclothymia is a difficult diagnosis to live with, and it places the individual at a higher risk for bipolar I and II (Hooley et al. 2017).

Bipolar I disorder is a disorder in which an individual experiences “mixed episodes.” The episodes last for at least one week and include complete mania and major depressive symptoms (Hooley et al. 2017). Similar to bipolar I, bipolar II includes hypomania and depressive episodes; however, it is distinct mania, not mixed (Hooley et al. 2017). In bipolar I and II, there are periods of normality, but the disorders are heavily recurrent, causing significant occupational and interpersonal struggles.

I can relate the struggles of bipolar disorder, as my sister is diagnosed with it. For a while, my mom did not understand why she could not keep a job or how she could be so mean sometimes. I had to explain that bipolar disorder can inhibit a person from maintaining employment and relationships. My sister wants to work and becomes very upset when she tries to think of a position she could pursue and handle her depressive disorder. She was a Marine for seven years, and then her disorders began to develop around 22. At 29, it is even more difficult for her to think, “how was I a Marine, but I can’t work a simple job at a gym or restaurant?” Her manic episodes can be difficult for her and close family because often, we do not condone her extreme measures, and she takes out her disapproval on us.

While cyclothymia and bipolar I and II may share similarities, there are distinguishing differences. Cyclothymia includes milder forms of the episodes, while bipolar I and II episodes can often be extreme enough to require hospitalization. Once disorders are recognized, and a person begins treatment, there are many choices, and are going to be client-specific.


Hooley, J., Nock, M., and Butcher, J. (2017) Abnormal Psychology, 18e. Pearson Education

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