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7 Depression Research Paper Topic Ideas

Nancy Schimelpfening, MS is the administrator for the non-profit depression support group Depression Sanctuary. Nancy has a lifetime of experience with depression, experiencing firsthand how devastating this illness can be.

Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter.

title for research paper about depression

In psychology classes, it's common for students to write a depression research paper. Researching depression may be beneficial if you have a personal interest in this topic and want to learn more, or if you're simply passionate about this mental health issue. However, since depression is a very complex subject, it offers many possible topics to focus on, which may leave you wondering where to begin.

If this is how you feel, here are a few research titles about depression to help inspire your topic choice. You can use these suggestions as actual research titles about depression, or you can use them to lead you to other more in-depth topics that you can look into further for your depression research paper.

What Is Depression?

Everyone experiences times when they feel a little bit blue or sad. This is a normal part of being human. Depression, however, is a medical condition that is quite different from everyday moodiness.

Your depression research paper may explore the basics, or it might delve deeper into the  definition of clinical depression  or the  difference between clinical depression and sadness .

What Research Says About the Psychology of Depression

Studies suggest that there are biological, psychological, and social aspects to depression, giving you many different areas to consider for your research title about depression.

Types of Depression

There are several different types of depression  that are dependent on how an individual's depression symptoms manifest themselves. Depression symptoms may vary in severity or in what is causing them. For instance, major depressive disorder (MDD) may have no identifiable cause, while postpartum depression is typically linked to pregnancy and childbirth.

Depressive symptoms may also be part of an illness called bipolar disorder. This includes fluctuations between depressive episodes and a state of extreme elation called mania. Bipolar disorder is a topic that offers many research opportunities, from its definition and its causes to associated risks, symptoms, and treatment.

Causes of Depression

The possible causes of depression are many and not yet well understood. However, it most likely results from an interplay of genetic vulnerability  and environmental factors. Your depression research paper could explore one or more of these causes and reference the latest research on the topic.

For instance, how does an imbalance in brain chemistry or poor nutrition relate to depression? Is there a relationship between the stressful, busier lives of today's society and the rise of depression? How can grief or a major medical condition lead to overwhelming sadness and depression?

Who Is at Risk for Depression?

This is a good research question about depression as certain risk factors may make a person more prone to developing this mental health condition, such as a family history of depression, adverse childhood experiences, stress , illness, and gender . This is not a complete list of all risk factors, however, it's a good place to start.

The growing rate of depression in children, teenagers, and young adults is an interesting subtopic you can focus on as well. Whether you dive into the reasons behind the increase in rates of depression or discuss the treatment options that are safe for young people, there is a lot of research available in this area and many unanswered questions to consider.

Depression Signs and Symptoms

The signs of depression are those outward manifestations of the illness that a doctor can observe when they examine a patient. For example, a lack of emotional responsiveness is a visible sign. On the other hand, symptoms are subjective things about the illness that only the patient can observe, such as feelings of guilt or sadness.

An illness such as depression is often invisible to the outside observer. That is why it is very important for patients to make an accurate accounting of all of their symptoms so their doctor can diagnose them properly. In your depression research paper, you may explore these "invisible" symptoms of depression in adults or explore how depression symptoms can be different in children .

How Is Depression Diagnosed?

This is another good depression research topic because, in some ways, the diagnosis of depression is more of an art than a science. Doctors must generally rely upon the patient's set of symptoms and what they can observe about them during their examination to make a diagnosis. 

While there are certain  laboratory tests that can be performed to rule out other medical illnesses as a cause of depression, there is not yet a definitive test for depression itself.

If you'd like to pursue this topic, you may want to start with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The fifth edition, known as DSM-5, offers a very detailed explanation that guides doctors to a diagnosis. You can also compare the current model of diagnosing depression to historical methods of diagnosis—how have these updates improved the way depression is treated?

Treatment Options for Depression

The first choice for depression treatment is generally an antidepressant medication. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most popular choice because they can be quite effective and tend to have fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants.

Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is another effective and common choice. It is especially efficacious when combined with antidepressant therapy. Certain other treatments, such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), are most commonly used for patients who do not respond to more common forms of treatment.

Focusing on one of these treatments is an option for your depression research paper. Comparing and contrasting several different types of treatment can also make a good research title about depression.

A Word From Verywell

The topic of depression really can take you down many different roads. When making your final decision on which to pursue in your depression research paper, it's often helpful to start by listing a few areas that pique your interest.

From there, consider doing a little preliminary research. You may come across something that grabs your attention like a new study, a controversial topic you didn't know about, or something that hits a personal note. This will help you narrow your focus, giving you your final research title about depression.

Remes O, Mendes JF, Templeton P. Biological, psychological, and social determinants of depression: A review of recent literature . Brain Sci . 2021;11(12):1633. doi:10.3390/brainsci11121633

National Institute of Mental Health. Depression .

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition . American Psychiatric Association.

National Institute of Mental Health. Mental health medications .

Ferri, F. F. (2019). Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2020 E-Book: 5 Books in 1 . Netherlands: Elsevier Health Sciences.

By Nancy Schimelpfening Nancy Schimelpfening, MS is the administrator for the non-profit depression support group Depression Sanctuary. Nancy has a lifetime of experience with depression, experiencing firsthand how devastating this illness can be.  

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217 Depression Research Topics & Essay Titles + Examples

Depression and anxiety are common mental health problems in today’s society. In an attempt to understand these conditions better, scholars try to answer many research questions about depression. For example, they study what risk factors predispose to this condition, what biological and social changes can cause it, and how to prevent and treat it effectively.

If you’re looking for a good depression research title, you’re at the right place! StudyCorgi has prepared a list of titles for depression essays and research questions that you can use for your presentation, persuasive paper, and other writing assignments. Read on to find your perfect research title about depression!

🏆 Best Research Topics on Depression

👍 depression research topics & essay examples, 🌶️ hot depression titles for a paper, 🎓 most interesting depression essay topics, 💡 good titles for depression essays, ❓ depression research questions, 📝 argumentative essay topics about depression, 🔎 creative research topics about depression.

  • Postnatal Depression: Prevalence of Postnatal Depression in Bahrain The study was aimed at estimating the prevalence of postnatal depression among 237 Bahraini women who attended checkups in 20 clinical centres over a period of 2 months.
  • Depression in the Elderly Depression can be defined as a state of anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. It can affect people across all ages, who present with diverse signs and symptoms
  • Impact of Depression on a Family The article makes a very powerful argument about the effects of depression on the relatives of the patient by identifying the major factors that put the family into a challenging position.
  • Major Depression’ Symptoms and Treatment – Psychology A continuous sense of tiredness, unhappiness, and hopelessness are key signs of clinical or major depression. Such mood changes alter the daily life programs of an individual for sometimes.
  • Depression in the Elderly – Psychology This paper discusses how a person would know whether a relative had clinical depression or was sad due to specific changes or losses in life.
  • Major Types of Depression This paper will review and analyze two scholarly articles concerning depression, its sings in male and female patients, and its connection and similarity to other disorders.
  • Depression in Older Persons – Psychology This article presents the research findings of a study conducted in Iran to assess how effective integrative and instrumental therapies are in the management of depression in older persons.
  • Clinical Depression Treatment: Issues and Solvings The paper describes and justifies the design selected for research on depression treatment. It also identifies ethical issues and proposes ways of addressing them.
  • Patients with Depression’ Care: Betty Case Betty, a 45 years old woman, is referred to a local clinic because of feeling depressed. She has a history of three divorces and thinks that she is tired of living the old way.
  • Depression Screening in Primary Care Screening for depression in patients suffering from long term conditions (LTCs) or persistent health problems of the body, could largely be erroneous.
  • Care for Depression in Obstetrics and Gynecology This work analyzes the article developed by Melville et al. in which discusses the theme of depression in obstetrics and gynecology and improving care for it.
  • Placebo and Treatments for Depression Natural alternative treatments for depression actually work better than the biochemical alternatives like antidepressants.
  • Smoking Cessation and Depression It was estimated that nicotine affects the human’s reward system. As a result, smoking cessation might lead to depression and other mental disorder.
  • Depression in Older Adults Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the world. Evidence-based holistic intervention would provide more effective treatment for elderly patients with depression.
  • Postnatal Depression Prevalence and Effects The paper analyzes the prevalence and risk factors of Postnatal (Postpartum) Depression as well as investigates the effect on the newborns whose mothers suffer from this condition.
  • Childhood Obesity and Depression Intervention The main intervention to combat depressive moods in adolescents should be linked to improving the psychological health of young people in cooperation with schools.
  • Women’s Health: Depression as a Psychological Factor Women who identify themselves as lesbian are likely to experience depression. Biophysical, psychological, sociocultural, behavioral, and health system factors should be taken into consideration.
  • European Alliances, Wars, Dictatorships and Depression The decades leading to World War I had unusual alignments. The European nations were still scrambling for Asia, Africa and parts of undeveloped Europe.
  • Postpartum Depression as Serious Mental Health Problem The research study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a two-step behavioral and educational intervention on the symptoms of postpartum depression in young mothers.
  • Counseling Depression: Ethical Aspects This paper explores the ethical aspects required to work with a widower who diminished passion for food, secluding himself in the house, portraying signs of depression.
  • Depression and Thyroid Issues in Young Woman Young people are busy at studies or at work and do not pay much attention to primary symptoms unless they influence the quality of life.
  • Depression Treatment and Management Treatment could be started only after patient is checked whether he has an allergy to the prescribed pills or not. If he is not allergic, he should also maintain clinical tests for depression.
  • Women’s Health: Predictors of Postpartum Depression The article written by Katon, Russo, and Gavin is focused on women’s health. It discusses predictors of postpartum depression (PPD), including sociodemographic and clinic risk factors.
  • Treatment of Depression in Lesbians The aim of this paper is to review a case study of 45 years old lesbian woman who seeks treatment for depression and to discuss the biophysical, psychological, sociocultural, health system.
  • Depression and Cognitive Psychotherapy Approaches Cognitive psychotherapy offers various techniques to cope with emotional problems. This paper discusses the most effective cognitive approaches.
  • The Efficacy of Medication in Depression’ Treatment This paper attempts to provide a substantial material for the participation in an argument concerning the clinical effectiveness of antidepressant medications.
  • Evidence-Based Pharmacology: Major Depression In this paper, a certain attention to different treatment approaches that can be offered to patients with depression will be paid, including the evaluation of age implications.
  • Smoking Cessation and Depression Problem The aim of the study is to scrutinize the issues inherent in the process of smoking cessation and align them with the occurrence of depression in an extensive sample of individuals.
  • Postpartum Depression, Prevention and Treatment Postpartum depression is a common psychiatric condition in women of the childbearing age. They are most likely to develop the disease within a year after childbirth.
  • Depression in Obstetrics and Gynecology: Research This essay analyzes a clinical research article “Improving care for depression in obstetrics and gynecology: A randomized controlled trial” by Melville et al.
  • The Postnatal (Postpartum) Depression’ Concept Postnatal or postpartum depression (PPD) is a subtype of depression which is experienced by women within the first half a year after giving birth.
  • VEGA Medical Center: Detection of Depression Practice guidelines for the psychiatric evaluation of adults, and they can be employed to solve the meso-level problem of the VEGA medical center and its nurses.
  • Post-Partum Depression and Perinatal Dyadic Psychotherapy Post-partum depression affects more than ten percent of young mothers, and a method Perinatal Dyadic Psychotherapy is widely used to reduce anxiety.
  • Anxiety and Depression Among Females with Cancer The study investigated the prevalence of and the potential factors of risk for anxiety and/or depression among females with early breast cancer during the first 5 years.
  • Postpartum Depression: Methods for the Prevention Postpartum depression is a pressing clinical problem that affects new mothers, infants, and other family members. The prevalence of postpartum depression ranges between 13 and 19 percent.
  • Depression and Solutions in Psychiatry Depression is a state where a person has low moods and concentration is derailed. It is a condition that could affect a large part of the population if it is not controlled.
  • Depression and Self-Esteem Relationship Self-esteem can be defined as an “individual’s subjective evaluation of his or her worth as a person”; it does not necessarily describe one’s real talents.
  • Citalopram, Methylphenidate in Geriatric Depression Citalopram typically ranges among 10-20 antidepressants for its cost-effectiveness and positive effect on patients being even more effective than reboxetine and paroxetine.
  • Lamotrigine for Bipolar Depression Management Lamotrigine sold as Lamictal is considered an effective medication helping to reduce some symptoms that significantly affect epileptic and bipolar patients’ quality of life.
  • Depression and Its Treatment: Racial and Ethnic Disparities The racial and ethnic disparities in depression treatment can be used for the development of quality improvement initiatives aimed at the advancement of patient outcomes.
  • Predictors of Postpartum Depression: Who Is at Risk? The article “Predictors of Postpartum Depression” by Katon, Russo, and Gavin focuses on the identification of risk factors related to postnatal depression.
  • Women’s Health and Major Depression Symptoms The client’s complaints refer to sleep problems, frequent mood swings (she gets sad a lot), and the desire to stay away from social interactions.
  • Depression Management in US National Guidelines The project offers the VEGA medical center to implement the guidelines for depression management developed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
  • The Improvement of Depression Management The present paper summarizes the context analysis that was prepared for a change project aimed at the improvement of depression management.
  • Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by unusual mood changes that shift from manic to depressive extremes. In the medical field, it`s called manic depression.
  • Postpartum Bipolar Disorder and Depression The results of the Mood Disorder Questionnaire screening of a postpartum patient suggest a bipolar disorder caused by hormonal issues and a major depressive episode.
  • Mild Depression: Psychotherapy or Pharmacotherapy The research question in this paper is: in psychiatric patients with mild depression, what is the effect of psychotherapy on health compared with pharmacotherapy?
  • Impact of COVID-19 on Depression and Suicide Rates among Adolescents and Young People The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of coronavirus on these tragic numbers.
  • Theories in Depression Treatment This study analyzes the theories pertinent to depression treatment, reviews relevant evidence, defines key concepts of the project, and explains the framework chosen for it.
  • Health and Care Excellence in Depression Management The introduction of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines can affect the accuracy of diagnosing and quality of managing depression.
  • Problem of Depression: Recognition and Management Depression is a major health concern, which is relatively prevalent in the modern world. Indeed, in the US, 6.7 % of adults experienced an episode of the Major Depressive Disorder in 2015.
  • The Geriatric Population’s Depression This paper discusses how does the implementation of National Institute for Health and Care guidelines affect the accuracy of diagnosing of depression in the geriatric population.
  • Treating Mild Depression: Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy The project intends to investigate the comparative effectiveness of the treatments that are currently used for mild depression.
  • Depression in Cardiac or Diabetic Patients The paper develops a framework through which risk factors associated with the development of MDD among adult patients with heart disease or diabetes can be easily identified.
  • Depression in Female Cancer Patients and Survivors Depression is often associated with fatigue and sleep disturbances that prevent females from thinking positively and focusing on the treatment and its outcomes.
  • Self-Esteem and Depression in Quantitative Research The topic that has been proposed for quantitative research pertains to the problem of the relationship between self-esteem and depression.
  • Depression and Workplace Violence The purpose of this paper is to provide an in-depth analysis how can workplace violence and verbal aggression be reduced or dealt with by employees.
  • The Impact of Depression on Motherhood This work studies the impact of depression screening on prenatal and posts natal motherhood and effects on early interventions using a literature review.
  • The Relationship Between Depression and Self-Esteem The topic which is proposed to be studied is the relationship between depression and self-esteem. Self-esteem can be defined as individual’s subjective evaluation of his or her worth.
  • Depression and Self-Esteem: Research Problem Apart from descriptively studying the relationship between depression and self-esteem, a more practical approach can be used to check how interventions for enhancing self-esteem might affect depression.
  • Predictors of Postpartum Depression The phenomenon of postpartum depression affects the quality of women’s lives, as well as their self-esteem and relationships with their child.
  • Depression in Adolescence as a Contemporary Issue Depression in adolescents is not medically different from adult depression but is caused by developmental and social challenges young people encounter.
  • Baby Blues: What We Know About Postpartum Depression The term Postpartum Depression describes a wide variety of physical and emotional adjustments experienced by a significant number of new mothers.
  • What Is Postpartum Depression? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment The prevalence of postpartum depression is quite high as one in seven new American mothers develops this health issue.
  • The Concept of Postpartum Depression Postpartum depression is a common condition involving psychological, emotional, social, and physical changes that many new mothers experience immediately after giving birth.
  • The Diagnosis and Treatment of Postpartum Depression Postpartum depression has many explanations, but the usual way of referring to this disease is linked to psychological problems.
  • Postpartum Depression In First-time Mothers The most common mental health problem associated with childbirth remains postpartum depression, which can affect both sexes, and negatively influences the newborn child.
  • Social Media as a Cause of Anxiety and Depression Anxiety and depression are considerable problems for world society. Numerous studies have linked high social media use with high levels of anxiety and depression.
  • Homelessness and Depression Among Illiterate People There are various myths people have about homelessness and depression. For example, many people believe that only illiterate people can be homeless.
  • Postpartum Depression: Diagnosis and Treatment This paper aims to discuss the peculiarities of five one-hour classes on depression awareness, to implement this intervention among first-year mothers, and to evaluate its worth during the first year after giving birth.
  • Postpartum Depression: Evidence-Based Care Outcomes In this evidence-based study, the instances of potassium depression should be viewed as the key dependent variable that will have to be monitored in the course of the analysis.
  • Nurses’ Interventions in Postnatal Depression Treatment This investigation evaluates the effect of nurses’ interventions on the level of women’s postnatal depression and their emotional state.
  • Adult Depression Treatment in the United States This study characterizes the treatment of adult depression in the US. It is prompted by the findings of earlier studies, which discover the lack of efficient depression care.
  • Effectiveness of Telenursing in Reducing Readmission, Depression, and Anxiety The project is dedicated to testing the effectiveness of telenursing in reducing readmission, depression, and anxiety, as well as improving general health outcomes.
  • Postpartum Depression: Evidence-Based Practice Postpartum or postnatal depression refers to a mood disorder that can manifest in a large variety of symptoms and can range from one person to another.
  • Action Research in Treating Depression With Physical Exercise Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. The latest statistics showed that depression does not discriminate against age.
  • Adolescent Mental Health: Depression This paper includes depression background discussion, including its signs, prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment, and a plan of treatment with three interventions to address this chronic health disease.
  • “Depression and Ways of Coping With Stress” by Orzechowska et al. The study “Depression and Ways of Coping With Stress” by Orzechowska et al. aimed the solve an issue pertinent to nursing since depression can influence any patient.
  • Transition Phase of Depression and Its’ Challenges Providing psychoeducation to people with mild to moderate depression, strategies for recognizing and addressing conflict and reluctance are discussed in this paper
  • Psychotherapeutic Group: Treatment of Mild-To-Moderate Depression The aim of this manual is to provide direction and employ high-quality sources dedicated to mild-to-moderate depression and group therapy to justify the choices made for the group.
  • Occupational Psychology: Depression Counselling The case involves a 28-year-old employee at Data Analytics Ltd. A traumatic event affected his mental health, causing depression and reduced performance.
  • Depression Among Rich People Analysis Among the myriad differences between rich and poor people is the manner in which they are influenced by and respond to depression.
  • Adolescent Depression: Modern Issues and Resources Teenagers encounter many challenging health-related issues; mental health conditions are one of them. This paper presents the aspects of depression in adolescents.
  • Physiological Psychology. Postpartum Depression Depression is a focal public health question. In the childbearing period, it is commoner in females than in males with a 2:1 ratio.
  • Television Habituation and Adolescent Depression The paper investigates the theory that there is a link between heavy TV viewing and adolescent depression and assess the strength of association.
  • Depression and Related Psychological Issues Depression as any mental disorder can be ascribed, regarding the use of psychoanalysis, to a person`s inability to control his destructive or sexual instincts or impulses.
  • Depression and Depressive Disorders Depression is one of the leading causes of disability in the world. Symptoms are feelings of sadness and guilt, changes in sleeping patterns changes in appetite, and other.
  • Depression and Other Antecedents of Obesity Defeating the inertia about taking up a regular programme of sports and exercise can be a challenging goal. Hence, more advocacy campaigns focus on doing something about obesity with a more prudent diet.
  • Protective Factors Against Youthful Depression Several iterations of multiple correlation, step-wise and hierarchical regression yielded inconclusive results about the antecedents of youthful depression.
  • Mental Health Association of Depression and Alzheimer’s in the Elderly Depression can be a part of Alzheimer’s disease. Elderly people may have episodes of depression, but these episodes cannot be always linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Geriatric Depression Diagnostics Study Protocol The research question is: how does the implementation of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines affect the accuracy of diagnosing of depression?
  • Teenage Depression: Causes and Symptoms Teenage depression affects teenagers and it may lead to violence, homicide, drug abuse, problems both at home and in school and suicide.
  • Mood Disorders: Depression Concepts Description The essay describes the nature of depression, its causes, characteristics, consequences, and possible ways of treatment.
  • Components of the Treatment of Depression The most effective ways of treating people with depression include pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy or a combination of both.
  • Major Depression Disorder: Causes and Treatment Loss in weight and appetite are some of the symptoms that a patient diagnosed with Major Depression Disorder could manifest.
  • Depression in Feminist Literature of the 1890s The aim of the work is to analyze the cause of female sickness, which is their inability to express themselves and the pitiful place of a female in the society of that time.
  • Elderly Depression: Symptoms, Consequences, Behavior, and Therapy The paper aims to identify symptoms, behavioral inclinations of older adults, consequences of depression, and treatment ways.
  • Depression in the Contemporary Society Public awareness about depression has increased in recent years, with more attention dedicated to the need for addressing this serious mental health illness and less stigmatization.
  • Negative Effects of Depression in Adolescents on Their Physical Health Mental disorders affect sleep patterns, physical activity, digestive and cardiac system. The purpose of the paper to provide information about adverse impacts of depression on health.
  • Does Social Media Use Contribute to Depression? Social media is a relatively new concept in a modern world. It combines technology and social tendencies to enhance interaction through Internet-based gadgets and applications.
  • Alcohol and Depression Article by Churchill and Farrell The selected article for this discussion is “Alcohol and Depression: Evidence From the 2014 Health Survey for England” by Sefa Awaworyi Churchill and Lisa Farrell.
  • Family Support to a Veteran With Depression Even the strongest soldiers become vulnerable to multiple health risks and behavioral changes, and depression is one of the problems military families face.
  • Adolescent Depression and Physical Health Depression in adolescents and young people under 24 is a factor that affects their physical health negatively and requires intervention from various stakeholders.
  • “Neighborhood Racial Discrimination and the Development of Major Depression” by Russell The study investigates how neighborhood racial discrimination influences this severe mental disorder among African American Women.
  • Post-Natal Depression as an Affective Disorder Postpartum or post-natal depression (PPD) is a serious issue that can potentially be destructive to both infant and mother.
  • The Effect of Music Therapy on Depression One major finding of study is that music therapy alleviates depression among the elderly. Music therapy could alleviate depression.
  • Depression: Types, Symptoms, Etiology & Management Depression differs from other disorders, connected with mood swings, and it may present a serious threat to the individual’s health condition.
  • Depression and the Nervous System Depression is a broad condition that is associated with failures in many parts of the nervous system. It can be both the cause and the effect of this imbalance.
  • Depression Treatments and Therapeutic Strategies This article examines the effectiveness of different depression treatments and reviews the therapeutic strategies, which can be helpful if the initial treatment fails.
  • Depression in the Elderly: Treatment Options Professionals may recommend various treatment options, including the use of antidepressants, psychotherapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • Effects of Music Therapy on Depressed Elderly People Music therapy has been shown to have positive effects among people, and thus the aim was to assess the validity of such claims using elderly people.
  • Depression Treatment Variants in the US There is a debate regarding the best formula for depression treatment whereby some argue for using drugs, whereas others are advocating for therapy.
  • Application of Analysis of Variance in the Analysis of HIV/AIDS-Related Depression Cases Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is a commonly used approach in the testing of the equality of various means using variance.
  • Edinburgh Depression Screen for Treating Depression Edinburgh Depression screen is also known as Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale which is used to screen pregnant and postnatal women for emotional distress.
  • Treatment of Major Depression The purpose of the paper is to identify the etiology and the treatment of major depression from a psychoanalytic and cognitive perspective.
  • Literature Evaluation on the Depression Illness The evaluation considers the articles that study such medical illness as depression from different planes of its perception.
  • Postnatal Depression in New Mothers and Its Prevention Leisure activities keep new mothers suffering from postnatal depression busy and enable them to interact with other members of the society.
  • Depression Intervention Among Diabetes Patients The research examines the communication patterns used by depression care specialist nurses when communicating with patients suffering from diabetes.
  • The Treatment of Anxiety and Depression The meta-analysis provides ample evidence, which indicates that CES is not only effective but also safe in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
  • Serum Neurotrophic Factors in Adolescent Depression by Pallavi et al. The research hypothesis of the article is to compare the serum concentration of neurotrophic factors in depression patients and healthy control.
  • Health Disparity Advocacy: Clinical Depression in the U.S. Recent statistics show that approximately more than 10 million people suffer from severe depression each year in the U.S..
  • Depression as It Relates to Obesity This paper will argue that there is a positive correlation between depression and obesity. The paper will make use of authoritative sources to reinforce this assertion.
  • Major Depression: Symptoms and Treatment Major depression is known as clinical depression, which is characterized by several symptoms. There are biological, psychological, social, and evolutionary causes of depression.
  • Suicidal Ideation & Depression in Elderly Living in Nursing Home vs. With Family This paper attempts to compare the incidence of suicidal ideation and depression among elderly individuals living in nursing homes and those living with family in the community.
  • The Health of the Elderly: Depression and Severe Emotional Disturbance This study is intended for males and females over the age of 50 years who are likely to suffer from depression and severe emotional disturbance.
  • Adolescent Males With Depression: Poly-Substance Abuse Depression is the most crucial aspect that makes young males indulge in poly-substance abuse. There are various ways in which male adolescents express their depression.
  • History and Treatment of Depression Depression is currently one of the most common medical conditions among the adult population in the US. The paper aims to investigate the history and treatment of depression.
  • Mitigating Postnatal Depression in New Mothers: A Recreational Program Plan Post-natal depression is a popular form of depression in women. This paper presents an activity plan for the use of leisure as a therapeutic response to post-natal depression.
  • Is Creativity A Modern Panacea From Boredom and Depression? Communication, daily life, and working patterns become nothing but fixed mechanisms that are deprived of any additional thoughts and perspectives.
  • Geriatric Depression Scale, Clock Drawing Test and Mini-Mental Status Examination Depression is a common condition among geriatric patients. Around 5 million older adults in the US experience significant morbidity from depression.
  • Depression: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Depression interferes with daily routine, wasting valuable time and lowering production. Persistent downs or blues, sadness, and anger may be signs of depression.
  • Postpartum Depression Screening Program Evaluation In order to manage the depression of mothers who have just delivered, it is important to introduce a routine postpartum depression-screening program in all public hospitals.
  • Coping with Depression After Loss of Loved Ones This case is about a 60-year-old man of African American origin. He suffered from depression after his wife’s death, which made him feel lonely and isolated.
  • Depression and Anxiety in Older Generation Depression and anxiety represent severe mental disorders that require immediate and prolonged treatment for patients of different ages.
  • The Rise of Depression in the Era of the Internet Understanding how the Internet affects human lives is essential in ascertaining the reasons for the growing loneliness in the intrinsically connected world.
  • How Covid-19 Isolation Contributed to Depression and Adolescent Suicide The pandemic affected adolescents because of stringent isolation measures, which resulted in mental challenges such as depression and anxiety, hence suicidal thoughts.
  • Post-operative Breast Cancer Patients With Depression: Annotated Bibliography This paper is an annotated bibliography about risk reduction strategies at the point of care: Post-operative breast cancer patients who are experiencing depression.
  • Relation Between the COVID-19 Pandemic and Depression The paper is to share an insight into the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of thousands of people and provide advice on how to reduce its impact.
  • The Effects of Forgiveness Therapy on Depression for Women The study analyzes the impact of forgiveness therapy on the emotional state of women who have experienced emotional abuse.
  • Qi Gong Practices’ Effects on Depression Qi Gong is a set of physical and spiritual practices aimed at the balance of mind, body, and soul and the article demonstrates whether it is good or not at treating depression.
  • Depression Among Patients With Psoriasis Considering psoriasis as the cause of the development of depressive disorders, many researchers assign a decisive role to the severe skin itching that accompanies psoriasis.
  • Therapeutic Interventions for the Older Adult With Depression and Dementia The paper researches the therapeutic interventions which relevant for the older people with depression and dementia nowadays.
  • “Yoga for Depression” Article by The Minded Institute One can say that depression is both the biological and mental Black Death of modern humanity in terms of prevalence and negative impact on global health.
  • Physical Activities as Treatment for Depression This paper will discuss what factors are improved via physical exercise and how they help with treating depression.
  • Social Media and Depression in Adolescents: The Causative Link This paper explores how social media causes depression in adolescents during the social-emotional stage of life.
  • Nutrition and Depression: A Psychological Perspective When discussing nutrition in toddlers and certain behavioral patterns, one of the first standpoints to pay attention to is the humanistic perspective.
  • Depression in the Older Population The paper discusses depression is an actual clinical disorder for older people with specific reasons related to their age.
  • Why Are Physical Activities Treatments for Depression? In this paper, the connection between physical activities and depression will be analyzed, and the common counterargument will be discussed.
  • Depression and Anxiety Among African-American Children Depression and anxiety are common among African-American children and adolescents, but they face significant barriers to receiving care and treatment due to their age and race.
  • Psychedelics in Depression and Anxiety Treatment Mental illnesses have become an essential part of health in the last few decades, with sufficient attention being devoted to interventions that resolve them.
  • Depression and Anxiety in Mental Health Nurses Depression and anxiety are the most common mental diseases in humans. Nurses who work in mental health are at significant risk of getting psychiatric illnesses.
  • Depression: Diagnostics and Treatment Depression, when it remains unchecked, can cause detrimental effects to individuals, such as suicide, which will eventually equate to mental disorders.
  • African American Children Suffering From Anxiety and Depression Depression and anxiety are common among African American children and adolescents, and they face significant barriers to receiving care and treatment.
  • The Causes of Depression and How to Overcome It In this self-reflection essay, the author describes the causes of his depression and the steps he is taking to overcome it.
  • Impacts of Stress of Low Income on the Risk of Depression in Children Socioeconomic hardships lead to a decline in the quality of parenting and the development of psychological and behavioral problems in children.
  • Depression in Hispanic Culture There are different ways in which culture or ethnicity can impact the treatment of the development of mental health disorders.
  • Depression and Anxiety Management The medical staff will investigate the treatment modalities currently being utilized for the large population of patients experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Post-Stroke Anxiety and Depression The purpose of the given study is to ascertain how cognitive behavior therapy affects individuals with post-stroke ischemia in terms of depression reduction.
  • Bipolar Depression and Bipolar Mania Although all bipolar disorders are characterized by periods of extreme mood, the main difference between them is the severity of the condition itself.
  • Interventions to Cope With Depression Depression is characterized by sadness, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, and helplessness. These feelings do not necessarily relate to life events.
  • Promotion of Change Regarding Adolescent Depression In the essay, the author describes the methods to evaluate the symptoms of a patient who has been referred for counseling with depression.
  • Men and Depression: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Depression in men and women has several incompatibilities as males suffer from health problems more often than women as they rarely express their emotions.
  • Repression and Depression in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the author highlighted the connection between repression and depression.
  • Postpartum Depression in Women and Men The focus of the paper is health problems that affect women after giving birth to a child, such as depression. The author proposes that men also experience postpartum depression.
  • Depression: Psychoeducational Intervention This paper considers the peculiarities of the application of psychoeducation in depression, including advantages, limitations, and ethical aspects.
  • Depression: Case Conceptualization and Treatment Planning This text is a case presentation that discusses the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning for a patient who is experiencing major depressive disorder.
  • Depression and Anxiety: Mary’s Case Mary’s husband’s death precipitated her depression and anxiety diagnosis. She feels lonely and miserable as she struggles with her daily endeavors with limited emotional support.
  • Hypnotherapy as an Effective Method for Treating Depression This paper explores the use of hypnotherapy as a treatment for depression and highlights the advantages of hypnosis in addressing depressive symptoms.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety and Depression Cognitive behavioral therapy analyzes the unconscious processes influencing the normal functioning of the human body, causing different pathologies.
  • Marijuana Effects on Risk of Anxiety and Depression The current paper aims to find out whether medical cannabis can positively affect anxiety and depression and the process of their treatment.
  • The Impact of Postpartum Maternal Depression on Postnatal Attachment This paper examines the influence of postpartum maternal depression on postnatal infant attachment, discusses the adverse effects of depression on attachment.
  • Psychological Assessments and Intervention Strategies for Depression The article presents two case studies highlighting the importance of psychological assessments and intervention strategies for individuals experiencing depression.
  • What Are the Characteristics and Causes of Depression?
  • Why Are Athletes Vulnerable to Depression?
  • Why and How Adolescents Are Affected by Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Clinical Depression?
  • Does Depression Assist Eating Disorders?
  • What Should You Know About Depression?
  • How Can Mother Nature Lower Depression and Anxiety?
  • How Can Video Games Relieve Stress and Reduce Depression?
  • When Does Teacher Support Reduce Depression in Students?
  • Why Are Teenagers Affected by Depression?
  • How Teens and Depression Today?
  • Are Mental Health Issues Like Depression Related to Race?
  • What Does Depression Mean?
  • How Did the Depression Affect France?
  • How Does Depression Stop?
  • When Postpartum Depression Leads to Psychosis?
  • How Do Medication and Therapy Combat Depression?
  • What Are the Leading Causes of Depression?
  • What About Drugs for Anxiety and Depression?
  • What’s the Big Deal About Anxiety and Depression in Students?
  • How Should Childhood Depression and Anxiety Be?
  • How Do Gender Stereotypes Warp Our View of Depression?
  • What Are the Signs of Teenage Depression?
  • Are Testosterone Levels and Depression Risk Linked Based on Partnering and Parenting?
  • How Psychology Helps People With Depression?
  • How Should Childhood Depression and Anxiety Be Treated or Dealt With?
  • Is depression a biological condition or a result of unrealistic expectations?
  • Should employers be legally required to provide support to workers with depression?
  • Do the media portrayals of depression accurately reflect people’s experiences?
  • Social media contributes to depression rates by eliciting the feeling of loneliness.
  • Should mental health screening be mandatory in schools?
  • Should depression be reclassified as a neurological disorder?
  • Antidepressants are an overused quick-fix solution to depression.
  • Should non-pharmacological treatments for depression be prioritized?
  • Should depression be considered a disability?
  • The use of electroconvulsive therapy for depression should be banned.
  • Can physical exercise alone effectively treat depression?
  • Art therapy as a complementary treatment for depression.
  • Is there a link between perfectionism and depression?
  • The influence of sleep patterns on depression treatment outcomes.
  • Can exposure to nature and green spaces decrease depression rates in cities?
  • The relationship between diet and depression symptoms.
  • The potential benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy in treating depression.
  • The role of outdoor experiences in alleviating depression symptoms.
  • The relationship between depression and physical health in older adults.
  • The role of workplace culture in preventing employee depression.
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StudyCorgi. (2023, November 8). 217 Depression Research Topics & Essay Titles + Examples. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/ideas/depression-essay-topics/

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StudyCorgi . "217 Depression Research Topics & Essay Titles + Examples." November 8, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/depression-essay-topics/.

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The essay topic collection was published on September 9, 2021 . Last updated on November 8, 2023 .

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60 Outstanding Depression Research Paper Topics

depression research paper

Depression has been a subject of interest for quite a while now. Teens have formed the majority of the victims. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, depression has escalated to another level. That is why a research paper on depression is inevitable for you as a college student. First things first,

Depression Research Paper Outline

Whenever you’re confronted with such a paper, the groundbreaking step would be to determine the outline. It will act as a skeleton upon which you will fill with the meet. So, how does a depression research paper look like for you?

  • The topic contributes significantly to the scope of what you intend to write on in your paper. A research topic’s success depends on its originality, currency, and emotional appeal, especially on such a subject.
  • The Introduction – It contains opening remarks which bring to light the background of the topic. You can also include recent developments in depression. The thesis statement should give a clear idea of the arguments in the body paragraphs.
  • The body – You will arrange these in order of seniority – from the most relevant arguments to the least. Include reputable and authoritative statements as evidence for your paper. If you choose to include statistics, ensure that they are accurate.
  • The conclusion – You will summarize your results and findings and recommend them if possible. Since this is a practical topic in everyday life, include a call to action statement here.

Once you get your outline right, here are a few things to consider when writing this kind of paper:

Do not include topics resulting in high emotions Ensure that you have adequate information for the topic you choose Avoid using words that may cause more depression on the reader

Therefore, you can discuss any of the following areas:

  • Depression disorders
  • How to manage it
  • Ways of helping the victims

To get you jammed up, here are 60 of the best depression topics for research paper. Use them to draw inspiration for your next assignment. If you’re not inspired by the subject or don’t have the time to spend writing essays, it’s best to let professionals write a paper for you. 

Depression Topics For Research Paper on the Causes

  • How upsetting or stressful life events such as death can lead to depression
  • Why people feel low after a severe illness or undergoing a major surgery
  • The role of the ‘downward spiral’ of events in triggering depression
  • Difficult social and economic circumstances that cause depression
  • Personality traits such as low self-esteem and their role in depression
  • Is depression a hereditary illness passed down to family members?
  • Why some women may be vulnerable to depression after giving birth
  • Why the feeling of loneliness is a significant risk
  • How alcohol and drugs can leave you in a state of depression
  • Longstanding illnesses that may trigger depression among people

Topic Ideas For a Postpartum Depression Research Paper

  • The impact of hormone level drop after giving birth
  • Why you may be depressed if you didn’t want to get pregnant
  • Reasons why new moms may be at risk of getting depressed
  • How long does postpartum take to subside in new mothers?
  • What causes intense irritability and anger after giving birth?
  • Why would one develop the fear of not being a good mother?
  • Can postpartum depression lead to a mother harming her child?
  • Impact of postpartum depression on a mother’s ability to think straight
  • Symptoms of postpartum depression in new fathers
  • How to help new fathers adopt responsibility

Research Paper on Depression in College Students

  • Why do most college students in their last year experience depression?
  • Are lecturers to blame for depression among students?
  • The role of homework in causing depression among students
  • Consequences and risks of depression among students
  • The problem of relationships in college
  • Increasing cases of suicide among students
  • Stressful college life events that stir depression
  • Self-harming behaviors among college students
  • How to diagnose and treat depression among college students
  • Depression and academic performance among students

Teen Depression Research Paper Topic Ideas

  • Excessive use of technology among teens and depression
  • Why most teens seek out drugs as a remedy for depression
  • Financial stresses on teens and how they are compelled to depression
  • Why most teens feel depressed after a relationship break-up
  • Debt and depression among teens
  • The role of parents in managing depression among teens
  • The place of peer pressure in causing depression among teenagers
  • Can parental over-involvement lead to the development of stress among teens?
  • Why most teens do not seek help why they are depressed
  • Who are the most vulnerable between the male and female teens, and why?

Topics For Coronavirus and Depression Research Papers

  • Why are there increased cases of depression during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How to deal with depression while staying at home
  • How the government can help alleviate depression among citizens
  • How to deal with a job loss during COVID-19
  • How loneliness is killing many people in their homes
  • Stigmatization and its impact on COVID-19 patients
  • Why the media is the most significant source of depression during the coronavirus
  • Activities you can engage in during the coronavirus pandemic
  • How journaling can help you overcome depression
  • Ways of fending for low-income families

Depression Research Questions To Consider in 2023

  • Can you trust a psychologist to help?
  • Why do most depression cases end up in suicide?
  • Should we have a national day on sensitization against depression?
  • What is the role of the family in combating depression?
  • How should we treat depressed friends?
  • Should we share our depression stories on Facebook?
  • Do children experience depression?
  • Why should you check up on your friends daily?
  • Is cyber-bullying killing people?
  • Why teens should not engage in relationships

Don’t afraid to ask for help with your college papers. Just leave a message, “Please, help me do my assignment !” and do not let your depression research paper be the reason why you feel stressed. If you need high qualitative help with your research or other subjects, contact our expert writers. We offer quality, cheap, and fast, professional paper writing help to college students. Order your paper today and get time to relax!

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163 In Depth Depression Research Topics To Use

depression research topics

Your professor probably wants every student to write an amazing research paper on depression. We know; that expectations are high. If you want to get a top grade, then you need to learn how to find the best depression research topics possible. Your teacher wants to read something interesting. He wants to see that you have dedicated enough time and effort to find an original idea. Bottom line, you need to make sure your topic is unique and highly interesting. You need to write the essay perfectly as well.

Remember, a good topic can earn you some bonus points. Why would you want to miss out on these when we have a list of 163 depression research topics right here on this page? Did you know that our list of topics is free to use as you see fit? You are allowed to reword any of our topics, as long as it helps you write a great essay. Also, we will never ask a student to give us any credit for using any of our ideas. Our company is here to help as many students as possible get the best possible grades on their difficult research papers on depression.

What to Write About in Your Depression Research Papers?

So, what can you write about in your next depression research papers? We will assume you are in psychology class for this blog post, even though any student can write a research paper about depression . We all know what depression is. It’s a serious medical condition that affects the way people act, feel and even think negatively. However, you could discuss the differences between depression and sadness or even other medical conditions.

Another great idea is to talk about the different types of depression. You can compare them, of course. Postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and mania – are just some of the things you can talk about with depression.

Next, you can talk about the many causes of depression, as well as the important signs and symptoms of this medical problem. Another interesting idea would be to talk about people who are most at risk of depression (and discuss the risk factors that lead to depression).

Of course, you could also discuss modern methods of diagnosing depression, as well as some of the most important or prominent treatment options for this medical issue. And remember, don’t be afraid to write your depression research papers on controversial topics. We have some very interesting ideas in our list of 163 awesome depression topics. Check them out below:

Interesting Depression Research Questions

Let’s start our list with the most interesting depression research questions possible. Check out these ideas and pick one right now:

  • Discuss the effects of cognitive-behavioral group therapy on depression
  • Depression leads to low self-esteem
  • Analyze the effects of art therapy on depression
  • The effects of depression on social life
  • The link between social media and depression
  • Research the top 3 causes of depression
  • Reasons to take depression very seriously
  • Depression in veterans in the United States
  • Music therapy and its effects on depression

Research Paper About Depression For Middle School

Yes, even middle school children can write a paper about depression. Here are some ideas for a research paper about depression in middle school:

  • What is depression?
  • Compare depression with sadness
  • What causes depression?
  • Discuss the symptoms of depression
  • How can depression be diagnosed?
  • Best treatments for depression in the UK
  • What is a major depressive disorder?
  • Talk about depression in autistic children
  • Negative effects of Facebook on people suffering from depression
  • Health problems associated with depression

Teen Depression Research Paper

Want to write an awesome teen depression research paper? Check out these ideas and pick the one you like the most:

  • Analyze the causes of depression in teens in the UK
  • Methods to treat depression in teenagers
  • Effects of physical activity on depressive teens
  • Depression and anxiety in teens in the US
  • Teen depression caused by the Covid 19 pandemic
  • Symptoms of depression in young adults
  • Why are teens prone to depression?
  • Effects of depression on school activities

Psychology Research Topics

Do you want to write about depression and psychology? We have some of the best psychology research topics on the Internet right here:

  • The psychological effects of depression
  • Discuss the loss of interest in fun activities
  • Hallucinations caused by the major depressive disorder
  • Discuss the mental status examination procedure
  • The effects of alcohol abuse on depression
  • How does depression cause delusions?
  • Why is depression so widespread in Japan?
  • Analyze the monoamine theory as it relates to depression
  • Discuss the Limbic Cortical Model for diagnosing depression
  • The most effective depressive disorder diagnosis in 2022

Diagnosing Depression Topics

It’s not easy to write about diagnosing depression, but you can do it. Fortunately for you, we have some excellent diagnosing depression topics below:

  • An in-depth look at the symptoms of depression
  • A family history of depression
  • Brain imaging for diagnosing depression
  • The Beck Depression Inventory: Diagnosing Depression
  • Drug use: a factor that causes depression
  • Analyze the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression
  • Keeping an eye on TSH and Thyroxine levels
  • The link between hypogonadism and depression
  • Cognitive testing for diagnosing depression
  • The differences between depression and dementia

Causes of Depression Ideas

Talking about the many causes of depression can be a very interesting endeavor. Check out the following causes of depression ideas:

  • Discuss the biopsychosocial model of depression
  • Analyze the diathesis-stress model of depression
  • The role of genetics in developing depression
  • Childhood abuse and its effect on depression
  • Genetic factors that influence the onset of depression
  • An in-depth look at the 5-HTTLPR gene
  • The link between HIV/AIDS and depression
  • Discuss the seasonal affective disorder
  • Can B2, B6, and B12 deficiency cause depression?

Most Interesting Psychology Topics

When you are looking for the most interesting psychology topics on the Web, you should visit this page directly. Here are our latest ideas:

  • Social anxiety and its effects on depression
  • Coping with depression as an autistic person
  • Emotional abuse and its effects on depression
  • Can financial problems cause depression?
  • Love problems causing depression
  • Talk about the early signs of depression in children
  • Is domestic violence a cause of depression?
  • Top 3 ways to treat the major depressive disorder
  • Bullying and cyberbullying: two of the causes of depression
  • Changes in brain activity in people suffering from depression

Drugs and Depression Ideas

Looking to write about drugs and how they relate to depression? Here are some amazing drugs and depression ideas for you:

  • The link between drugs and depression
  • Drug abuse leading to depression
  • Best 3 drugs used to treat depression
  • Using sertraline (Zoloft) to mitigate depression symptoms
  • The pros and cons of fluoxetine (Prozac or Sarafem)
  • Negative effects of citalopram (Celexa)
  • How escitalopram (Lexapro) treats the symptoms of depression
  • Prescribing paroxetine (Paxil or Brisdelle) for depression
  • Dangerous health effects of taking fluvoxamine (Luvox) for depression
  • Addiction problems with anti-depressive medication

Mental Health Research Paper Topics

Depression and mental health are closely related, so why not pick one of our awesome mental health research paper topics:

  • The brain chemistry behind depression
  • Changes in brain activity during a depressive episode
  • Sleep problems caused by depression
  • Tiredness: a feeling that never goes away
  • What causes irritability and anger in patients diagnosed with depression?
  • Headaches as a symptom of depression
  • Chronic body aches and depression
  • Is depression a mood disorder?
  • Differences between depression and bipolar disorder
  • Compare and contrast depression and the cyclothymic disorder

Topics for a Depression Presentation

Are you looking for the most interesting topics for a depression presentation? Don’t hesitate to pick any of these topics right now:

  • The 3 main causes of depression in the United States
  • Covid-19 induced depression among teenagers in the UK
  • The symptoms of the major depressive disorder
  • Physical or sexual abuse as a cause of depression
  • Is depression affected by age?
  • Medications that cause depression among the elderly
  • How genes make some people more prone to depression
  • Depression: A feeling of hopelessness that never goes away
  • Signs you may be suffering from a mild case of depression
  • The link between depression and memory loss

Depression Treatment Topics

Writing about various treatments for depression may not be an easy thing to do, but it’s certainly interesting. Here are some nice depression treatment topics:

  • Discuss three types of treatments for depression
  • Compare 4 of the most important drugs that alleviate depression symptoms
  • Antidepressants: the good, the bad, the ugly
  • Prescribing Adapin (doxepin) for depression
  • Major side effects of Anafranil (clomipramine)
  • Addiction problems with Aplenzin (bupropion)
  • Medicinal marijuana and its effects on depression
  • Physical exercise as a depression treatment
  • The best mental health apps in 2022
  • Benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • What is the role of a mental health team?

Anxiety Research Paper Topics

Looking for the best anxiety research paper topics a student could ever wish for? Check out these ideas and choose the best one for your needs:

  • The link between anxiety and depression
  • Is anxiety the same as depression?
  • What is anxiety?
  • Why is anxiety dangerous?
  • The symptoms of anxiety
  • Treating anxiety in an effective way
  • Covid-19-induced anxiety attacks
  • Is depression a side-effect of anxiety?
  • The emotions that trigger anxiety attacks
  • Analyze the 4 levels of anxiety

Depression Symptoms Research Paper Topics

Our depression symptoms research paper topics are the absolute best – and the list has been recently updated. You can find our latest ideas below:

  • Are you having a helpless outlook on your life?
  • Is hating yourself a sign of depression?
  • Symptoms of the Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Feeling tearful: is it a sign I am depressive?
  • Inappropriate guilt and worthlessness: 2 of the symptoms of depression
  • Low mood and sadness
  • The symptoms of the Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
  • Can depression lower your self-esteem?
  • Can depression make you intolerant of other people?
  • The symptoms of the major depressive syndrome

Good Research Topics for College

If you are a college student looking for the most interesting good research topics for college, you have arrived at the right place. Take a look at these awesome ideas:

  • Effects of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
  • An in-depth look at the CDI measure
  • Analyze catatonic depression
  • Psychological evaluation to detect early signs of depression
  • Alcoholism and its effects on depression
  • Depression in law enforcement officers in the United States
  • Cognitive therapy benefits

Controversial Topics on Depression

If you are looking for some controversial topics on depression, you are in luck. Our writers have just updated the list of topics, so you will surely find a unique topic below:

  • Prescribing antidepressant medication to depression patients
  • Forced treatment for people going through a major depression episode
  • Addiction caused by antidepressant medication
  • Depression on social media
  • The lack of family support

Depression Topics for High School

High school students should pick topics that are a bit easier to write about. Here is our list of depression topics for high school students:

  • The effects of social media on depression
  • Childhood depression causes
  • Write about the ways you can heal depression
  • Can family help people suffering from depression?
  • Physical activity as a cure for depression
  • Depression caused by stress in the workplace

Depression and Sociology Ideas

Searching for some exceptional depression and sociology ideas? We have plenty of them below. Simply pick the one you like and start writing your paper today:

  • Social problems caused by depression
  • Feelings of loneliness
  • Anger towards other people
  • Irritability and frustration feelings
  • The loss of interest in enjoyable activities

Coronavirus and Depression Ideas

Our writers have come up with some amazing coronavirus and depression ideas. You can check them out in the list below (and pick any of them for your next essay, of course):

  • The effects of the pandemic on depression
  • Analyze the rise in depression cases in the US
  • Analyze the rise of depression cases in the United Kingdom
  • Depression caused by the Covid 19 virus
  • Problems with the lack of human interaction

Depression Topics for a Quick Paper

If you don’t want to spend too much time working on your essay, we recommend you pick one of our depression topics for a quick paper. Here are our best ideas so far:

  • Any way to cure depression?
  • List the major depression symptoms
  • Explain how depression occurs
  • The best therapy for depressive people
  • Depression’s effect on your job
  • Discuss postpartum depression
  • Comorbid disorders associated with depression
  • Yoga to alleviate depression symptoms

Need Some Writing Help From Our Experts?

Do you want to write a successful research paper, thesis, or dissertation about depression? Now you can get exceptional assistance from a team of experienced and highly skilled academic writers. All of our writers hold Ph.D. degrees in various fields, including psychology, sociology, and mental health.

Getting a high grade has never been easier. We will help you find a great topic, do the research and then write the paper for you. You just need to send us your requirements and we will write a custom paper for you in no time – in as little as 3 hours, if necessary. Get the best writing help fast from our experts today. Get in touch with us!

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  • Continuing Education Activity

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) classifies the depressive disorders into Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder; Major depressive disorder; Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia); Premenstrual dysphoric disorder; and Depressive disorder due to another medical condition. The common features of all the depressive disorders are sadness, emptiness, or irritable mood, accompanied by somatic and cognitive changes that significantly affect the individual’s capacity to function. This activity reviews the evaluation and management of depression and the role of interprofessional team members in collaborating to provide well-coordinated care and enhance patient outcomes.

  • Review the risk factors for depression.
  • Describe DSM V criteria for the diagnosis of depression.
  • Summarize the treatment of depression.
  • Outline the evaluation and management of depression and the role of interprofessional team members in collaborating to provide well-coordinated care and enhance patient outcomes.
  • Introduction

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. [1] [2] The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) classifies the depressive disorders into:

  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Depressive disorder due to another medical condition

The common features of all the depressive disorders are sadness, emptiness, or irritable mood, accompanied by somatic and cognitive changes that significantly affect the individual’s capacity to function. [3]

Because of false perceptions, nearly 60% of people with depression do not seek medical help. Many feel that the stigma of a mental health disorder is not acceptable in society and may hinder both personal and professional life. There is good evidence indicating that most antidepressants do work but the individual response to treatment may vary. 

The etiology of major depressive disorder is multifactorial with both genetic and environmental factors playing a role. First-degree relatives of depressed individuals are about 3 times as likely to develop depression as the general population; however, depression can occur in people without family histories of depression. [4] [5]

Some evidence suggests that genetic factors play a lesser role in late-onset depression than in early-onset depression. There are potential biological risk factors that have been identified for depression in the elderly. Neurodegenerative diseases (especially Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease), stroke, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, cancer, macular degeneration, and chronic pain have been associated with higher rates of depression. Life events and hassles operate as triggers for the development of depression. Traumatic events such as the death or loss of a loved one, lack or reduced social support, caregiver burden, financial problems, interpersonal difficulties, and conflicts are examples of stressors that can trigger depression.

  • Epidemiology

Twelve-month prevalence of major depressive disorder is approximately 7%, with marked differences by age group.  The prevalence in 18- to 29-year-old individuals is threefold higher than the prevalence in individuals aged 60 years or older. Females experience 1.5- to 3-fold higher rates than males beginning in early adolescence.  In the US, depression affects nearly 17 million adults but these numbers are gross underestimates as many have not even come to medical attention.

  • Pathophysiology

The underlying pathophysiology of major depressive disorder has not been clearly defined. Current evidence points to a complex interaction between neurotransmitter availability and receptor regulation and sensitivity underlying the affective symptoms.

Clinical and preclinical trials suggest a disturbance in central nervous system serotonin (5-HT) activity as an important factor. Other neurotransmitters implicated include norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA), glutamate, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

The role of CNS 5-HT activity in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder is suggested by the therapeutic efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Research findings imply a role for neuronal receptor regulation, intracellular signaling, and gene expression over time, in addition to enhanced neurotransmitter availability.

Seasonal affective disorder is a form of major depressive disorder that typically arises during the fall and winter and resolves during the spring and summer. Studies suggest that seasonal affective disorder is also mediated by alterations in CNS levels of 5-HT and appears to be triggered by alterations in circadian rhythm and sunlight exposure.

Vascular lesions may contribute to depression by disrupting the neural networks involved in emotion regulation—in particular, frontostriatal pathways that link the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, and dorsal cingulate. Other components of limbic circuitry, in particular, the hippocampus and amygdala, have been implicated in depression.

  • History and Physical

The investigation into depressive symptoms begins with inquiries of the neurovegetative symptoms which include changes in sleeping patterns, appetite, and energy levels. Positive responses should elicit further questioning focused on evaluating for the presence of the symptoms which are diagnostic of major depression. These are the 9 symptoms listed in the DSM-5 . Five must be present to make the diagnosis (one of the symptoms should be depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure):

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Interest/pleasure reduction
  • Guilt feelings or thoughts of worthlessness
  • Energy changes/fatigue
  • Concentration/attention impairment
  • Appetite/weight changes
  • Psychomotor disturbances
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depressed mood

All patients with depression should be evaluated for suicidal risk. Any suicide risk must be given prompt attention which could include hospitalization or close and frequent monitoring.

Other areas of investigation include:

  • Past medical history and family medical history, and current medications
  • Social history with a focus on stressors and the use of drugs and alcohol
  • History and physical examination to rule out organic causes of depression. Depressive symptoms and their severity are also evaluated with the help of questionnaires such as the Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI), Hamilton Depression Scale (Ham-D), and Zung Self Rating Depression Scale

The diagnosis of depression is based on history and physical findings. No diagnostic laboratory tests are available to diagnose major depressive disorder. Laboratory studies are, however, useful to exclude medical illnesses that may present as major depressive disorder. [6] [7] [8] These laboratory studies might include the following:

  • Complete blood cell (CBC) count
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Rapid plasma reagin (RPR)
  • Electrolytes, including calcium, phosphate, and magnesium levels
  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine
  • Liver function tests (LFTs)
  • Blood alcohol level
  • Blood and urine toxicology screen
  • Arterial blood gas (ABG)
  • Dexamethasone suppression test (Cushing disease, but also positive in depression)
  • Cosyntropin (ACTH) stimulation test (Addison disease)  
  • Computed tomography (CT) scanning or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain should be considered if organic brain syndrome or hypopituitarism is included in the differential diagnosis
  • Treatment / Management

Medication alone and brief psychotherapy (cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy) alone can relieve depressive symptoms. Combination therapy has also been associated with significantly higher rates of improvement in depressive symptoms; increased quality of life; and better treatment compliance. There is also empirical support for the ability of CBT to prevent relapse. [9] [10]

Electroconvulsive therapy is useful for patients who are not responding well to medications or are suicidal. [11] [1]


  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)     
  • Atypical antidepressants
  • Serotonin-Dopamine Activity Modulators (SDAMs)     
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)  
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): SSRIs have the advantage of ease of dosing and low toxicity in overdose. They are also the first-line medications for late-onset depression.
  • SSRIs include: Citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine,  fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, vilazodone, vortioxetine
  • Serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): SNRIs, which include venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, and levomilnacipran can be used as first-line agents, particularly in patients with significant fatigue or pain syndromes associated with the episode of depression. SNRIs also have an important role as second-line agents in patients who have not responded to SSRIs. 
  • Atypical antidepressants: Atypical antidepressants include bupropion, mirtazapine, nefazodone, and trazodone. They have all been found to be effective in monotherapy in major depressive disorder and may be used in combination therapy for more difficult to treat depression.
  • Serotonin-Dopamine Activity Modulators (SDAMs): SDAMs include brexpiprazole and aripiprazole. SDAMs act as a partial agonist at 5-HT1A and dopamine D2 receptors at similar potency, and as an antagonist at 5-HT2A and noradrenaline alp Brexpiprazole is indicated as adjunctive therapy for major depressive disorder (MDD).
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAS): TCAs include the following: Amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, doxepin, imipramine, nortriptyline, protriptyline, trimipramine. TCAs have a long record of efficacy in the treatment of depression. They are used less commonly because of their side-effect profile and their considerable toxicity in overdose.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): MAOIs include isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline, and tranylcypromine. These agents are widely effective in a broad range of affective and anxiety disorders. Because of the risk of hypertensive crisis, patients on these medications must follow a low-tyramine diet. Other adverse effects can include insomnia, anxiety, orthostasis, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

ECT is a highly effective treatment for depression. Onset of action may be more rapid than that of drug treatments, with benefit often seen within 1 week of commencing treatment. A course of ECT (usually up to 12 sessions) is the treatment of choice for patients who do not respond to drug therapy, are psychotic, or are suicidal or dangerous to themselves. Thus, the indications for the use of ECT include the following:

  • Need for a rapid antidepressant response  Failure of drug therapies   
  • History of a good response to ECT     
  • Patient preference     
  • High risk of suicide
  • High risk of medical morbidity and mortality

Although advances in brief anesthesia and neuromuscular paralysis have improved the safety and tolerability of ECT, this modality poses numerous risks, including those associated with general anesthesia, postictal confusion, and, more rarely, short-term memory difficulties .  


Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy are evidence-based psychotherapies that have been found to be effective in the treatment of depression.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is a structured, and didactic form of therapy that focuses on helping individuals identify and modify maladaptive thinking and behavior patterns (16 to 20 sessions). It is based on the premise that patients who are depressed exhibit the “cognitive triad” of depression, which includes a negative view of themselves, the world, and the future. Patients with depression also exhibit cognitive distortions that help to maintain their negative beliefs. CBT for depression typically includes behavioral strategies (i.e., activity scheduling), as well as cognitive restructuring to change negative automatic thoughts and addressing maladaptive schemas.

There is evidence supporting the use of CBT with individuals of all ages. It is also considered being efficacious for the prevention of relapse. It is particularly valuable for elderly patients, who may be more prone to problems or side effects with medications.  

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was designed to reduce relapse among individuals who have been successfully treated for an episode of recurrent major depressive disorder. The primary treatment component is mindfulness training. MBCT specifically focuses on ruminative thought processes as being a risk factor for relapse. Research indicates that MBCT is effective in reducing the risk of relapse in patients with recurrent depression, especially in those with the most severe residual symptoms. Interpersonal therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a time-limited (typically 16 sessions) treatment for major depressive disorder. IPT draws from attachment theory and emphasize the role of interpersonal relationships, focusing on current interpersonal difficulties. Specific areas of emphasis include grief, interpersonal disputes, role transitions, and interpersonal deficits.

  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Chronic Fatigue syndrome
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Illness anxiety disorders
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypopituitarism
  • Schizoaffective disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Somatic symptom disorders

Major depression has very high morbidity and mortality contributing to high rates of suicide. Even though effective drug treatment is available, nearly 50% may not initially respond. Complete remission is not common but at least 40% achieve partial remission in 12 months.

However, relapses are common and many patients require a variety of treatments to control the symptoms. The quality of life of most patients with depression is poor.

Depression accounts for nearly 40,000 cases of suicide each year in the US. The highest rate of suicides is in older men.

  • Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

Depression is a very common disorder encountered by the nurse practitioner, primary care provider, psychiatrist, and mental health worker, coordinating as an interprofessional healthcare team. The disorder has extremely high morbidity including the risk of suicide. All healthcare workers should be knowledgeable about this disorder and refer the patient to a psychiatrist if there is a risk of self-harm.

Education plays an important role in the successful treatment of major depressive disorder. This would include the education of the family and the patient. Lack of accurate information and misperceptions of the illness as a personal weakness or failings leads to painful stigmatization and avoidance of the diagnosis by many of those affected. Patients should know the rationale behind the choice of treatment, potential adverse effects, and expected results.

The involvement of the pharmacist in the treatment plan can enhance medication compliance and referral for psychotherapy. The pharmacist can also check that dosing is appropriate, that there are no significant interactions, and counsel on adverse effects. Engaging family members can be a critical component of a treatment plan. Family members are helpful informants, can ensure medication compliance, be a big source of social support and can encourage patients to change behaviors that perpetuate depression (e.g., inactivity).

Patients with moderate to severe depression should also be seen by a social worker or case management nurse to ensure that they have a support system and finances for treatment. If there is a concern, the person managing the case should present the issues to the interprofessional team so that a plan can be developed to get the patient the care they need.  Overall, depression is managed by an interprofessional team dedicated to the management of mental health disorders. Open communication between all the members of the interprofessional team is the key to lowering the morbidity of the disorder. [Leve 5]

The outcomes for patients with depression are guarded. There is no cure and the condition has frequent relapses and remissions, leading to a poor quality of life. [3] [12] [13]

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Disclosure: Suma Chand declares no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

Disclosure: Hasan Arif declares no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

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An Exploratory Study of Students with Depression in Undergraduate Research Experiences

  • Katelyn M. Cooper
  • Logan E. Gin
  • M. Elizabeth Barnes
  • Sara E. Brownell

*Address correspondence to: Katelyn M. Cooper ( E-mail Address: [email protected] ).

Department of Biology, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, 32816

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Biology Education Research Lab, Research for Inclusive STEM Education Center, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281

Depression is a top mental health concern among undergraduates and has been shown to disproportionately affect individuals who are underserved and underrepresented in science. As we aim to create a more inclusive scientific community, we argue that we need to examine the relationship between depression and scientific research. While studies have identified aspects of research that affect graduate student depression, we know of no studies that have explored the relationship between depression and undergraduate research. In this study, we sought to understand how undergraduates’ symptoms of depression affect their research experiences and how research affects undergraduates’ feelings of depression. We interviewed 35 undergraduate researchers majoring in the life sciences from 12 research-intensive public universities across the United States who identify with having depression. Using inductive and deductive coding, we identified that students’ depression affected their motivation and productivity, creativity and risk-taking, engagement and concentration, and self-perception and socializing in undergraduate research experiences. We found that students’ social connections, experiencing failure in research, getting help, receiving feedback, and the demands of research affected students’ depression. Based on this work, we articulate an initial set of evidence-based recommendations for research mentors to consider in promoting an inclusive research experience for students with depression.


Depression is described as a common and serious mood disorder that results in persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness, as well as a loss of interest in activities that one once enjoyed ( American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013 ). Additional symptoms of depression include weight changes, difficulty sleeping, loss of energy, difficulty thinking or concentrating, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, and suicidality ( APA, 2013 ). While depression results from a complex interaction of psychological, social, and biological factors ( World Health Organization, 2018 ), studies have shown that increased stress caused by college can be a significant contributor to student depression ( Dyson and Renk, 2006 ).

Depression is one of the top undergraduate mental health concerns, and the rate of depression among undergraduates continues to rise ( Center for Collegiate Mental Health, 2017 ). While we cannot discern whether these increasing rates of depression are due to increased awareness or increased incidence, it is clear that is a serious problem on college campuses. The percent of U.S. college students who self-reported a diagnosis with depression was recently estimated to be about 25% ( American College Health Association, 2019 ). However, higher rates have been reported, with one study estimating that up to 84% of undergraduates experience some level of depression ( Garlow et al. , 2008 ). Depression rates are typically higher among university students compared with the general population, despite being a more socially privileged group ( Ibrahim et al. , 2013 ). Prior studies have found that depression is negatively correlated with overall undergraduate academic performance ( Hysenbegasi et al. , 2005 ; Deroma et al. , 2009 ; American College Health Association, 2019 ). Specifically, diagnosed depression is associated with half a letter grade decrease in students’ grade point average ( Hysenbegasi et al. , 2005 ), and 21.6% of undergraduates reported that depression negatively affected their academic performance within the last year ( American College Health Association, 2019 ). Provided with a list of academic factors that may be affected by depression, students reported that depression contributed to lower exam grades, lower course grades, and not completing or dropping a course.

Students in the natural sciences may be particularly at risk for depression, given that such majors are noted to be particularly stressful due to their competitive nature and course work that is often perceived to “weed students out”( Everson et al. , 1993 ; Strenta et al. , 1994 ; American College Health Association, 2019 ; Seymour and Hunter, 2019 ). Science course instruction has also been described to be boring, repetitive, difficult, and math-intensive; these factors can create an environment that can trigger depression ( Seymour and Hewitt, 1997 ; Osborne and Collins, 2001 ; Armbruster et al ., 2009 ; Ceci and Williams, 2010 ). What also distinguishes science degree programs from other degree programs is that, increasingly, undergraduate research experiences are being proposed as an essential element of a science degree ( American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2011 ; President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2012 ; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine [NASEM], 2017 ). However, there is some evidence that undergraduate research experiences can add to the stress of college for some students ( Cooper et al. , 2019c ). Students can garner multiple benefits from undergraduate research, including enhanced abilities to think critically ( Ishiyama, 2002 ; Bauer and Bennett, 2003 ; Brownell et al. , 2015 ), improved student learning ( Rauckhorst et al. , 2001 ; Brownell et al. , 2015 ), and increased student persistence in undergraduate science degree programs ( Jones et al. , 2010 ; Hernandez et al. , 2018 ). Notably, undergraduate research experiences are increasingly becoming a prerequisite for entry into medical and graduate programs in science, particularly elite programs ( Cooper et al. , 2019d ). Although some research experiences are embedded into formal lab courses as course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs; Auchincloss et al. , 2014 ; Brownell and Kloser, 2015 ), the majority likely entail working with faculty in their research labs. These undergraduate research experiences in faculty labs are often added on top of a student’s normal course work, so they essentially become an extracurricular activity that they have to juggle with course work, working, and/or personal obligations ( Cooper et al. , 2019c ). While the majority of the literature surrounding undergraduate research highlights undergraduate research as a positive experience ( NASEM, 2017 ), studies have demonstrated that undergraduate research experiences can be academically and emotionally challenging for students ( Mabrouk and Peters, 2000 ; Seymour et al. , 2004 ; Cooper et al. , 2019c ; Limeri et al. , 2019 ). In fact, 50% of students sampled nationally from public R1 institutions consider leaving their undergraduate research experience prematurely, and about half of those students, or 25% of all students, ultimately leave their undergraduate research experience ( Cooper et al. , 2019c ). Notably, 33.8% of these individuals cited a negative lab environment and 33.3% cited negative relationships with their mentors as factors that influenced their decision about whether to leave ( Cooper et al. , 2019c ). Therefore, students’ depression may be exacerbated in challenging undergraduate research experiences, because studies have shown that depression is positively correlated with student stress ( Hish et al. , 2019 ).

While depression has not been explored in the context of undergraduate research experiences, depression has become a prominent concern surrounding graduate students conducting scientific research. A recent study that examined the “graduate student mental health crisis” ( Flaherty, 2018 ) found that work–life balance and graduate students’ relationships with their research advisors may be contributing to their depression ( Evans et al. , 2018 ). Specifically, this survey of 2279 PhD and master’s students from diverse fields of study, including the biological/physical sciences, showed that 39% of graduate students have experienced moderate to severe depression. Fifty-five percent of the graduate students with depression who were surveyed disagreed with the statement “I have good work life balance,” compared to only 21% of students with depression who agreed. Additionally, the study highlighted that more students with depression disagreed than agreed with the following statements: their advisors provided “real” mentorship, their advisors provided ample support, their advisors positively impacted their emotional or mental well-being, their advisors were assets to their careers, and they felt valued by their mentors. Another recent study identified that depression severity in biomedical doctoral students was significantly associated with graduate program climate, a perceived lack of employment opportunities, and the quality of students’ research training environment ( Nagy et al. , 2019 ). Environmental stress, academic stress, and family and monetary stress have also been shown to be predictive of depression severity in biomedical doctoral students ( Hish et al. , 2019 ). Further, one study found that self-esteem is negatively correlated and stress is positively correlated with graduate student depression; presumably research environments that challenge students’ self-esteem and induce stress are likely contributing to depressive symptoms among graduate students ( Kreger, 1995 ). While these studies have focused on graduate students, and there are certainly notable distinctions between graduate and undergraduate research, the research-related factors that affect graduate student depression, including work–life balance, relationships with mentors, research environment, stress, and self-esteem, may also be relevant to depression among undergraduates conducting research. Importantly, undergraduates in the United States have reported identical levels of depression as graduate students but are often less likely to seek mental health care services ( Wyatt and Oswalt, 2013 ), which is concerning if undergraduate research experiences exacerbate depression.

Based on the literature on the stressors of undergraduate research experiences and the literature identifying some potential causes of graduate student depression, we identified three aspects of undergraduate research that may exacerbate undergraduates’ depression. Mentoring: Mentors can be an integral part of a students’ research experience, bolstering their connections with others in the science community, scholarly productivity, and science identity, as well as providing many other benefits ( Thiry and Laursen, 2011 ; Prunuske et al. , 2013 ; Byars-Winston et al. , 2015 ; Aikens et al. , 2016 , 2017 ; Thompson et al. , 2016 ; Estrada et al. , 2018 ). However, recent literature has highlighted that poor mentoring can negatively affect undergraduate researchers ( Cooper et al. , 2019c ; Limeri et al. , 2019 ). Specifically, one study of 33 undergraduate researchers who had conducted research at 10 institutions identified seven major ways that they experienced negative mentoring, which included absenteeism, abuse of power, interpersonal mismatch, lack of career support, lack of psychosocial support, misaligned expectations, and unequal treatment ( Limeri et al. , 2019 ). We hypothesize negative mentoring experiences may be particularly harmful for students with depression, because support, particularly social support, has been shown to be important for helping individuals with depression cope with difficult circumstances ( Aneshensel and Stone, 1982 ; Grav et al. , 2012 ). Failure: Experiencing failure has been hypothesized to be an important aspect of undergraduate research experiences that may help students develop some the most distinguishing abilities of outstanding scientists, such as coping with failure, navigating challenges, and persevering ( Laursen et al. , 2010 ; Gin et al. , 2018 ; Henry et al. , 2019 ). However, experiencing failure and the stress and fatigue that often accompany it may be particularly tough for students with depression ( Aldwin and Greenberger, 1987 ; Mongrain and Blackburn, 2005 ). Lab environment: Fairness, inclusion/exclusion, and social support within one’s organizational environment have been shown to be key factors that cause people to either want to remain in the work place and be productive or to want to leave ( Barak et al. , 2006 ; Cooper et al. , 2019c ). We hypothesize that dealing with exclusion or a lack of social support may exacerbate depression for some students; patients with clinical depression react to social exclusion with more pronounced negative emotions than do individuals without clinical depression ( Jobst et al. , 2015 ). While there are likely other aspects of undergraduate research that affect student depression, we hypothesize that these factors have the potential to exacerbate negative research experiences for students with depression.

Depression has been shown to disproportionately affect many populations that are underrepresented or underserved within the scientific community, including females ( American College Health Association, 2018 ; Evans et al. , 2018 ), first-generation college students ( Jenkins et al. , 2013 ), individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds ( Eisenberg et al. , 2007 ), members of the LGBTQ+ community ( Eisenberg et al. , 2007 ; Evans et al. , 2018 ), and people with disabilities ( Turner and Noh, 1988 ). Therefore, as the science community strives to be more diverse and inclusive ( Intemann, 2009 ), it is important that we understand more about the relationship between depression and scientific research, because negative experiences with depression in scientific research may be contributing to the underrepresentation of these groups. Specifically, more information is needed about how the research process and environment of research experiences may affect depression.

Given the high rate of depression among undergraduates, the links between depression and graduate research, the potentially challenging environment of undergraduate research, and how depression could disproportionately impact students from underserved communities, it is imperative to begin to explore the relationship between scientific research and depression among undergraduates to create research experiences that could maximize student success. In this exploratory interview study, we aimed to 1) describe how undergraduates’ symptoms of depression affect their research experiences, 2) understand how undergraduate research affects students’ feelings of depression, and 3) identify recommendations based on the literature and undergraduates’ reported experiences to promote a positive research experience for students with depression.

This study was done with an approved Arizona State University Institutional Review Board protocol #7247.

In Fall 2018, we surveyed undergraduate researchers majoring in the life sciences across 25 research-intensive (R1) public institutions across the United States (specific details about the recruitment of the students who completed the survey can be found in Cooper et al. (2019c) ). The survey asked students for their opinions about their undergraduate research experiences and their demographic information and whether they would be interested in participating in a follow-up interview related to their research experiences. For the purpose of this study, we exclusively interviewed students about their undergraduate research experiences in faculty member labs; we did not consider students’ experiences in CUREs. Of the 768 undergraduate researchers who completed the survey, 65% ( n = 496) indicated that they would be interested in participating in a follow-up interview. In Spring 2019, we emailed the 496 students, explaining that we were interested in interviewing students with depression about their experiences in undergraduate research. Our specific prompt was: “If you identify as having depression, we would be interested in hearing about your experience in undergraduate research in a 30–60 minute online interview.” We did not define depression in our email recruitment because we conducted think-aloud interviews with four undergraduates who all correctly interpreted what we meant by depression ( APA, 2013 ). We had 35 students agree to participate in the interview study. The interview participants represented 12 of the 25 R1 public institutions that were represented in the initial survey.

Student Interviews

We developed an interview script to explore our research questions. Specifically, we were interested in how students’ symptoms of depression affect their research experiences, how undergraduate research negatively affects student depression, and how undergraduate research positively affects student depression.

We recognized that mental health, and specifically depression, can be a sensitive topic to discuss with undergraduates, and therefore we tried to minimize any discomfort that the interviewees might experience during the interview. Specifically, we conducted think-aloud interviews with three graduate students who self-identified with having depression at the time of the interview. We asked them to note whether any interview questions made them uncomfortable. We also sought their feedback on questions given their experiences as persons with depression who had once engaged in undergraduate research. We revised the interview protocol after each think-aloud interview. Next, we conducted four additional think-aloud interviews with undergraduates conducting basic science or biology education research who identified with having depression to establish cognitive validity of the questions and to elicit additional feedback about any questions that might make someone uncomfortable. The questions were revised after each think-aloud interview until no question was unclear or misinterpreted by the students and we were confident that the questions minimized students’ potential discomfort ( Trenor et al. , 2011 ). A copy of the final interview script can be found in the Supplemental Material.

All interviews were individually conducted by one of two researchers (K.M.C. and L.E.G.) who conducted the think-aloud interviews together to ensure that their interviewing practices were as similar as possible. The interviews were approximately an hour long, and students received a $15 gift card for their participation.

Personal, Research, and Depression Demographics

All student demographics and information about students’ research experiences were collected using the survey distributed to students in Fall 2018. We collected personal demographics, including the participants’ gender, race/ethnicity, college generation status, transfer status, financial stability, year in college, major, and age. We also collected information about the students’ research experiences, including the length of their first research experiences, the average number of hours they spend in research per week, how they were compensated for research, who their primary mentors were, and the focus areas of their research.

In the United States, mental healthcare is disproportionately unavailable to Black and Latinx individuals, as well as those who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds ( Kataoka et al. , 2002 ; Howell and McFeeters, 2008 ; Santiago et al. , 2013 ). Therefore, to minimize a biased sample, we invited anyone who identified with having depression to participate in our study; we did not require students to be diagnosed with depression or to be treated for depression in order to participate. However, we did collect information about whether students had been formally diagnosed with depression and whether they had been treated for depression. After the interview, all participants were sent a link to a short survey that asked them if they had ever been diagnosed with depression and how, if at all, they had ever been treated for depression. A copy of these survey questions can be found in the Supplemental Material. The combined demographic information of the participants is in Table 1 . The demographics for each individual student can be found in the Supplemental Material.

a Students reported the time they had spent in research 6 months before being interviewed and only reported on the length of time of their first research experiences.

b Students were invited to report multiple ways in which they were treated for their depression; other treatments included lifestyle changes and meditation.

c Students were invited to report multiple means of compensation for their research if they had been compensated for their time in different ways.

d Students were asked whether they felt financially stable, particularly during the undergraduate research experience.

e Students reported who they work/worked with most closely during their research experiences.

f Staff members included lab coordinators or lab managers.

g Other focus areas of research included sociology, linguistics, psychology, and public health.

Interview Analysis

The initial interview analysis aimed to explore each idea that a participant expressed ( Charmaz, 2006 ) and to identify reoccurring ideas throughout the interviews. First, three authors (K.M.C., L.E.G., and S.E.B.) individually reviewed a different set of 10 interviews and took detailed analytic notes ( Birks and Mills, 2015 ). Afterward, the authors compared their notes and identified reoccurring themes throughout the interviews using open coding methods ( Saldaña, 2015 ).

Once an initial set of themes was established, two researchers (K.M.C. and L.E.G.) individually reviewed the same set of 15 randomly selected interviews to validate the themes identified in the initial analysis and to screen for any additional themes that the initial analysis may have missed. Each researcher took detailed analytic notes throughout the review of an interview, which they discussed after reviewing each interview. The researchers compared what quotes from each interview they categorized into each theme. Using constant comparison methods, they assigned quotes to each theme and constantly compared the quotes to ensure that each quote fit within the description of the theme ( Glesne and Peshkin, 1992 ). In cases in which quotes were too different from other quotes, a new theme was created. This approach allowed for multiple revisions of the themes and allowed the authors to define a final set of codes; the researchers created a final codebook with refined definitions of emergent themes (the final coding rubric can be found in the Supplemental Material). Once the final codebook was established, the researchers (K.M.C. and L.E.G.) individually coded seven additional interviews (20% of all interviews) using the coding rubric. The researchers compared their codes, and their Cohen’s κ interrater score for these seven interviews was at an acceptable level (κ  =  0.88; Landis and Koch, 1977 ). One researcher (L.E.G.) coded the remaining 28 out of 35 interviews. The researchers determined that data saturation had been reached with the current sample and no further recruitment was needed ( Guest et al. , 2006 ). We report on themes that were mentioned by at least 20% of students in the interview study. In the Supplemental Material, we provide the final coding rubric with the number of participants whose interview reflected each theme ( Hannah and Lautsch, 2011 ). Reporting the number of individuals who reported themes within qualitative data can lead to inaccurate conclusions about the generalizability of the results to a broader population. These qualitative data are meant to characterize a landscape of experiences that students with depression have in undergraduate research rather than to make claims about the prevalence of these experiences ( Glesne and Peshkin, 1992 ). Because inferences about the importance of these themes cannot be drawn from these counts, they are not included in the results of the paper ( Maxwell, 2010 ). Further, the limited number of interviewees made it not possible to examine whether there were trends based on students’ demographics or characteristics of their research experiences (e.g., their specific area of study). Quotes were lightly edited for clarity by inserting clarification brackets and using ellipses to indicate excluded text. Pseudonyms were given to all students to protect their privacy.

The Effect of Depressive Symptoms on Undergraduate Research

We asked students to describe the symptoms associated with their depression. Students described experiencing anxiety that is associated with their depression; this could be anxiety that precedes their depression or anxiety that results from a depressive episode or a period of time when an individual has depression symptoms. Further, students described difficulty getting out of bed or leaving the house, feeling tired, a lack of motivation, being overly self-critical, feeling apathetic, and having difficulty concentrating. We were particularly interested in how students’ symptoms of depression affected their experiences in undergraduate research. During the think-aloud interviews that were conducted before the interview study, graduate and undergraduate students consistently described that their depression affected their motivation in research, their creativity in research, and their productivity in research. Therefore, we explicitly asked undergraduate researchers how, if at all, their depression affected these three factors. We also asked students to describe any additional ways in which their depression affected their research experiences. Undergraduate researchers commonly described five additional ways in which their depression affected their research; for a detailed description of each way students’ research was affected and for example quotes, see Table 2 . Students described that their depression negatively affected their productivity in the lab. Commonly, students described that their productivity was directly affected by a lack of motivation or because they felt less creative, which hindered the research process. Additionally, students highlighted that they were sometimes less productive because their depression sometimes caused them to struggle to engage intellectually with their research or caused them to have difficulty remembering or concentrating; students described that they could do mundane or routine tasks when they felt depressed, but that they had difficulty with more complex and intellectually demanding tasks. However, students sometimes described that even mundane tasks could be difficult when they were required to remember specific steps; for example, some students struggled recalling a protocol from memory when their depression was particularly severe. Additionally, students noted that their depression made them more self-conscious, which sometimes held them back from sharing research ideas with their mentors or from taking risks such as applying to competitive programs. In addition to being self-conscious, students highlighted that their depression caused them to be overly self-critical, and some described experiencing imposter phenomenon ( Clance and Imes, 1978 ) or feeling like they were not talented enough to be in research and were accepted into a lab by a fluke or through luck. Finally, students described that depression often made them feel less social, and they struggled to socially engage with other members of the lab when they were feeling down.

The Effect of Undergraduate Research Experiences on Student Depression

We also wanted to explore how research impacted students’ feelings of depression. Undergraduates described how research both positively and negatively affected their depression. In the following sections, we present aspects of undergraduate research and examine how each positively and/or negatively affected students’ depression using embedded student quotes to highlight the relationships between related ideas.

Lab Environment: Relationships with Others in the Lab.

Some aspects of the lab environment, which we define as students’ physical, social, or psychological research space, could be particularly beneficial for students with depression.

Specifically, undergraduate researchers perceived that comfortable and positive social interactions with others in the lab helped their depression. Students acknowledged how beneficial their relationships with graduate students and postdocs could be.

Marta: “I think always checking in on undergrads is important. It’s really easy [for us] to go a whole day without talking to anybody in the lab. But our grad students are like ‘Hey, what’s up? How’s school? What’s going on?’ (…) What helps me the most is having that strong support system. Sometimes just talking makes you feel better, but also having people that believe in you can really help you get out of that negative spiral. I think that can really help with depression.”

Kelley: “I know that anytime I need to talk to [my postdoc mentors] about something they’re always there for me. Over time we’ve developed a relationship where I know that outside of work and outside of the lab if I did want to talk to them about something I could talk to them. Even just talking to someone about hobbies and having that relationship alone is really helpful [for depression].”

In addition to highlighting the importance of developing relationships with graduate students or postdocs in the lab, students described that forming relationships with other undergraduates in the lab also helped their depression. Particularly, students described that other undergraduate researchers often validated their feelings about research, which in turn helped them realize that what they are thinking or feeling is normal, which tended to alleviate their negative thoughts. Interestingly, other undergraduates experiencing the same issues could sometimes help buffer them from perceiving that a mentor did not like them or that they were uniquely bad at research. In this article, we use the term “mentor” to refer to anyone who students referred to in the interviews as being their mentors or managing their research experiences; this includes graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, lab managers, and primary investigators (PIs).

Abby: “One of my best friends is in the lab with me.  A lot of that friendship just comes from complaining about our stress with the lab and our annoyance with people in the lab. Like when we both agree like, ‘Yeah, the grad students were really off today, it wasn’t us,’ that helps. ‘It wasn’t me, it wasn’t my fault that we were having a rough day in lab; it was the grad students.’ Just being able to realize, ‘Hey, this isn’t all caused by us,’ you know? (…) We understand the stresses in the lab. We understand the details of what each other are doing in the lab, so when something doesn’t work out, we understand that it took them like eight hours to do that and it didn’t work. We provide empathy on a different level.”

Meleana: “It’s great to have solidarity in being confused about something, and it’s just that is a form of validation for me too. When we leave a lab meeting and I look at [another undergrad] I’m like, ‘Did you understand anything that they were just saying?’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, no.’ (…) It’s just really validating to hear from the other undergrads that we all seem to be struggling with the same things.”

Developing positive relationships with faculty mentors or PIs also helped alleviate some students’ depressive feelings, particularly when PIs shared their own struggles with students. This also seemed to normalize students’ concerns about their own experiences.

Alexandra: “[Talking with my PI] is helpful because he would talk about his struggles, and what he faced. A lot of it was very similar to my struggles.  For example, he would say, ‘Oh, yeah, I failed this exam that I studied so hard for. I failed the GRE and I paid so much money to prepare for it.’ It just makes [my depression] better, like okay, this is normal for students to go through this. It’s not an out of this world thing where if you fail, you’re a failure and you can’t move on from it.”

Students’ relationships with others in the lab did not always positively impact their depression. Students described instances when the negative moods of the graduate students and PIs would often set the tone of the lab, which in turn worsened the mood of the undergraduate researchers.

Abby: “Sometimes [the grad students] are not in a good mood. The entire vibe of the lab is just off, and if you make a joke and it hits somebody wrong, they get all mad. It really depends on the grad students and the leadership and the mood that they’re in.”

Interviewer: “How does it affect your depression when the grad students are in a bad mood?”

Abby: “It definitely makes me feel worse. It feels like, again, that I really shouldn’t go ask them for help because they’re just not in the mood to help out. It makes me have more pressure on myself, and I have deadlines I need to meet, but I have a question for them, but they’re in a bad mood so I can’t ask. That’s another day wasted for me and it just puts more stress, which just adds to the depression.”

Additionally, some students described even more concerning behavior from research mentors, which negatively affected their depression.

Julie: “I had a primary investigator who is notorious in the department for screaming at people, being emotionally abusive, unreasonable, et cetera. (…) [He was] kind of harassing people, demeaning them, lying to them, et cetera, et cetera. (…) Being yelled at and constantly demeaned and harassed at all hours of the day and night, that was probably pretty bad for me.”

While the relationships between undergraduates and graduate, postdoc, and faculty mentors seemed to either alleviate or worsen students’ depressive symptoms, depending on the quality of the relationship, students in this study exclusively described their relationships with other undergraduates as positive for their depression. However, students did note that undergraduate research puts some of the best and brightest undergraduates in the same environment, which can result in students comparing themselves with their peers. Students described that this comparison would often lead them to feel badly about themselves, even though they would describe their personal relationship with a person to be good.

Meleana: “In just the research field in general, just feeling like I don’t really measure up to the people around me [can affect my depression]. A lot of the times it’s the beginning of a little spiral, mental spiral. There are some past undergrads that are talked about as they’re on this pedestal of being the ideal undergrads and that they were just so smart and contributed so much to the lab. I can never stop myself from wondering like, ‘Oh, I wonder if I’m having a contribution to the lab that’s similar or if I’m just another one of the undergrads that does the bare minimum and passes through and is just there.’”

Natasha: “But, on the other hand, [having another undergrad in the lab] also reminded me constantly that some people are invested in this and meant to do this and it’s not me. And that some people know a lot more than I do and will go further in this than I will.”

While students primarily expressed that their relationships with others in the lab affected their depression, some students explained that they struggled most with depression when the lab was empty; they described that they did not like being alone in the lab, because a lack of stimulation allowed their minds to be filled with negative thoughts.

Mia: “Those late nights definitely didn’t help [my depression]. I am alone, in the entire building.  I’m left alone to think about my thoughts more, so not distracted by talking to people or interacting with people. I think more about how I’m feeling and the lack of progress I’m making, and the hopelessness I’m feeling. That kind of dragged things on, and I guess deepened my depression.”

Freddy: “Often times when I go to my office in the evening, that is when I would [ sic ] be prone to be more depressed. It’s being alone. I think about myself or mistakes or trying to correct mistakes or whatever’s going on in my life at the time. I become very introspective. I think I’m way too self-evaluating, way too self-deprecating and it’s when I’m alone when those things are really, really triggered. When I’m talking with somebody else, I forget about those things.”

In sum, students with depression highlighted that a lab environment full of positive and encouraging individuals was helpful for their depression, whereas isolating or competitive environments and negative interactions with others often resulted in more depressive feelings.

Doing Science: Experiencing Failure in Research, Getting Help, Receiving Feedback, Time Demands, and Important Contributions.

In addition to the lab environment, students also described that the process of doing science could affect their depression. Specifically, students explained that a large contributor to their depression was experiencing failure in research.

Interviewer: “Considering your experience in undergraduate research, what tends to trigger your feelings of depression?”

Heather: “Probably just not getting things right. Having to do an experiment over and over again. You don’t get the results you want. (…) The work is pretty meticulous and it’s frustrating when I do all this work, I do a whole experiment, and then I don’t get any results that I can use. That can be really frustrating. It adds to the stress. (…) It’s hard because you did all this other stuff before so you can plan for the research, and then something happens and all the stuff you did was worthless basically.”

Julie: “I felt very negatively about myself [when a project failed] and pretty panicked whenever something didn’t work because I felt like it was a direct reflection on my effort and/or intelligence, and then it was a big glaring personal failure.”

Students explained that their depression related to failing in research was exacerbated if they felt as though they could not seek help from their research mentors. Perceived insufficient mentor guidance has been shown to be a factor influencing student intention to leave undergraduate research ( Cooper et al. , 2019c ). Sometimes students talked about their research mentors being unavailable or unapproachable.

Michelle: “It just feels like [the graduate students] are not approachable. I feel like I can’t approach them to ask for their understanding in a certain situation. It makes [my depression] worse because I feel like I’m stuck, and that I’m being limited, and like there’s nothing I can do. So then I kind of feel like it’s my fault that I can’t do anything.”

Other times, students described that they did not seek help in fear that they would be negatively evaluated in research, which is a fear of being judged by others ( Watson and Friend, 1969 ; Weeks et al. , 2005 ; Cooper et al. , 2018 ). That is, students fear that their mentor would think negatively about them or judge them if they were to ask questions that their mentor thought they should know the answer to.

Meleana: “I would say [my depression] tends to come out more in being more reserved in asking questions because I think that comes more like a fear-based thing where I’m like, ‘Oh, I don’t feel like I’m good enough and so I don’t want to ask these questions because then my mentors will, I don’t know, think that I’m dumb or something.’”

Conversely, students described that mentors who were willing to help them alleviated their depressive feelings.

Crystal: “Yeah [my grad student] is always like, ‘Hey, I can check in on things in the lab because you’re allowed to ask me for that, you’re not totally alone in this,’ because he knows that I tend to take on all this responsibility and I don’t always know how to ask for help. He’s like, ‘You know, this is my lab too and I am here to help you as well,’ and just reminds me that I’m not shouldering this burden by myself.”

Ashlyn: “The graduate student who I work with is very kind and has a lot of patience and he really understands a lot of things and provides simple explanations. He does remind me about things and he will keep on me about certain tasks that I need to do in an understanding way, and it’s just because he’s patient and he listens.”

In addition to experiencing failure in science, students described that making mistakes when doing science also negatively affected their depression.

Abby: “I guess not making mistakes on experiments [is important in avoiding my depression]. Not necessarily that your experiment didn’t turn out to produce the data that you wanted, but just adding the wrong enzyme or messing something up like that. It’s like, ‘Oh, man,’ you know? You can get really down on yourself about that because it can be embarrassing.”

Commonly, students described that the potential for making mistakes increased their stress and anxiety regarding research; however, they explained that how other people responded to a potential mistake was what ultimately affected their depression.

Briana: “Sometimes if I made a mistake in correctly identifying an eye color [of a fly], [my PI] would just ridicule me in front of the other students. He corrected me but his method of correcting was very discouraging because it was a ridicule. It made the others laugh and I didn’t like that.”

Julie: “[My PI] explicitly [asked] if I had the dedication for science. A lot of times he said I had terrible judgment. A lot of times he said I couldn’t be trusted. Once I went to a conference with him, and, unfortunately, in front of another professor, he called me a klutz several times and there was another comment about how I never learn from my mistakes.”

When students did do things correctly, they described how important it could be for them to receive praise from their mentors. They explained that hearing praise and validation can be particularly helpful for students with depression, because their thoughts are often very negative and/or because they have low self-esteem.

Crystal: “[Something that helps my depression is] I have text messages from [my graduate student mentor] thanking me [and another undergraduate researcher] for all of the work that we’ve put in, that he would not be able to be as on track to finish as he is if he didn’t have our help.”

Interviewer: “Why is hearing praise from your mentor helpful?”

Crystal: “Because a lot of my depression focuses on everybody secretly hates you, nobody likes you, you’re going to die alone. So having that validation [from my graduate mentor] is important, because it flies in the face of what my depression tells me.”

Brian: “It reminds you that you exist outside of this negative world that you’ve created for yourself, and people don’t see you how you see yourself sometimes.”

Students also highlighted how research could be overwhelming, which negatively affected their depression. Particularly, students described that research demanded a lot of their time and that their mentors did not always seem to be aware that they were juggling school and other commitments in addition to their research. This stress exacerbated their depression.

Rose: “I feel like sometimes [my grad mentors] are not very understanding because grad students don’t take as many classes as [undergrads] do. I think sometimes they don’t understand when I say I can’t come in at all this week because I have finals and they’re like, ‘Why though?’”

Abby: “I just think being more understanding of student life would be great. We have classes as well as the lab, and classes are the priority. They forget what it’s like to be a student. You feel like they don’t understand and they could never understand when you say like, ‘I have three exams this week,’ and they’re like, ‘I don’t care. You need to finish this.’”

Conversely, some students reported that their research labs were very understanding of students’ schedules. Interestingly, these students talked most about how helpful it was to be able to take a mental health day and not do research on days when they felt down or depressed.

Marta: “My lab tech is very open, so she’ll tell us, ‘I can’t come in today. I have to take a mental health day.’ So she’s a really big advocate for that. And I think I won’t personally tell her that I’m taking a mental health day, but I’ll say, ‘I can’t come in today, but I’ll come in Friday and do those extra hours.’ And she’s like, ‘OK great, I’ll see you then.’  And it makes me feel good, because it helps me take care of myself first and then I can take care of everything else I need to do, which is amazing.”

Meleana: “Knowing that [my mentors] would be flexible if I told them that I’m crazy busy and can’t come into work nearly as much this week [helps my depression]. There is flexibility in allowing me to then care for myself.”

Interviewer: “Why is the flexibility helpful given the depression?”

Meleana: “Because sometimes for me things just take a little bit longer when I’m feeling down. I’m just less efficient to be honest, and so it’s helpful if I feel like I can only go into work for 10 hours in a week. It declutters my brain a little bit to not have to worry about all the things I have to do in work in addition the things that I need to do for school or clubs, or family or whatever.”

Despite the demanding nature of research, a subset of students highlighted that their research and research lab provided a sense of stability or familiarity that distracted them from their depression.

Freddy: “I’ll [do research] to run away from those [depressive] feelings or whatever. (…) I find sadly, I hate to admit it, but I do kind of run to [my lab]. I throw myself into work to distract myself from the feelings of depression and sadness.”

Rose: “When you’re sad or when you’re stressed you want to go to things you’re familiar with. So because lab has always been in my life, it’s this thing where it’s going to be there for me I guess. It’s like a good book that you always go back to and it’s familiar and it makes you feel good. So that’s how lab is. It’s not like the greatest thing in the world but it’s something that I’m used to, which is what I feel like a lot of people need when they’re sad and life is not going well.”

Many students also explained that research positively affects their depression because they perceive their research contribution to be important.

Ashlyn: “I feel like I’m dedicating myself to something that’s worthy and something that I believe in. It’s really important because it contextualizes those times when I am feeling depressed. It’s like, no, I do have these better things that I’m working on. Even when I don’t like myself and I don’t like who I am, which is again, depression brain, I can at least say, ‘Well, I have all these other people relying on me in research and in this area and that’s super important.’”

Jessica: “I mean, it just felt like the work that I was doing had meaning and when I feel like what I’m doing is actually going to contribute to the world, that usually really helps with [depression] because it’s like not every day you can feel like you’re doing something impactful.”

In sum, students highlighted that experiencing failure in research and making mistakes negatively contributed to depression, especially when help was unavailable or research mentors had a negative reaction. Additionally, students acknowledged that the research could be time-consuming, but that research mentors who were flexible helped assuage depressive feelings that were associated with feeling overwhelmed. Finally, research helped some students’ depression, because it felt familiar, provided a distraction from depression, and reminded students that they were contributing to a greater cause.

We believe that creating more inclusive research environments for students with depression is an important step toward broadening participation in science, not only to ensure that we are not discouraging students with depression from persisting in science, but also because depression has been shown to disproportionately affect underserved and underrepresented groups in science ( Turner and Noh, 1988 ; Eisenberg et al. , 2007 ; Jenkins et al. , 2013 ; American College Health Association, 2018 ). We initially hypothesized that three features of undergraduate research—research mentors, the lab environment, and failure—may have the potential to exacerbate student depression. We found this to be true; students highlighted that their relationships with their mentors as well as the overall lab environment could negatively affect their depression, but could also positively affect their research experiences. Students also noted that they struggled with failure, which is likely true of most students, but is known to be particularly difficult for students with depression ( Elliott et al. , 1997 ). We expand upon our findings by integrating literature on depression with the information that students provided in the interviews about how research mentors can best support students. We provide a set of evidence-based recommendations focused on mentoring, the lab environment, and failure for research mentors wanting to create more inclusive research environments for students with depression. Notably, only the first recommendation is specific to students with depression; the others reflect recommendations that have previously been described as “best practices” for research mentors ( NASEM, 2017 , 2019 ; Sorkness et al. , 2017 ) and likely would benefit most students. However, we examine how these recommendations may be particularly important for students with depression. As we hypothesized, these recommendations directly address three aspects of research: mentors, lab environment, and failure. A caveat of these recommendations is that more research needs to be done to explore the experiences of students with depression and how these practices actually impact students with depression, but our national sample of undergraduate researchers with depression can provide an initial starting point for a discussion about how to improve research experiences for these students.

Recommendations to Make Undergraduate Research Experiences More Inclusive for Students with Depression

Recognize student depression as a valid illness..

Allow students with depression to take time off of research by simply saying that they are sick and provide appropriate time for students to recover from depressive episodes. Also, make an effort to destigmatize mental health issues.

Undergraduate researchers described both psychological and physical symptoms that manifested as a result of their depression and highlighted how such symptoms prevented them from performing to their full potential in undergraduate research. For example, students described how their depression would cause them to feel unmotivated, which would often negatively affect their research productivity. In cases in which students were motivated enough to come in and do their research, they described having difficulty concentrating or engaging in the work. Further, when doing research, students felt less creative and less willing to take risks, which may alter the quality of their work. Students also sometimes struggled to socialize in the lab. They described feeling less social and feeling overly self-critical. In sum, students described that, when they experienced a depressive episode, they were not able to perform to the best of their ability, and it sometimes took a toll on them to try to act like nothing was wrong, when they were internally struggling with depression. We recommend that research mentors treat depression like any other physical illness; allowing students the chance to recover when they are experiencing a depressive episode can be extremely important to students and can allow them to maximize their productivity upon returning to research ( Judd et al. , 2000 ). Students explained that if they are not able to take the time to focus on recovering during a depressive episode, then they typically continue to struggle with depression, which negatively affects their research. This sentiment is echoed by researchers in psychiatry who have found that patients who do not fully recover from a depressive episode are more likely to relapse and to experience chronic depression ( Judd et al. , 2000 ). Students described not doing tasks or not showing up to research because of their depression but struggling with how to share that information with their research mentors. Often, students would not say anything, which caused them anxiety because they were worried about what others in the lab would say to them when they returned. Admittedly, many students understood why this behavior would cause their research mentors to be angry or frustrated, but they weighed the consequences of their research mentors’ displeasure against the consequences of revealing their depression and decided it was not worth admitting to being depressed. This aligns with literature that suggests that when individuals have concealable stigmatized identities, or identities that can be hidden and that carry negative stereotypes, such as depression, they will often keep them concealed to avoid negative judgment or criticism ( Link and Phelan, 2001 ; Quinn and Earnshaw, 2011 ; Jones and King, 2014 ; Cooper and Brownell, 2016 ; Cooper et al. , 2019b ; Cooper et al ., unpublished data ). Therefore, it is important for research mentors to be explicit with students that 1) they recognize mental illness as a valid sickness and 2) that students with mental illness can simply explain that they are sick if they need to take time off. This may be useful to overtly state on a research website or in a research syllabus, contract, or agreement if mentors use such documents when mentoring undergraduates in their lab. Further, research mentors can purposefully work to destigmatize mental health issues by explicitly stating that struggling with mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, is common. While we do not recommend that mentors ask students directly about depression, because this can force students to share when they are not comfortable sharing, we do recommend providing opportunities for students to reveal their depression ( Chaudoir and Fisher, 2010 ). Mentors can regularly check in with students about how they’re doing, and talk openly about the importance of mental health, which may increase the chance that students may feel comfortable revealing their depression ( Chaudoir and Quinn, 2010 ; Cooper et al ., unpublished data ).

Foster a Positive Lab Environment.

Encourage positivity in the research lab, promote working in shared spaces to enhance social support among lab members, and alleviate competition among undergraduates.

Students in this study highlighted that the “leadership” of the lab, meaning graduate students, postdocs, lab managers, and PIs, were often responsible for establishing the tone of the lab; that is, if they were in a bad mood it would trickle down and negatively affect the moods of the undergraduates. Explicitly reminding lab leadership that their moods can both positively and negatively affect undergraduates may be important in establishing a positive lab environment. Further, students highlighted how they were most likely to experience negative thoughts when they were alone in the lab. Therefore, it may be helpful to encourage all lab members to work in a shared space to enhance social interactions among students and to maximize the likelihood that undergraduates have access to help when needed. A review of 51 studies in psychiatry supported our undergraduate researchers’ perceptions that social relationships positively impacted their depression; the study found that perceived emotional support (e.g., someone available to listen or give advice), perceived instrumental support (e.g., someone available to help with tasks), and large diverse social networks (e.g., being socially connected to a large number of people) were significantly protective against depression ( Santini et al. , 2015 ). Additionally, despite forming positive relationships with other undergraduates in the lab, many undergraduate researchers admitted to constantly comparing themselves with other undergraduates, which led them to feel inferior, negatively affecting their depression. Some students talked about mentors favoring current undergraduates or talking positively about past undergraduates, which further exacerbated their feelings of inferiority. A recent study of students in undergraduate research experiences highlighted that inequitable distribution of praise to undergraduates can create negative perceptions of lab environments for students (Cooper et al. , 2019). Further, the psychology literature has demonstrated that when people feel insecure in their social environments, it can cause them to focus on a hierarchical view of themselves and others, which can foster feelings of inferiority and increase their vulnerability to depression ( Gilbert et al. , 2009 ). Thus, we recommend that mentors be conscious of their behaviors so that they do not unintentionally promote competition among undergraduates or express favoritism toward current or past undergraduates. Praise is likely best used without comparison with others and not done in a public way, although more research on the impact of praise on undergraduate researchers needs to be done. While significant research has been done on mentoring and mentoring relationships in the context of undergraduate research ( Byars-Winston et al. , 2015 ; Aikens et al. , 2017 ; Estrada et al. , 2018 ; Limeri et al. , 2019 ; NASEM, 2019 ), much less has been done on the influence of the lab environment broadly and how people in nonmentoring roles can influence one another. Yet, this study indicates the potential influence of many different members of the lab, not only their mentors, on students with depression.

Develop More Personal Relationships with Undergraduate Researchers and Provide Sufficient Guidance.

Make an effort to establish more personal relationships with undergraduates and ensure that they perceive that they have access to sufficient help and guidance with regard to their research.

When we asked students explicitly how research mentors could help create more inclusive environments for undergraduate researchers with depression, students overwhelmingly said that building mentor–student relationships would be extremely helpful. Students suggested that mentors could get to know students on a more personal level by asking about their career interests or interests outside of academia. Students also remarked that establishing a more personal relationship could help build the trust needed in order for undergraduates to confide in their research mentors about their depression, which they perceived would strengthen their relationships further because they could be honest about when they were not feeling well or their mentors might even “check in” with them in times where they were acting differently than normal. This aligns with studies showing that undergraduates are most likely to reveal a stigmatized identity, such as depression, when they form a close relationship with someone ( Chaudoir and Quinn, 2010 ). Many were intimidated to ask for research-related help from their mentors and expressed that they wished they had established a better relationship so that they would feel more comfortable. Therefore, we recommend that research mentors try to establish relationships with their undergraduates and explicitly invite them to ask questions or seek help when needed. These recommendations are supported by national recommendations for mentoring ( NASEM, 2019 ) and by literature that demonstrates that both social support (listening and talking with students) and instrumental support (providing students with help) have been shown to be protective against depression ( Santini et al. , 2015 ).

Treat Undergraduates with Respect and Remember to Praise Them.

Avoid providing harsh criticism and remember to praise undergraduates. Students with depression often have low self-esteem and are especially self-critical. Therefore, praise can help calibrate their overly negative self-perceptions.

Students in this study described that receiving criticism from others, especially harsh criticism, was particularly difficult for them given their depression. Multiple studies have demonstrated that people with depression can have an abnormal or maladaptive response to negative feedback; scientists hypothesize that perceived failure on a particular task can trigger failure-related thoughts that interfere with subsequent performance ( Eshel and Roiser, 2010 ). Thus, it is important for research mentors to remember to make sure to avoid unnecessarily harsh criticisms that make students feel like they have failed (more about failure is described in the next recommendation). Further, students with depression often have low self-esteem or low “personal judgment of the worthiness that is expressed in the attitudes the individual holds towards oneself” ( Heatherton et al. , 2003 , p. 220; Sowislo and Orth, 2013 ). Specifically, a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies found that low self-esteem is predictive of depression ( Sowislo and Orth, 2013 ), and depression has also been shown to be highly related to self-criticism ( Luyten et al. , 2007 ). Indeed, nearly all of the students in our study described thinking that they are “not good enough,” “worthless,” or “inadequate,” which is consistent with literature showing that people with depression are self-critical ( Blatt et al. , 1982 ; Gilbert et al. , 2006 ) and can be less optimistic of their performance on future tasks and rate their overall performance on tasks less favorably than their peers without depression ( Cane and Gotlib, 1985 ). When we asked students what aspects of undergraduate research helped their depression, students described that praise from their mentors was especially impactful, because they thought so poorly of themselves and they needed to hear something positive from someone else in order to believe it could be true. Praise has been highlighted as an important aspect of mentoring in research for many years ( Ashford, 1996 ; Gelso and Lent, 2000 ; Brown et al. , 2009 ) and may be particularly important for students with depression. In fact, praise has been shown to enhance individuals’ motivation and subsequent productivity ( Hancock, 2002 ; Henderlong and Lepper, 2002 ), factors highlighted by students as negatively affecting their depression. However, something to keep in mind is that a student with depression and a student without depression may process praise differently. For a student with depression, a small comment that praises the student’s work may not be sufficient for the student to process that comment as praise. People with depression are hyposensitive to reward or have reward-processing deficits ( Eshel and Roiser, 2010 ); therefore, praise may affect students without depression more positively than it would affect students with depression. Research mentors should be mindful that students with depression often have a negative view of themselves, and while students report that praise is extremely important, they may have trouble processing such positive feedback.

Normalize Failure and Be Explicit about the Importance of Research Contributions.

Explicitly remind students that experiencing failure is expected in research. Also explain to students how their individual work relates to the overall project so that they can understand how their contributions are important. It can also be helpful to explain to students why the research project as a whole is important in the context of the greater scientific community.

Experiencing failure has been thought to be a potentially important aspect of undergraduate research, because it may provide students with the potential to develop integral scientific skills such as the ability to navigate challenges and persevere ( Laursen et al. , 2010 ; Gin et al. , 2018 ; Henry et al. , 2019 ). However, in the interviews, students described that when their science experiments failed, it was particularly tough for their depression. Students’ negative reaction to experiencing failure in research is unsurprising, given recent literature that has predicted that students may be inadequately prepared to approach failure in science ( Henry et al. , 2019 ). However, the literature suggests that students with depression may find experiencing failure in research to be especially difficult ( Elliott et al. , 1997 ; Mongrain and Blackburn, 2005 ; Jones et al. , 2009 ). One potential hypothesis is that students with depression may be more likely to have fixed mindsets or more likely to believe that their intelligence and capacity for specific abilities are unchangeable traits ( Schleider and Weisz, 2018 ); students with a fixed mindset have been hypothesized to have particularly negative responses to experiencing failure in research, because they are prone to quitting easily in the face of challenges and becoming defensive when criticized ( Forsythe and Johnson, 2017 ; Dweck, 2008 ). A study of life sciences undergraduates enrolled in CUREs identified three strategies of students who adopted adaptive coping mechanisms, or mechanisms that help an individual maintain well-being and/or move beyond the stressor when faced with failure in undergraduate research: 1) problem solving or engaging in strategic planning and decision making, 2) support seeking or finding comfort and help with research, and 3) cognitive restructuring or reframing a problem from negative to positive and engaging in self encouragement ( Gin et al. , 2018 ). We recommend that, when undergraduates experience failure in science, their mentors be proactive in helping them problem solve, providing help and support, and encouraging them. Students also explained that mentors sharing their own struggles as undergraduate and graduate students was helpful, because it normalized failure. Sharing personal failures in research has been recommended as an important way to provide students with psychosocial support during research ( NASEM, 2019 ). We also suggest that research mentors take time to explain to students why their tasks in the lab, no matter how small, contribute to the greater research project ( Cooper et al. , 2019a ). Additionally, it is important to make sure that students can explain how the research project as a whole is contributing to the scientific community ( Gin et al. , 2018 ). Students highlighted that contributing to something important was really helpful for their depression, which is unsurprising, given that studies have shown that meaning in life or people’s comprehension of their life experiences along with a sense of overarching purpose one is working toward has been shown to be inversely related to depression ( Steger, 2013 ).

Limitations and Future Directions

This work was a qualitative interview study intended to document a previously unstudied phenomenon: depression in the context of undergraduate research experiences. We chose to conduct semistructured interviews rather than a survey because of the need for initial exploration of this area, given the paucity of prior research. A strength of this study is the sampling approach. We recruited a national sample of 35 undergraduates engaged in undergraduate research at 12 different public R1 institutions. Despite our representative sample from R1 institutions, these findings may not be generalizable to students at other types of institutions; lab environments, mentoring structures, and interactions between faculty and undergraduate researchers may be different at other institution types (e.g., private R1 institutions, R2 institutions, master’s-granting institutions, primarily undergraduate institutions, and community colleges), so we caution against making generalizations about this work to all undergraduate research experiences. Future work could assess whether students with depression at other types of institutions have similar experiences to students at research-intensive institutions. Additionally, we intentionally did not explore the experiences of students with specific identities owing to our sample size and the small number of students in any particular group (e.g., students of a particular race, students with a graduate mentor as the primary mentor). We intend to conduct future quantitative studies to further explore how students’ identities and aspects of their research affect their experiences with depression in undergraduate research.

The students who participated in the study volunteered to be interviewed about their depression; therefore, it is possible that depression is a more salient part of these students’ identities and/or that they are more comfortable talking about their depression than the average population of students with depression. It is also important to acknowledge the personal nature of the topic and that some students may not have fully shared their experiences ( Krumpal, 2013 ), particularly those experiences that may be emotional or traumatizing ( Kahn and Garrison, 2009 ). Additionally, our sample was skewed toward females (77%). While females do make up approximately 60% of students in biology programs on average ( Eddy et al. , 2014 ), they are also more likely to report experiencing depression ( American College Health Association, 2018 ; Evans et al. , 2018 ). However, this could be because women have higher rates of depression or because males are less likely to report having depression; clinical bias, or practitioners’ subconscious tendencies to overlook male distress, may underestimate depression rates in men ( Smith et al. , 2018 ). Further, females are also more likely to volunteer to participate in studies ( Porter and Whitcomb, 2005 ); therefore, many interview studies have disproportionately more females in the data set (e.g., Cooper et al. , 2017 ). If we had been able to interview more male students, we might have identified different findings. Additionally, we limited our sample to life sciences students engaged in undergraduate research at public R1 institutions. It is possible that students in other majors may have different challenges and opportunities for students with depression, as well as different disciplinary stigmas associated with mental health.

In this exploratory interview study, we identified a variety of ways in which depression in undergraduates negatively affected their undergraduate research experiences. Specifically, we found that depression interfered with students’ motivation and productivity, creativity and risk-taking, engagement and concentration, and self-perception and socializing. We also identified that research can negatively affect depression in undergraduates. Experiencing failure in research can exacerbate student depression, especially when students do not have access to adequate guidance. Additionally, being alone or having negative interactions with others in the lab worsened students’ depression. However, we also found that undergraduate research can positively affect students’ depression. Research can provide a familiar space where students can feel as though they are contributing to something meaningful. Additionally, students reported that having access to adequate guidance and a social support network within the research lab also positively affected their depression. We hope that this work can spark conversations about how to make undergraduate research experiences more inclusive of students with depression and that it can stimulate additional research that more broadly explores the experiences of undergraduate researchers with depression.

Important note

If you or a student experience symptoms of depression and want help, there are resources available to you. Many campuses provide counseling centers equipped to provide students, staff, and faculty with treatment for depression, as well as university-dedicated crisis hotlines. Additionally, there are free 24/7 services such as Crisis Text Line, which allows you to text a trained live crisis counselor (Text “CONNECT” to 741741; Text Depression Hotline , 2019 ), and phone hotlines such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can also learn more about depression and where to find help near you through the Anxiety and Depression Association of American website: https://adaa.org ( Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2019 ) and the Depression and Biopolar Support Alliance: http://dbsalliance.org ( Depression and Biopolar Support Alliance, 2019 ).


We are extremely grateful to the undergraduate researchers who shared their thoughts and experiences about depression with us. We acknowledge the ASU LEAP Scholars for helping us create the original survey and Rachel Scott for her helpful feedback on earlier drafts of this article. L.E.G. was supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellowship (DGE-1311230) and K.M.C. was partially supported by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Inclusive Excellence grant (no. 11046) and an NSF grant (no. 1644236). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or HHMI.

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title for research paper about depression

Submitted: 4 November 2019 Revised: 24 February 2020 Accepted: 6 March 2020

© 2020 K. M. Cooper, L. E. Gin, et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2020 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

Depression Research Paper

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Even for professionals the use of the term depression can vary. In 1987, Kendall and colleagues noted that “The professional use of the term depression has several levels of reference: symptom, syndrome, nosologic disorder . . . . Depression itself can be a symptom – for example, being sad. As a syndrome, depression is a constellation of signs and symptoms that cluster together . . . . The syndrome of depression is itself a psychological dysfunction but can also be present, in secondary ways, in other diagnosed disorders. Finally, for depression to be a nosologic category careful diagnostic procedures are required during which other potential diagnostic categories are excluded. The presumption, of course, is that a discrete nosologic entity will ultimately prove to be etiologically distinct from other discrete entities, with associated differences likely in course, prognosis, and treatment response.” It is this likely nosologic disorder of depression that we will discuss.

I. Definition of Depression

A. symptoms of depression, b. comorbidity: the relationship between depression and anxiety, ii. diagnostic classification, a. major depressive disorder, b. dysthymic disorder, c. bipolar i disorder, d. bipolar ii disorder, e. cyclothymic disorder, iii. exploratory categories of depressive disorders, a. premenstrual dysphoric disorder, b. minor depressive disorder, c. recurrent brief depressive disorder, d. mixed anxiety-depressive disorder, iv. epidemiology, a. prevalence, 1. national prevalence, 2. international prevalence, b. age differences, c. sex and ethnic differences, d. environmental correlates, v. etiological theories of depression, a. psychological theories, 1. psychoanalytic approaches, 2. interpersonal approaches, 3. cognitive approaches, b. biological theories, 1. genetic approaches, 2. neurotransmitter approaches, vi. protective factors, a. social support, b. coping styles.

Any definition of depression must begin with the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). The DSM-IV represents the official diagnostic classification system of the American Psychiatric Association and provides the criteria that are used to diagnosis depression. These criteria consist of the symptoms of depression. In order to make a diagnosis of depression, at least five out of nine possible symptoms must be present. These include (1) depressed mood; (2) diminished pleasure or interest in activities; (3) significant weight loss or weight gain; (4) insomnia or hypersomnia; (5) agitation; (6) fatigue or loss of energy; (7) thoughts of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt; (8) diminished concentration ability; and (9) thoughts of death or suicide.

Symptoms of depression may vary according to an individual’s age and culture. Children who are depressed, for instance, may express symptoms of irritability rather than sadness. They may also fail to make expected weight gains rather than lose weight. On the other end of the age continuum, older adults are more likely than younger adults to experience symptoms such as loss of appetite, loss of interest, and thoughts of death. Cultural differences also exist in report of depressive symptoms. One study, for example, found that depressed Jewish patients reported more somatic symptoms, and less guilt, than did non-Jewish patients. Another study that examined depressive symptomatology in American, Korean, Philippine, and Taiwanese college students found that Taiwanese students reported the lowest numbers of somatic symptoms and the highest numbers of affective symptoms. The other ethnic groups reporting similar levels of these symptoms. One’s age and culture thus seems to affect how depression is expressed.

Comorbidity refers to the occurrence of more than one disorder at the same time. Although researchers and clinicians generally acknowledge depression as a distinct disorder, it does overlap with a variety of other difficulties. Much current research on this overlap has focused on the relationship between anxiety and depression. This is not surprising, given the high rates of comorbidity found in studies of the two disorder types. For example, one study found that 63% of a group of patients with panic disorder also experienced major depression. One possible explanation provided for such overlap lies in the concept of “negative affectivity.” In 1984, Watson and Clark described individuals with high levels of negative affectivity as having a tendency “to be distressed and upset and have a negative view of self, whereas those low on the dimension are relatively content and secure and satisfied with themselves.” Other characteristics of high negative affectivity include nervousness, tension, worry, anger, scorn, revulsion, guilt, self-dissatisfaction, rejectedness, and sadness.

Both anxiety and depression seem to consist of high negative affectivity. There are however, important differences between depression and anxiety. While both depression and anxiety are characterized by high levels of negative affect, only depression is related to lowered levels of positive affect. Thus, depressed individuals tend to display both high negative affect and low positive affect, whereas anxious individuals display high negative affect and may or may not have lowered positive affect–the level of positive affect is unrelated to one’s anxiety state. Research on negative affect as a link between anxiety and depression is continuing at a rapid pace.

Earlier we noted the DSM-IV. The DSM-IV is the most widely used classification scheme for psychiatric disorders in North America. According to this manual, there are five types of mood disorders that include depression as a significant component. These are (1) Major Depressive Disorder; (2) Dysthymic Disorder; (3) Bipolar I Disorder; (4) Bipolar II Disorder; and (5) Cyclothymic Disorder. Each of these classifications differs in terms of etiology, course, and symptomatology.

For a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), DSM-IV specifies that at least five symptoms must occur for a period of at least 2 weeks. Chief among these symptoms is depressed mood that occurs most of the day, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks, or significantly diminished interest or pleasure in virtually all activities most of the day, nearly every day for the 2-week period.

MDD can be further classified according to severity (i.e., mild, moderate, severe without psychotic features, severe with psychotic features), course (e.g., single episode versus recurrent episodes), and presentation (e.g., with catatonic features, with melancholic features). Psychotic features of depression include such experiences as delusions (i.e., false beliefs) and hallucinations (i.e., sensory experiences that have no basis in reality). A delusion, for example, would be a person who believes that she is dead. Catatonic features of depression involve psychomotor disturbances such as excessive movement or stupor. Melancholic features include the inability to experience pleasure even when good things happen and a lack of interest in previously pleasurable activities. No matter what the specific characteristics of a given individual’s disturbance, MDD is, by definition, extremely distressing to the sufferer and is associated with significant impairment in important areas of the person’s life (e.g., at work, home or school).

Dysthymic Disorder is characterized by a chronic depressed mood that lasts at least 2 years in adults and at least 1 year in children and adolescents. This depressed mood is accompanied by at least two of the following six depressive symptoms: (1) poor appetite or overeating; (2) insomnia or hypersomnia; (3) low energy or fatigue; (4) low self-esteem; (5) poor concentration or difficulty making decisions; and (6) feelings of hopelessness. As fewer depressive symptoms are required to make a diagnosis, Dysthymic Disorder is often considered a milder form of depression than MDD. However, it can be just as upsetting to the sufferer and can cause just as much impairment. In addition, Dysthymic Disorder may occur in combination with episodes of major depression. When Dysthymic Disorder occurs along with major depression, the individual is considered to be suffering from a “double depression.” The co-occurrence of MDD and dysthymia is not uncommon.

The hallmark characteristic of Bipolar I Disorder is mania. According to DSM-IV, a manic episode is characterized by elevated, expansive, or irritable mood that is persistent and distinctly different from normal elevated or irritable moods. This period is accompanied by at least three of seven possible symptoms. These symptoms include (1) inflated self-esteem; (2) a decreased need for sleep; (3) unusual talkativeness; (4) the feeling that one’s thoughts are racing; (5) increased distractibility; (6) increased activity; (7) involvement in pleasurable but potentially harmful activities (e.g., sexual indiscretions).

Bipolar I Disorder is typically recurrent; according to DSM-IV, additional episodes occur in more than 90% of individuals who have had a single manic episode. The manic episodes of those with Bipolar I Disorder are often intermixed with periods of depression. Like those with MDD, people with Bipolar I Disorder may exhibit psychotic, catatonic, and melancholic features as part of either their mania or their depression.

Bipolar II Disorder is characterized by periods of hypomania intermixed with periods of depression. Hypomanic episodes are characterized by the same symptoms as manic episodes. However, hypomanic episodes are shorter (e.g., 4 days in duration) and are associated with less impairment. While manic episodes may include psychotic features, interrupt daily functioning, and require hospitalization, hypomanic episodes typically do not. The depression experienced as part of Bipolar II Disorder, however, can be just as severe as that experienced in MDD and Bipolar I Disorder.

Cyclothymic disorder is characterized by hypomanic periods intermixed with depressive periods that are not as severe as those experienced in MDD, Bipolar I Disorder, and Bipolar II Disorder. In Cyclothymia, the periods of mood disturbance may alternate rapidly, with little respite from affective difficulties. For a diagnosis of Cyclothymia these periods of shifting moods must be problematic for at least 2 years in adults and at least i year in children and adolescents.

In addition to the five official diagnoses, DSM-IV has denoted four classifications for further study that include depression as a significant component. Such classifications are not yet considered to be disorders and more information is needed on factors such as symptom presentation, etiology, and degree of impairment to sufferers before these might be considered disorders in their own right. Nevertheless, these may represent serious problems and even though they are currently exploratory, we describe them here. They are: (1) Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder; (2) Minor Depressive Disorder; (3) Recurrent Brief Depressive Disorder; and (4) Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is characterized by several hallmark symptoms of depression (e.g., decreased interest in usual activities, depressed mood, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much) in addition to symptoms such as affective lability, feelings of being overwhelmed or out of control, and food cravings. In order to meet the criteria that have been proposed for this diagnosis, such symptoms must have occurred during the late luteal phase of most of a woman’s menstrual cycles in the past year. As a number of authors have pointed out, such a classification has potentially serious social, political, and legal ramifications for women. For example, some have argued that if this classification is adopted as an orificial diagnosis then women might be stigmatized as more unstable than or inferior to men. Arguments such as this keep the classification of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder a topic of considerable debate.

Minor Depressive Disorder is characterized by fewer depressive symptoms than are seen in MDD. The level of impairment is also less than that associated with MDD. To meet the proposed criteria for Minor Depressive Disorder, a person must demonstrate either a depressed mood or loss of interest and two additional symptoms of a Major Depressive Episode. If this classification were included in future DSM editions as a disorder, it would constitute a residual category to be used only after the other mood disorders have been ruled out.

The principle difference between Recurrent Brief Depressive Disorder and MDD is one of duration. Recurrent Brief Depressive Disorder is characterized by periods of depression that meet all of the criteria for a Major Depressive Episode except for the duration requirement. While in major depressive episodes, symptoms must last at least 2 weeks, in recurrent brief depressive episodes, symptoms must last at least 2 but less than 14 days. In addition, these brief episodes must occur at least once a month for 12 months to meet criteria for the classification of Recurrent Brief Depressive Disorder. Recurrent Brief Depressive Disorder is quite similar to MDD in its age of onset and family incidence rates, thus raising questions as to whether this should be considered a distinct disorder.

The impetus behind a mixed anxious-depressed category lies in the finding that there are many people suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression who do not meet criteria for any DSM anxiety or mood disorder, but who are nonetheless significantly impaired by their difficulties. The classification of Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder is characterized by a dysphoric mood for at least 1 month in addition to at least four additional symptoms that primarily reflect anxiety (e.g., mind going blank, worry, hypervigilance). The primary argument in favor of adopting this proposed disorder is that it would cover the large number of people who have significant impairment linked to depression and anxiety but who do not fall into any currently existing diagnostic category. The primary argument against this classification is that people suffering from both depression and anxiety could in fact be categorized into already existing disorders with the use of more precise assessment methods.

Epidemiology refers to information about the incidence and prevalence of disorders in a population. A prevalence rate refers to the number of people who have a given disorder during a particular time period (e.g., the percentage of people in given location diagnosed with MDD within a 1-year period of time). An incidence rate refers to the number of new cases of a disorder which occur during a given time period (e.g., the number of people diagnosed with Dysthymic Disorder during April 1996). Because the distribution of a disorder can be examined to determine whether it correlates with other factors, epidemiological information can be important for understanding some of the possible causes and correlates of depression.

Two recent large-scale surveys of psychopathology in the United States have provided differing prevalence data on depression. Using diagnostic criteria from the revised 3rd Edition of the DSM (DSM-III-R), the Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) study examined the rates of depression in five sites: New Haven, Baltimore, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Durham. The ECA study found the lifetime prevalence of major depression (i.e., the number of people experiencing major depression during any point in life) to be 4.9% and the lifetime prevalence of dysthymia to be 3.2%. Alternatively, the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS) reported much higher prevalence rates: 14.9% for lifetime major depression and 6.4% for dysthymia. The discrepancies between these two studies may be accounted for by the different assessment instruments used, slightly different diagnostic criteria employed, and different age ranges studied (i.e., the ECA sample was 18 years of age or older, whereas the NCS sample ranged in age from 15 to 54 years). According to the ECA study, prevalence rates for bipolar disorders were much lower; lifetime prevalence of these disorders was .8% for Bipolar I and .5% for Bipolar II. The NCS lifetime prevalence for manic episode was somewhat higher: 1.6 %. Even though these epidemiological studies reported somewhat discrepant rates, they are in agreement that mood disorders are relatively common in the United States.

A number of studies have examined the community prevalence of major depression in countries besides the United States. International lifetime prevalence rates vary widely, from a low of 3.3% in Seoul to a high of 15.1% among New Zealand residents aged 25 to 46. While such differences may indeed reflect true international differences in the occurrence of depression, other factors such as cultural differences in the sensitivity of the instruments used to assess disorder and different sample ages may also account for this range. In prevalence studies focusing on bipolar illness, ranges from .07% in Sweden to 7% in Ireland have been reported. Most studies, however, place prevalence at about 1% for bipolar illnesses, consistent with data from the ECA and NCS studies.

The ECA study also reported incidence rates of depression for various age groups. For men, major depression was highest among those aged 18 to 29. A large decline in incidence was noted for men aged 45 and older. For women, the incidence of major depression was highest in the group aged 30 to 44 and did not decline until age 65.

According to the ECA study, lifetime prevalence rates of major depression, dysthymia, and all mood disorders are approximately twice as high for women as for men. Women’s lifetime rates were 7.0%, 4.1%, and 10.2%, respectively, while rates for men were 2.6%, 2.2 %, and 5.2 %, respectively. These differences occur across a variety of ethnic groups (e.g., African American, Hispanic, Caucasian) even when differences in education, income, and occupations are controlled. Sex differences are also found in countries besides the United States. While sex differences in depression are among the most stable of findings across studies, no sex differences in the rates of bipolar disorder are reliably found.

Although sex difference in the incidence of depression occur across different ethnic groups, there are some differences among these groups overall. For instance, the ECA study found higher rates of Major Depression and Dysthymia among Caucasians and Hispanics than among African Americans. However, few difference in the rates of bipolar disorders among the three groups were found.

The ECA study also examined a number of environmental correlates of depression and bipolar disorders. This study found that people who were separated or divorced had higher 1-year prevalence rates of major depression (6.3%) than those who were never married (2.8%), currently married (2.1%), or widowed (2.1%). This was also true of those with bipolar disorders, although the rates for those separated or divorced versus never married were nearly identical (1.7% versus 1.6%). The 1-year prevalence rate of major depression was also higher among the unemployed than the employed (3.4% versus 2.2%), but the rate was nearly identical for those with bipolar disorders (1.1% versus 1.0%). In addition, the ECA study found higher rates of major depression among white-collar workers and those with at least 12 years of education, but lower rates of depression among those with annual incomes of $15,000 or more. Consistent with the major depression findings, bipolar disorders were also less prevalent among those with annual incomes of $15,000 or more. Bipolar disorders were also found to be the most prevalent among none-white-collar workers with less than 12 years of education. Overall, these socioeconomic status differences were quite small.

A variety of different psychological theories of the causes of depression have been proposed. These can be grouped in psychoanalytic, interpersonal, and cognitive.

The first psychoanalytic writers to theorize about the etiology of depression were Sigmund Freud and his student, Karl Abraham. As would be expected, there are a number of similarities in the theories proposed by Freud and Abraham. First, both Freud and Abraham believed that some people are predisposed to experience depression. For Abraham, this predisposition consisted of anatomical anomalies that allowed a person to experience a great deal of oral eroticism. For Freud, this predisposition consisted of narcissistic object choices (e.g., object choices which are so similar to the self that love of the object is truly love of self). Second, both believed that a predisposition to experience depression was not, in and of itself, enough to cause depression. In order to experience a depression, a predisposed individual must also experience the loss of a loved object (e.g., through death or rejection).

Despite these basic similarities, the two theorists diverge somewhat on how depression occurs once a loss has been experienced. For Abraham, the loss of a loved object in a person predisposed to depression triggers a regression to the oral stage of psychosexual development. Such a regression is meant to achieve three purposes: (1) to increase pleasure; (2) to hold on to the object through oral incorporation; and (3) to discharge one’s aggressive impulses on to the object. Such a regression manifests itself most saliently in the depressive symptoms of eating too much or too little. For Freud, the loss of a loved object possesses different implications. Since the lost object was a narcissistic choice and thus represented the self, loss of the object means loss of the self. This loss of self triggers feelings of anger and depression. The energy associated with these negative feelings is withdrawn from the lost object and brought inward, in a process called introjection. Thus, depression as conceptualized by Freud is often summarized as “anger turned inward.” For Freud, the difference between sadness and “true” depression was the difference between “this is awful” and “I am awful.” Freud further extended his theory to account for the mania characteristic of bipolar depressive disorders. He hypothesized that, once the feelings of anger and depression over loss of the object are resolved, the energy associated with these negative feelings is freed for other purposes. In a person with bipolar disorder, this freed energy is used to zealousy search for new objects, thus accounting for the symptoms of mania.

More recent psychoanalytic theorists have focused on the superego’s role in depression. Some theorists, for example, have suggested that depression is distinguished from other states such as shame, apathy, or resentment by the presence of guilt. As guilt results only from an intrapsychic conflict of the superego, the superego is necessarily implicated in depression. One result of these differences in etiological focus has been the proposition of two forms of depression: anaclitic and introjective. Anaclitic depression is characterized by feelings of helplessness, inferiority, and being unloved. Anaclitic depression is proposed to be associated with the earlier stages of development and is most closely associated with the theorizing of Abraham and Freud. Alternatively, introjective depression focuses on feelings of unworthiness and failure to measure up to expectations and standards. It is associated with later stages of development, and more closely aligned with the works of later psychoanalytic theorists. Although much of psychoanalytic theory has been criticized on grounds that it has not been empirically tested, the distinction between anaclitic and introjectire depressions has been empirically examined and found to be valid. Psychoanalytic theorists have accounted for the development of bipolar disorders as well. Most notable amongst these theorists is Melanie Klein, who expanded upon the work of Freud.

Interpersonal approaches to the etiology and maintenance of depression focus on the interplay between a depressed person and his or her relations with others. Empirical research in this area has taken several directions. For example, some researchers focus on the role of social skills in depression, asking such questions as whether depressed people have poor social skills and whether the lack of such skills results in decreased reinforcement from others and consequent depression. Other research has evaluated the types of communications depressed people emit (e.g., sadness, hopelessness) and the effects these communications have on others. If others find the communications of depressed persons aversive, they will likely avoid such persons, which may then exacerbate depressive symptoms such as isolation and loneliness. Still others address the interplay between stress, social support, and depression. All of these lines of research have found some support; interpersonal research highlights the fact that depression is caused by a multitude of factors in interplay with one another.

Much of the research converges on the theoretical idea that depression is maintained by a vicious cycle that is caused by disruptions in interpersonal interactions. For instance, many depressed individuals quite understandably seek out social support from others. If this support does not alleviate the negative feelings, further support is sought. This intensified support seeking, however, has the paradoxical effect of pushing away those who have been supportive. That is, as individuals begin to feel that their support capacity has been exhausted they pull back from the depressed person, leading to an even further intensification of social support seeking, and the further distancing of potentially supportive people.

Interpersonal factors in the etiology of bipolar depressive disorders have not received as much research attention as such factors in unipolar depressive disorders. Nonetheless, persons with both types of depressive disorders seem to have difficulties in retaining social support. Indeed, in one recent study, people with bipolar disorder perceived their social supports as less available to them and as less adequate in the amount of support received than people in a community sample. Furthermore, perceptions of social support availability seemed to decrease as the duration of illness increased. Thus, it seems likely that social support plays a role in bipolar as well as unipolar depressive disorders.

Currently, cognitive approaches are among the most widely studied theories in the etiology of depression. One of the most influential of these theories was proposed by Aaron Beck in 1967. Beck argued that all individuals possess cognitive structures called schemas that guide the ways information in the environment is attended to and interpreted. Such schemas are determined from childhood by our interactions with the external world. For example, a child who is constantly criticized may begin to believe she is worthless. She might then begin to interpret every failure experience as further evidence of her worthlessness. If this negative processing of information is not changed, it will become an enduring part of her cognitive organization, that is, a schema. When this schema is activated (e.g., by a poor grade on a test or any other failure experience), it will predispose her to depressive feelings (e.g., I’m no good). Beck stated that, as a result of this faulty information processing, depressed persons demonstrate a cognitive triad of negative thoughts about themselves, the world, and the future. He further extended his argument to include the manic phases of bipolar depressive disorders. Beck stated that such phases are characterized by a manic triad of irrationally positive thoughts about oneself, the world, and the future. Like the depressive triad in unipolar depressive disorders, the manic triad in bipolar depressive disorders was hypothesized to lead to the symptoms of mania, such as inflated selfesteem and extremely elevated mood.

There is widespread agreement that depression can be caused by different factors. Some theorists have argued that dysfunctional cognitions cause only a subset of depressions. Termed the “negative cognition” subtype, this type of depression is brought about by either the kinds of schemas discussed by Aaron Beck or by dysfunctional attributional patterns that lead depressed people to take responsibility for the occurrence of negative events, and to avoid taking responsibility for positive events. This dysfunctional attributional pattern can lead to a sense of hopelessness that results in a “hopelessness depression,” a component of negative cognition depression.

Although there are a variety of biologically based theories of depression, they can be broken down into two general approaches: genetic and neurotransmitter.

Genetic approaches suggest that depression is the result of inheriting genes that predispose to occurrence of depression. Three types of studies that are used to investigate genetic inheritance of depression illustrate this approach. These studies consist of family studies, twin studies, and adoption studies. In a typical family study, families with a depressed member are interviewed to determine how many other family members have or had an affective disorder. In twin studies, the concordance rate of affective disorder between monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs is compared. Because monozygotic twins have identical genes, if genetic theories are correct then concordance rates of depression should be higher than for dizygotic twins (who have similar but not identical genes). In adoption studies, two strategies are most often used. In the first, the rate of depressive disorder in the biological parents of adopted persons with and without affective disorders is compared. In the second, the rate of depressive disorders is compared between adopted children with and without affectively disordered biological parents. Adoption studies have an advantage over family and twin studies, as the effects of environment on affective disorder are reduced in this design. However, adoption studies constitute the least-used approach to investigating genetic factors in depression; the difficulty of obtaining complete records on adoptees and their biological parents makes this design quite prohibitive.

Despite design differences, all three genetic approaches to the etiology of depression have yielded similar results: depression is heritable to at least some degree. A recent review of the research literature, for example, found rates of affective disorders among first-degree relatives of unipolar-disordered individuals ranging from 11.8% to 32.2%. Rates of affective disorders among first-degree relatives of bipolardisordered individuals ranged from 10.6% to 33.1%. Rates of affective disorder among first-degree relatives of normal individuals ranged from 4.8% to 6.3. In twin studies of unipolar and bipolar depression, concordance rates ranged from .04 to 1.0 for monozygotic twins, and from 0.0 to .43 to dizygotic twins, with the majority of studies reviewed reporting no concordance for dizygotic twins. The results of genetic investigations clearly suggest that there is a genetic component to depression, although the exact nature and functioning of this component is thus far still unknown.

Research on brain chemistry as an etiological factor in unipolar depression has focused on two monoamine neurotransmitters: norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5-HT). Initially, researchers believed that depression was due to a lack of NE in the brain, and later, to a lack of both NE and 5-HT. However, several difficulties with these hypotheses arose: (1) While the effects of antidepressants on monoamine levels start within hours of taking the medication, decreased depression levels do not become apparent until weeks later. (2) Some drugs that do not affect monoamine levels alleviate depression. (3) Some drugs that increase monoamine levels do not alleviate depression. Thus, researchers have directed their efforts to investigating more complicated relations between these neurotransmitters and depression. Recent efforts have included the study of receptor site hyposensitivity, relationships between NE and 5-HT, and relationships between. 5-HT and the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA).

Research on brain chemistry as in etiological factor in bipolar depression has followed much the same course as such research on unipolar depression. Initially, researchers believed that the mania characteristic of bipolar disorders was due to excesses of the neurotransmitters NE and 5-HT, exactly opposite the belief for depression. However, difficulties arose with this hypothesis, including findings that (1) lithium, the medical treatment of choice for bipolar disorder which seems to affect both NE and 5-HT, was effective at controlling both depression and mania, and (2) both depression and mania may be characterized by lower levels of 5-HT. Thus, as with unipolar depression, researchers of bipolar depression have begun investigating more complicated relationships between bipolar depression and neurotransmitters. Similar to the recent efforts concerning unipolar depression, researchers have investigated interactions between 5-HT and DA, interactions between NE and DA, and receptor site hypersensitivity. These types of investigations represent promising areas of research in elucidating the multifaceted etiology of depression. Certainly, biology and psychology are implicated in the causes of depression, both unipolar and bipolar forms.

Given the potentially devastating effects of depression, many researchers have devoted their efforts to studying factors that decrease the likelihood of becoming depressed or decrease the amount of time spent in depressive episodes. Among the most widely studied of such protective factors are social support and coping styles.

There are numerous facets to the concept of social support. For example, social support can be conceived as the number of persons one can rely on for support. Social support can also be conceived as the amount of support received, regardless of the number of persons one receives support from. In addition, socially supportive relationships can be conceptualized on a continuum of quality from very poor to very good. Examination of all these facets has proven important in understanding relationships between depression and social support.

Overall, people in contact with numerous socially supportive persons are less likely to have mental health difficulties, including depression. In addition, those who perceive a great deal of support from others are less likely to be negatively affected by stressors that might lead to depression. For people who have become depressed, having a confidant such as a spouse or best friend and a supportive family is related to greater success in treatment. The quality of such relationships is also important to treatment. In one study, for example, depressed persons with good-quality confidant relationships needed shorter periods of treatment than those with poor-quality confidant relationships.

The effects of social support for people with bipolar depressive disorders have not been as well studied as the effects for people with unipolar depressive disorders. Nonetheless, research suggests that social support is indeed beneficial for people with bipolar disorders. In one study, for example, a great deal of available social support was related to fewer psychological symptoms, better social adjustment, and better overall functioning.

Ways of coping with stressors can be roughly divided into two categories: approach strategies and avoidance strategies. Approach strategies are characterized by identifying the problematic situation, devising reasonable solutions to it, an implementing those solutions. Avoidance strategies include trying not to think about the problem, wishing the problem did not exist, and fantasizing about life without the problem. Overall, approach strategies seem to help people cope with stressors that might otherwise lead to depression. In addition, use of approach strategies is associated with better treatment outcome for those who become depressed. Conversely, people who use avoidance strategies to cope with stress seem more likely to become depressed and to have poorer treatment outcomes.

As with the effects of social support, research on coping styles among people with bipolar depressive disorders is scarce. Nonetheless, one recent study that examined differences in coping between high- and low-functioning people with bipolar disorders suggested that avoidant coping styles are associated with poorer functioning. Thus, relationships between coping styles and bipolar depressive disorders and coping and unipolar depressive disorders may be similar.


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  • Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. L. (1992). (Eds.). Developmental perspectives on depression. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.
  • Craig, K. D., & Dobson, K. S. (1995). (Eds.). Anxiety and depression in children and adults. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Kendall, P. C., Hollon, S. D., Beck, A. T., Hammen, C. L., & Ingram, R. E. (1987). Issues and recommendations regarding use of the Beck Depression Inventory. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 11,289-299.
  • Ingrain, R. E., Miranda, J., & Segal, Z. V. (in press). Cognitive vulnerability to depression. New York: Guilford Press.
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222 Depression Research Topics & Essay Examples

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  • Experience of Trauma from Child Maltreatment Psychology essay sample: Summing up the findings of various researchers as well as using databases, studies confirm an undeniable influence of maltreatment on the later development and life of a child.
  • Approaches for Treating Depression Psychology essay sample: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and one of the most effective approaches for treating depression.
  • Managing Anxiety in Evidence-Based Practice Psychology essay sample: This EBP project proposal focuses on nonpharmacological treatment that does not involve the administration of drugs. It tries to effectively manage anxiety.
  • Andrew Solomon: Why We Can't Talk About Depression Psychology essay sample: The main difficulty of depression lies in communicating the patient's condition to those around him. Many people use the word "depression" to describe a bad mood.
  • Mental Health Disorders Most Commonly Found in Teenagers Psychology essay sample: The present essay focuses on anxiety, depression, and behavioral disorders because these mental health disorders are the most widely spread among teenagers.
  • Approaches a Therapist Could Use to Help Lawrence Psychology essay sample: Lawrence thought he would never come out from underneath the hiding spot while he was despondent. Even some of the most severe depression, nonetheless, can be treated.
  • The Link Between the Birth Experience and Postnatal Depression Psychology essay sample: This study offers an overview of the latest scholarly research surrounding postnatal depression to determine whether the birth experience contributes to postpartum depression.
  • Evidence-Based Screening for Depression in Acute Care Psychology essay sample: EB analysis for the topic of depression to identify the need for an appropriate screening tool in addition to the PHQ-9 in the assessment evaluation process.
  • Beck’s Postpartum Depression Theory: Purpose, Concepts, and Significance Psychology essay sample: This paper aims to describe, analyze and evaluate Beck's Postpartum Depression Theory, and discuss its purpose, concepts, and significance.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression Psychology essay sample: Treatment of psychological disorders requires the application of additional methods that might help with the physical state of people and their mental well-being.
  • Teen Depression and Suicide in Soto “The Afterlife” Psychology essay sample: In “The Afterlife,” Gary Soto scrutinizes the challenges to teen mental health by portraying the protagonist observing from a side perspective the challenges faced by teenagers.
  • Depression and Anxiety Run in the Family Psychology essay sample: This paper examines the possibilities of depression and anxiety in one family through the study of literature and applying one of the family theories.
  • Humanistic Therapy of Depression Psychology essay sample: The mental health of the population is becoming a topical concern for numerous countries around the world, and, the need for effective and holistic treatments arises.
  • Treating Mood Disorders and Depression Psychology essay sample: This paper discusses treating mood disorders. Medications, which are used to cure people with such diseases, always include a combination of various drugs.
  • Major Depressive Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment Psychology essay sample: In the case described in the paper, symptoms can be observed that stand out in Major Depressive Disorder, which is characterized by losing interest in activities.
  • Depression in Older Adults: Causes and Treatment Psychology essay sample: The main factors in the progression of depressive disorder in old age are traumatic life events, lifestyle, and chronic illness.
  • Bullying: Collaborating with Parents to Increase Proactive Bystander Message Psychology essay sample: Bullying could potentially lead to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. These symptoms could be typical also to the bystanders.
  • Mental Illness, Depression, and Wellness Issues Psychology essay sample: Mental illness and depression are a silent plague and a sleeper problem that has slipped into millions' brains, hence being highlighted in various forms of media.
  • Anxiety and Depression During Childhood and Adolescence Psychology essay sample: Attachment can be defined as the bond shared between two or more persons. People may have emotional closeness with one another.
  • Depression as a Widespread Mental Condition Psychology essay sample: The paper investigates depression among individuals as it is a widespread mental condition. It focuses on the effects of depression that result from this condition.
  • Teenagers’ Depression Experiment Psychology essay sample: There are many reasons why teenagers become depressed. All of these traumatize the child's psyche and prevent him or her from feeling like a full member of society.
  • The Best Solution to Predict Depression Because of Bullying Psychology essay sample: This paper examines interventions to prove that the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is the most effective solution for predicting depression provoked by bullying.
  • Depression Among Students at Elon University Psychology essay sample: This paper entails an analysis of the problem of depression in colleges, specifically, at Elon University, and it includes its causes and suggested remedies.
  • Effects of Depression Among Adolescents Psychology essay sample: Depression is a problem that affects all demographics, but this paper focuses on adolescents as its main point of discussion. Depression is a major cause of mental health.
  • Social Aspects of Depression and Anxiety Psychology essay sample: Depression and anxiety disorders are problems that bring the mental state out of balance and significantly complicate normal life.
  • Discussion Board-Anxiety and Depression Psychology essay sample: The article addresses the urgent need for early intervention and support to prevent suicide in individuals suffering from severe depression.
  • Exercise Therapy for Patients With Depression and Anxiety
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Depression
  • Yoga Therapy and Depression Symptom in Adult Patients
  • Dysthymic Disorder Depression Therapy Symptoms
  • Depression in Later Life Overview Older populations have significantly high rates of depression due to life contexts or underlying medical conditions leading to poor quality of life and other health risks.
  • Childhood Mistreatment and Adolescent and Young Adult Depression
  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation as an Add-on Treatment to Cognitive-Behavior Therapy in First Episode Drug-Nave Major Depression Patients
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Application for Psychotic Depression
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression and Anxiety Attacks
  • Herbal and Complementary Therapies for Depression The paper dwells on the pharmacological effects of herbal and complementary therapies used for depression and nursing implications.
  • Metacognitive Therapy for Depression in Adults
  • Relationship Between Depression and Subtypes of Early Life Stress in Adult Psychiatric Patients
  • Family Therapy and Chronic Depression
  • Cognitive Group Therapy for Depression in Adults
  • Social Media: The Rise of Depression and Anxiety The increased use of social media in contemporary society adversely affects individuals resulting in depression and anxiety, particularly in those who use it regularly.
  • Depression and Anxiety Among Adult Children of Alcoholics
  • Managing Postpartum Depression Through Medications and Therapy
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy for Severe Depression
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Its Effects on Depression
  • Depression and Workplace Violence Workplace violence is a growing problem and is recognized as “a critical safety and health hazard” in the United States.
  • Flowers Therapy and Easiest Ways to Deal With Depression
  • Risk Factors for Adult Depression: Adverse Childhood Experiences and Personality Functioning
  • Depression: Medication Versus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Adolescents
  • Approaching Depression Through the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Approach
  • Depression in the Elderly Depression normally makes the elderly not to take pleasure in life as fully as they would wish. Normally, depression poses a serious threat on vigor.
  • Adjunctive Bright Light Therapy for Bipolar Depression
  • Depression and Anxiety Prevention Based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for At-Risk Adolescents
  • Resting-State Functional Connectivity of Brain With Electroconvulsive Therapy in Depression
  • Depression: Major Depressive Disorder and Major Life Changes
  • Depression in the Elderly Male The research is dedicated to the problems and dangers that may be caused by depression and how it can be avoided or resolved.
  • Multimodal Psychotherapeutic Inpatient Therapy of Depression in Patients With High Cytokine Production
  • Music Therapy Improve Depression Among Older Adults
  • Talk Therapy for Depression or Bipolar Disorder
  • Clinical Improvement and Neural Reactivity in Adolescents Treated With Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety and Depression
  • How Depression and Physical Issues Are Connected Depression is commonly associated with various symptoms, such as guilt, sadness, hopelessness, and irritability.
  • Life After Depression With Hypno Psychotherapy
  • Antidepressant Treatment for Depression: Total Therapy Duration
  • Cognitive Group Therapy for Adult Depression
  • The Relationship Between Adult Attachment Classification and Symptoms of Depression
  • Anxiety and Depression in the Workplace This paper looks at the issues of anxiety and depression in the workplace with the focus on causes and ways of dealing with it as part of daily management exercise.
  • Adolescent Depression and Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Virtual Reality Group Therapy for the Treatment of Depression
  • The New Therapy Technique for Depression
  • Group Therapy for Heart Patients With Depression
  • Depression Screening & Treatment in the Workplace The current paper states that depression and treatment have the potential of changing the financial position of employees and employers.
  • Oriental Therapy: Alternative Treatment for Depression
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Treatment for Adult Severe Depression
  • Aaron Becks and Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression
  • Massage Therapy Reducing Pain, Depression, and Anxiety in Hand Osteoarthritis Patients
  • How Does Depression Affect an Individual’s Overall Quality of Life?
  • Why Is Depression Hard to Overcome?
  • How Does Depression Affect an Individual’s Overall Quality of Life?
  • What Are the Major Types of Depression, and How Do They Differ?
  • Why Is Early Diagnosis and Treatment Crucial in Managing Depression?
  • Is Meditation a Good Way to Help People in Depression?
  • Who Is More Susceptible to Depression, and Are There Specific Risk Factors?
  • What Are the More Inconspicuous Symptoms of Depression?
  • Can Depression Be a Chronic Condition, and How Is It Managed Over Time?
  • What Is the Difference Between Clinical Depression and Normal Depression?
  • Is Overthinking One of the Main Causes of Depression?
  • How Does Depression Impact the Brain’s Functioning and Chemistry?
  • Are There Physical Health Complications Associated with Long-Term Depression?
  • What Role Do Genetics Play in the Development of Depression?
  • Can Marijuana Help with Depression?
  • What Is the Relationship Between Depression and Other Mental Health Disorders?
  • Are There Good Habits That Help Overcome Depression?
  • How Does Depression Affect Different Age Groups, From Children to Seniors?
  • What Are Some Common Misconceptions About Depression? Why Is It Essential to Seek Professional Help for Depression?
  • Is There an Evolutionary Explanation for Depression?
  • Can Depression Be Managed Without Medication, Using Therapy Alone?
  • How Does Depression Affect Our Daily Life?
  • What Is the Difference Between Depression and Laziness?
  • Are There Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Alleviate the Symptoms of Depression?
  • What Is the Relationship Between Anxiety and Depression?
  • Can Antidepressants Really Help Ease or Cure Depression?
  • Who Are the Key Figures in the History of Depression Research and Treatment?
  • Do Certain Life Events or Traumas Trigger Episodes of Depression?
  • How Is Major Depression Different from Bipolar Depression?
  • Can Depression in Children Manifest Differently Than in Adults?
  • Does Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Have an Effect in Depression Level?
  • How Does Depression Affect the Teenage Generation?
  • Does Working Past Age 65 Protect Against Depression?
  • Does Regular Exercise Reduce Stress Levels and Thus Reduce Symptoms of Depression?
  • How Medication and Therapy Combat Depression?
  • Does Depression Lead to Suicide and Decreased Life Expectancy?
  • How Does Diabetes Not Cause Depression?
  • Does Emotional Intelligence Mediate the Relation Between Mindfulness and Anxiety and Depression in Adolescents?
  • How Does the Cognitive Theory Explain the Etiology of Depression?
  • Does Parent Depression Correspond With Child Depression?
  • Does Social Anxiety and Stress Lead to Depression?
  • Does Positive Psychology Ease Symptoms of Depression?
  • How Does Depression Affect Productivity?
  • Does Depression Cause Cancer?
  • Does Poverty Impact Depression in African American Adolescents and the Development of Suicidal Ideations?
  • How Cognitive Reserves Does Moderates Effects of White Matter Hyperintensity on Depressive Symptoms and Cognitive Function in Late-Life Depression?
  • How Cognitive Therapy for Depression Reduces Interpersonal Problems?
  • How Does Self-Esteem Interact With Adolescent Depression?
  • Does Maternal Depression Hurt Parent-Child Attachment?
  • Does Fruit and Vegetable Consumption During Adolescence Predict Adult Depression?
  • How Can Depression Take Over Someone’s Life?
  • How Has Depression Changed My Life Essay?
  • Does the Average Person Experience Depression Throughout Their Life?
  • Can Experiencing Depression Throughout All Life?

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Interesting Research Paper Topics On Depression: Expert Choice

The study of the human behavior involves a lot of investigation and a complex research to understand why or how actions affect the totality of an individual. There are some challenges along the way because the outcome or result of the study must be based not only on medical history but also on social and economic factors. To get a glimpse of some interesting research paper topics on depression, check this site.

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Here are a few recommended topics to consider:

  • Personality crisis as the main factor in aggravating adolescent depression
  • The causes of depression as a result of parental neglect
  • The outcome of a broken family to the life of a teenager
  • The role of academic stress to depression
  • Peer pressure and social anxiety as contributory factors to depression
  • The result of romantic or love problems leading to depression
  • A comparison of the levels of depression in adolescents and adults
  • The role of the individual’s traumatic experience to depression
  • Divorce and legal separation as factors in causing depression among children
  • Hereditary factors contributory to depression
  • Depression caused by financial or economic struggle
  • Depression as an outcome of physical abuse
  • Depression as a result of emotional abuse
  • The outcome of psychological abuse leading to depression
  • Depression as a result of physical and emotional neglect
  • The role of low self-esteem to depression
  • Depression as an outcome to feelings of different struggles and helplessness
  • Identifying the early signs of depression among teenage boys and girls
  • A study on how teenagers cope up with their problems at home
  • The role of the school in coping with stress among teenagers
  • The role of school officials and education stakeholders in solving depression
  • A comparison on how teenagers and adults react to the medical intervention in treating depression.
  • A comparison in the treatment of depression between older and younger teenagers
  • The government’s failure in solving economic and social problems in the community which leads to mental health problems among its constituents
  • The issue of mental health problems among prisoners or correctional inmates
  • A study on how prepared is the government to solve mental health issues like depression
  • An investigative study on how public and private medical institutions intervene with mental health problems in their areas of responsibility
  • An examination of the impact of domestic violence on women experiencing different levels of depression.

There are a lot of solutions in solving depression. Some may cope up easily with minor problems in life, but others don’t have the ability to cope up with stress easily, which leads to this unfortunate situation. The best treatment is not found in medicines, nor with doctors and experts in mental health. It is only you who can do something about it.

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Home » Research Paper Title – Writing Guide and Example

Research Paper Title – Writing Guide and Example

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Research Paper Title

Research Paper Title

Research Paper Title is the name or heading that summarizes the main theme or topic of a research paper . It serves as the first point of contact between the reader and the paper, providing an initial impression of the content, purpose, and scope of the research . A well-crafted research paper title should be concise, informative, and engaging, accurately reflecting the key elements of the study while also capturing the reader’s attention and interest. The title should be clear and easy to understand, and it should accurately convey the main focus and scope of the research paper.

Examples of Research Paper Title

Here are some Good Examples of Research Paper Title:

  • “Investigating the Relationship Between Sleep Duration and Academic Performance Among College Students”
  • “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Employment: A Systematic Review”
  • “The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “Exploring the Effects of Social Support on Mental Health in Patients with Chronic Illness”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
  • “The Impact of Social Media Influencers on Consumer Behavior: A Systematic Review”
  • “Investigating the Link Between Personality Traits and Leadership Effectiveness”
  • “The Effect of Parental Incarceration on Child Development: A Longitudinal Study”
  • “Exploring the Relationship Between Cultural Intelligence and Cross-Cultural Adaptation: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Chronic Pain Management”.
  • “The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “The Impact of Climate Change on Global Crop Yields: A Longitudinal Study”
  • “Exploring the Relationship between Parental Involvement and Academic Achievement in Elementary School Students”
  • “The Ethics of Genetic Editing: A Review of Current Research and Implications for Society”
  • “Understanding the Role of Gender in Leadership: A Comparative Study of Male and Female CEOs”
  • “The Effect of Exercise on Cognitive Function in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
  • “The Impacts of COVID-19 on Mental Health: A Cross-Cultural Comparison”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Online Learning Platforms: A Case Study of Coursera”
  • “Exploring the Link between Employee Engagement and Organizational Performance”
  • “The Effects of Income Inequality on Social Mobility: A Comparative Analysis of OECD Countries”
  • “Exploring the Relationship Between Social Media Use and Mental Health in Adolescents”
  • “The Impact of Climate Change on Crop Yield: A Case Study of Maize Production in Sub-Saharan Africa”
  • “Examining the Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “An Analysis of the Relationship Between Employee Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment”
  • “Assessing the Impacts of Wilderness Areas on Local Economies: A Case Study of Yellowstone National Park”
  • “The Role of Parental Involvement in Early Childhood Education: A Review of the Literature”
  • “Investigating the Effects of Technology on Learning in Higher Education”
  • “The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges”
  • “A Study of the Relationship Between Personality Traits and Leadership Styles in Business Organizations”.

How to choose Research Paper Title

Choosing a research paper title is an important step in the research process. A good title can attract readers and convey the essence of your research in a concise and clear manner. Here are some tips on how to choose a research paper title:

  • Be clear and concise: A good title should convey the main idea of your research in a clear and concise manner. Avoid using jargon or technical language that may be confusing to readers.
  • Use keywords: Including keywords in your title can help readers find your paper when searching for related topics. Use specific, descriptive terms that accurately describe your research.
  • Be descriptive: A descriptive title can help readers understand what your research is about. Use adjectives and adverbs to convey the main ideas of your research.
  • Consider the audience : Think about the audience for your paper and choose a title that will appeal to them. If your paper is aimed at a specialized audience, you may want to use technical terms or jargon in your title.
  • Avoid being too general or too specific : A title that is too general may not convey the specific focus of your research, while a title that is too specific may not be of interest to a broader audience. Strive for a title that accurately reflects the focus of your research without being too narrow or too broad.
  • Make it interesting : A title that is interesting or provocative can capture the attention of readers and draw them into your research. Use humor, wordplay, or other creative techniques to make your title stand out.
  • Seek feedback: Ask colleagues or advisors for feedback on your title. They may be able to offer suggestions or identify potential problems that you hadn’t considered.

Purpose of Research Paper Title

The research paper title serves several important purposes, including:

  • Identifying the subject matter : The title of a research paper should clearly and accurately identify the topic or subject matter that the paper addresses. This helps readers quickly understand what the paper is about.
  • Catching the reader’s attention : A well-crafted title can grab the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading the paper. This is particularly important in academic settings where there may be many papers on the same topic.
  • Providing context: The title can provide important context for the research paper by indicating the specific area of study, the research methods used, or the key findings.
  • Communicating the scope of the paper: A good title can give readers an idea of the scope and depth of the research paper. This can help them decide if the paper is relevant to their interests or research.
  • Indicating the research question or hypothesis : The title can often indicate the research question or hypothesis that the paper addresses, which can help readers understand the focus of the research and the main argument or conclusion of the paper.

Advantages of Research Paper Title

The title of a research paper is an important component that can have several advantages, including:

  • Capturing the reader’s attention : A well-crafted research paper title can grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to read further. A captivating title can also increase the visibility of the paper and attract more readers.
  • Providing a clear indication of the paper’s focus: A well-written research paper title should clearly convey the main focus and purpose of the study. This helps potential readers quickly determine whether the paper is relevant to their interests.
  • Improving discoverability: A descriptive title that includes relevant keywords can improve the discoverability of the research paper in search engines and academic databases, making it easier for other researchers to find and cite.
  • Enhancing credibility : A clear and concise title can enhance the credibility of the research and the author. A title that accurately reflects the content of the paper can increase the confidence readers have in the research findings.
  • Facilitating communication: A well-written research paper title can facilitate communication among researchers, enabling them to quickly and easily identify relevant studies and engage in discussions related to the topic.
  • Making the paper easier to remember : An engaging and memorable research paper title can help readers remember the paper and its findings. This can be especially important in fields where researchers are constantly inundated with new information and need to quickly recall important studies.
  • Setting expectations: A good research paper title can set expectations for the reader and help them understand what the paper will cover. This can be especially important for readers who are unfamiliar with the topic or the research area.
  • Guiding research: A well-crafted research paper title can also guide future research by highlighting gaps in the current literature or suggesting new areas for investigation.
  • Demonstrating creativity: A creative research paper title can demonstrate the author’s creativity and originality, which can be appealing to readers and other researchers.

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Muhammad Hassan

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89 Postpartum Depression Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best postpartum depression topic ideas & essay examples, 👍 most interesting postpartum depression topics to write about, ⭐ good research topics about postpartum depression, ❓ postpartum depression research questions.

  • Correlation Between Multiple Pregnancies and Postpartum Depression or Psychosis In recognition of the paucity of information on the relationship between multiple pregnancies and postpartum depression, the paper reviews the likely relationship by understanding the two variables, multiple pregnancies and postpartum depression, in terms of […]
  • Postpartum Depression and Comorbid Disorders For example, at a public hospital in Sydney, Australia, the psychiatrists used a Routine Comprehensive Psychosocial Assessment tool to study the chances of ‘low risk’ women developing the postpartum symptoms.
  • Supporting the Health Needs of Patients With Parkinson’s, Preeclampsia, and Postpartum Depression The medical history of the patient will help the doctor to offer the best drug therapy. Members of the family might also be unable to cope with the disorder.
  • Postpartum Depression and Its Peculiarities The major peculiarity of PPD in terms of its adverse effects is that it is detrimental to both the mother and the newborn child.
  • Postpartum Depression and Acute Depressive Symptoms It is hypothesized that the authors of the study wished to establish, with certainty, the effect of the proposed predictors for the development of PPD.
  • Postpartum Depression: Understanding the Needs of Women This article also emphasizes the need to consider and assess the needs of the mother, infant as well as family members during the treatment of PPD.
  • A Review of Postpartum Depression and Continued Post Birth Support In the first chapter – the introduction – the problem statement, background, purpose, and nature of the project are mentioned. The purpose of the project is to explain the significance of managing postpartum depression by […]
  • Postpartum Depression: Treatment and Therapy It outlines the possible treatment and therapy methods, as well as the implications of the condition. A 28-year-old patient presented in the office three weeks after giving birth to her first son with the symptoms […]
  • Postpartum Psychosis: Impact on Family By the ties of kinship, the extended families of both parents are often intricately involved in the pregnancy and maybe major sources of support for the pregnant woman.
  • Postpartum Depression: Statistics and Methods of Diagnosis The incorporation of the screening tools into the existing electronic medical support system has proved to lead to positive outcomes for both mothers and children.
  • Postpartum Depression and Its Impact on Infants The goal of this research was “to investigate the prevalence of maternal depressive symptoms at 5 and 9 months postpartum in a low-income and predominantly Hispanic sample, and evaluate the impact on infant weight gain, […]
  • In-Vitro Fertilization and Postpartum Depression The research was conducted through based on professional information sources and statistical data collected from the research study used to further validate the evidence and outcome of this study.
  • Postpartum Depression Among the Low-Income U.S. Mothers Mothers who take part in the programs develop skills and knowledge to use the existing social entities to ensure that they protect themselves from the undesirable consequences associated with the PPD and other related psychological […]
  • Postpartum Depression in African American Women As far as African American women are concerned, the issue becomes even more complex due to several reasons: the stigma associated with the mental health of African American women and the mental health complications that […]
  • Breastfeeding and Risk of Postpartum Depression The primary goal of the research conducted by Islam et al.was to analyze the correlation between exclusive breastfeeding and the risk of postpartum depression among new mothers.
  • The Postpartum Depression in Afro-Americans Policy The distribution of the funds is managed and administered on the state level. Minnesota and Maryland focused on passing the legislation regulating the adoption of Medicaid in 2013.
  • Technology to Fight Postpartum Depression in African American Women I would like to introduce the app “Peanut” the social network designed to help and unite women exclusively, as a technology aimed at fighting postpartum depression in African American Women.
  • Complementary Therapy for Postpartum Depression in Primary Care Thus, the woman faced frustration and sadness, preventing her from taking good care of the child, and the lack of support led to the emergence of concerns similar to those in the past.
  • Activity During Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression Studies have shown that women’s mood and cardiorespiratory fitness improve when they engage in moderate-intensity physical activity in the weeks and months after giving birth to a child.
  • Acknowledging Postpartum Depression: Years Ago, There Was
  • Postpartum Depression and Crime: The Case of Andrea Yates
  • Baby Blues, Postpartum Depression, and Postpartum Psychosis
  • Postpartum Depression and Parent-Child Relationships
  • Cheryl Postpartum Depression Theory Analysis
  • Cognitive Therapy for Postpartum Depression
  • Postpartum Depression: An Important Issue in Women’s Health
  • The Relationships Between Depression and Postpartum Depression
  • Postpartum Depression: Causes and Treatments
  • How Postpartum Depression Predicts Emotional and Cognitive Difficulties in 11-Year-Olds
  • Economic and Health Predictors of National Postpartum Depression Prevalence
  • Postpartum Depression (PPD): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
  • Fathers Dealing With Postpartum Depression
  • Postpartum Depression and the Birth of a New Baby
  • Risk of Postpartum Depression in Women Without Depression in Pregnancy
  • Intimate Partner Violence During Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression in Japan
  • Managing Postpartum Depression Through Medications and Therapy
  • Early Identification Essential to Treat Postpartum Depression
  • Screening for Postpartum Depression and Associated Factors Among Women in China
  • Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Disorders in Women
  • Postpartum Depression and Child Development
  • Association Between Family Members and Risk of Postpartum Depression in Japan
  • Postpartum Depression and Its Effects on Mental Health
  • Baby Blues, the Challenges of Postpartum Depression
  • How Postpartum Depression Affects Employment
  • Postpartum Depression During the Postpartum Period
  • Evidence-Based Interventions of Postpartum Depression
  • Proposed Policy for Postpartum Depression Screening and Treatment
  • Sleep Deprivation and Postpartum Depression
  • The Causes and Effects of Postpartum Depression
  • The Main Facts About Postpartum Depression
  • The Postpartum Depression and Crime Relations
  • Sleep Quality and Mothers With Postpartum Depression
  • Postpartum Depression and Its Effects on Early Brain
  • Fetal Gender and Postpartum Depression in a Cohort of Chinese Women
  • Postpartum Depression and Postnatal Depression Psychology
  • The Problem of Postpartum Depression Among Canadian Women
  • Postpartum Depression and Its Effect on the Family Experience
  • Mothers With Postpartum Depression for Breastfeeding Success
  • Postpartum Depression and Analysis of Treatments and Health Determinants
  • How Are Neuroactive Steroids Related to Major Depressive Disorder and Postpartum Depression?
  • What Are the Emotional and Behavioral Changes During Postpartum Depression?
  • Does Postpartum Depression Affect the Child’s Development?
  • When Does Postpartum Depression Lead to Psychosis?
  • How to Recognize Postpartum Depression?
  • What Is the Role of the Mother, Child, and Partner in Postpartum Depression?
  • Is There an Association Between Family Members and the Risk of Postpartum Depression in Japan?
  • What Are the Most Common Signs of Postpartum Depression?
  • How Does Postpartum Depression Affect Parent-Child Relationships?
  • What Type of Therapy Is Most Widely Used for a Person Suffering from Postpartum Depression?
  • Can Postpartum Depression Cause Autism?
  • What Is a Gender Perspective on Postpartum Depression and the Social Construction of Motherhood?
  • How Are Postpartum Depression and Related Factors Screened Among Women in China?
  • What Are the Economic and Medical Projections of the Prevalence of Postpartum Depression?
  • Is There a Difference Between Postnatal and Postpartum Depression?
  • What Is the Biggest Risk Factor for Postpartum Depression?
  • How Are Fetal Gender and Postpartum Depression Related in a Cohort of Chinese Women?
  • What Factors Contribute to the Development of Postpartum Depression?
  • Is Postpartum Depression a Long-Term Disability?
  • What Are the Causes and Consequences of Postpartum Depression?
  • How Is Postpartum Depression Diagnosed?
  • What Is Postpartum Depression and How Does It Affect Newborns and Mothers?
  • Is Psychotherapy the Best Treatment for Postpartum Depression?
  • What Should Be the Knowledge of Nurses in the Diagnosis of Postpartum Depression?
  • How Does Postpartum Depression Affect the Family Experience?
  • What Is the Relationship Between Sleep Quality and Postpartum Depression in Mothers?
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Computer Science > Machine Learning

Title: mamba: linear-time sequence modeling with selective state spaces.

Abstract: Foundation models, now powering most of the exciting applications in deep learning, are almost universally based on the Transformer architecture and its core attention module. Many subquadratic-time architectures such as linear attention, gated convolution and recurrent models, and structured state space models (SSMs) have been developed to address Transformers' computational inefficiency on long sequences, but they have not performed as well as attention on important modalities such as language. We identify that a key weakness of such models is their inability to perform content-based reasoning, and make several improvements. First, simply letting the SSM parameters be functions of the input addresses their weakness with discrete modalities, allowing the model to selectively propagate or forget information along the sequence length dimension depending on the current token. Second, even though this change prevents the use of efficient convolutions, we design a hardware-aware parallel algorithm in recurrent mode. We integrate these selective SSMs into a simplified end-to-end neural network architecture without attention or even MLP blocks (Mamba). Mamba enjoys fast inference (5$\times$ higher throughput than Transformers) and linear scaling in sequence length, and its performance improves on real data up to million-length sequences. As a general sequence model backbone, Mamba achieves state-of-the-art performance across several modalities such as language, audio, and genomics. On language modeling, our Mamba-3B model outperforms Transformers of the same size and matches Transformers twice its size, both in pretraining and downstream evaluation.

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