Among the myriad differences between rich and poor people is the manner in which they are influenced by and respond to depression. From environmental to social and cultural to chemical, the divergent factors that categorize depression as having separate indicators and consequences. Among other methods, organizational therapy employs the use of clarification between people and events in order to ascertain a basis of the depression; as a means by which to establish a relationship between the issues and the individuals who bring them to light, organizational therapy is a way to correlate the association between “life cycle events and the onset of problems” (Richard, 42-50). As well, the fact that depression manifests itself differently between rich and poor people draws upon research for such conclusions, which clearly demonstrate the physical variances.
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Chemical imbalance in the brain has long been thought to be the cause for depression. The prefrontal cortex has been found to be smaller in the brains of the depressed person. In fact, depressed patients have been found to have a drastically smaller volume of a section of the left PFC that sits behind the bridge of the nose. In some cases this section is up to forty percent smaller in depressed persons. When researchers looked into what might cause this shrinkage, it was found that it could be the result of having loss of glia, which are small cells that do important or even critical housekeeping of the brain. The glia might also play a part in the development of serontonin in the system. Additionally, it may be that a defect in the neural development of the prefrontal cortex could be the initial abnormality in depression. “People who suffer from either major depression or manic depression and who also have family members with these mood disturbances display strikingly low numbers of glial cells–but not neurons–in a brain area implicated in emotional behavior and stress responses” (Leslie, 12-15).
The entire subject of depression and rich people is one that is widely misunderstood by the public. Depression is often thought of as simply a sad mood, or as a problem that people should be able to ‘snap out of”; on the contrary, depression is now known to be a physical malady. Antidepressant medication is sometimes compared to being a mood elevator that it definitely is not. The medication only serves to remove the bleakness or hopelessness that may be felt by the patient in his or her illness. And while the physical needs may be met by an antidepressant medication in most cases, the truth is that the whole body is affected by depression in significantly divergent ways.
Depression and Wealth
Emotional relationships do not represent the only differing aspect between the rich and poor people, inasmuch as virtually everything about the rich and poor people mind hinges upon contrary viewpoints. Depression is among this contrary. The social aspects of being either rich or poor also play an integral role in how depression manifests itself in each respective class. For example, rich and poor people handle work-related stress in significantly different ways, inasmuch as poor people become more outwardly and emotionally distressed, while rich people often internalize their dissatisfaction. As an antagonist for depression, Richard, (1999) notes that “occupational stress and its causes and effects have been areas of research interest for many years” (42). Yet another example is that a wealth based mentality has been found when examining the fear of crime and the measurement of crime against particular class. While a crime may be the same, it affects rich people differently. This is based on societal nuances as well as the different fear of crime phenomena as interpreted by rich people.
In looking carefully at the combined literature on fear of crime and risk of victimization, one is left with a curious gap in this consideration. Rich people, by and large, continue to report significantly less fear of crime than poor people do. Yet it has been found that in most instances while rich people report physical assaults to police and seek emergency medical attention for injury, there is almost never a sense of how they feel about these experiences of assault. Nor do is there an understanding about how different rich people, with their varying relationships to and engagement with wealth and with the state, respond to violent victimization (Lennard, 34-38) In other words, while rich people do report crimes conducted against themselves, rarely do they give more than the facts relating to the crime. They do not go into detail involving their feelings about the crime; however, neither do the law enforcement agencies tend to request information regarding such. With the instance of many rich people who might be perceived to be gay or are in fact homosexual, they prefer to not release information regarding inner feelings inasmuch as this tends to mark them as weaker. This is an unfortunate causation of society’s outlook of rich people and related factors.
Leslie (2004) notes that fear of crime are comprised of two distinct elements: personal fear and the use of a public ‘fear of crime’ discourse. The latter could be variably invested, and could be more about crime than fear of crime. It was sometimes inflected more with anger. Some were invested in other discourses, such as neighbourhood decline. It has been found that personal fears were normally of particular crimes, notably burglary or sexual assault, and could vary: inside and outside the home; and within and beyond familiar, local territory. Poor people are found to be more likely to express personal fear and rich people are more likely to reproduce the public discourse, especially older rich people (Leslie, 12-15).
In discerning the distinction between rich and poor and how each is affected by the fear of crime phenomenon, it was found that sex as such was not predictive of fear of crime; however, the effects of wealth increased fears of victimization and sense of safety among rich people. While poor people feared for physical safety, rich people were in fear only as far as crime against them, not necessarily that of physical endangerment. Age was influential and found to be especially true for rich people. Anxieties about declining health and strength were sometimes expressed and are perceived to be in direct relation with a rich person’s concern of aging and becoming unable to protect themselves in the event of a crime. Age did not appear to affect poor people in the same level as it was apparent that poor people of all ages are concerned about being unable to protect themselves against the possibility of crime. While older poor people were more likely to experience this type of fear, it was in no way peculiar to an age group among poor people. Findings help to establish the “means to derive a more complete view of a given social environment” (Richard, 42-50).
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Establishing the determinants of depression and rich people in relation to the death of astrocytes in the brain, one is compelled to investigate the myriad experiment data that has surfaced since it was first surmised that the two entities had any connection to each other. Indeed, it has been found that the lack of astrocytic activity in the brain is an integral component to the overall concept of depression; it is with this information that the psychological community has become better equipped to address the relationship between astrocytic death and depression.
Considered for decades to be a disease of the insane, depression has finally been recognized for the debilitating and emotionally unbalancing illness it truly is. With an astounding fifteen million Americans suffering from clinical depression — a full five percent of the entire United States population it can no longer be looked upon as nothing more than merely the blues. Additionally, another five percent are victims of occasional despondency, with one of every six people succumbing to a significant depressive episode at some point throughout their lives. Depression often hits the rich people more than poor people.
The field of psychology utilizes a number of statistical procedures in order to affect the applicable findings. According to Lennard (2007), the typical procedure behind such research is accumulated by way of study reviews, which employ the use of methodological considerations. These include deciding upon outcome measures, regulating therapy quality, as well as “investigating client and therapist characteristics and the therapeutic relationship” (Richard, 42-50). There exist a number of issues that serve to influence the comparison modes, such as side effects, compliance and quickness of action, which must also be taken into overall consideration when determining the data.
David (2007) notes that depending upon the type of treatment each individual received — placebo/clinical management; cognitive-behavioural therapy; interpersonal therapy; or imipramine/clinical management — it was established that the final outcome was not influenced by wealth. While the “role of wealth was examined in the process and outcome of therapy in the treatment” (David, 421-436) by reproducing the same findings in relation to psychotherapeutic treatment methods, it was determined that the second set of findings were the same.
Researchers have been making the connection for some time now between depression and the death of astrocytes, noting that the astrocytes — being essential for the brain’s nerve cells — have been discovered to have healing properties. Leslie (2004) notes how neurobiologists are beginning to recognize the regeneration components of astrocytes. “It’s going to make [neurobiologists] look at these cells in more detail. It will be interesting to see if they can be purified and used in [brain] repair” (12-15). Understanding the roles that neurons and astrocytes play in the body helps one to fully comprehend why there may be a strong connection to depression. Astrocytic responsibility includes maintaining the blood brain barrier (BBB), as well as providing structural support, protection and repair of the central nervous system (CNS). Neurons, on the other hand, are the vital links between electrical impulses and the nervous system.
“Repetitive spreading depression (SD) waves, involving depolarization of neurons and astrocytes and up-regulation of glucose consumption, is thought to lower the threshold of neuronal death during and immediately after ischemia” (Williams, 2007).
In postulating the hypothesis that the growth or death of astrocytes somehow affects depression, it is relatively easy to recognize the fact that without the necessary astrocytes in place, conducting the brain-healing processes that they have been discovered to posses, it triggers within the brain the inability to maintain a sense of perspective. “A kind of star-shaped brain cell that helps support surrounding nerve cells plays a much more pivotal role in maintaining the brain’s vitality than researchers had thought…astrocytes double as neural stem cells, the source of new nerve cells” (Williams, 97-103). Richard (1999) notes the importance of ongoing research into the very real possibility that the absence of astrocytes serves to adversely effect brain function. “Twenty years ago, the ideas we are studying were considered eccentric and fanciful. Now, this is really where it’s at” (42-50).
The field of psychology utilizes a number of statistical procedures in order to affect the applicable findings. The typical procedure behind such research is accumulated by way of study reviews, which employ the use of methodological considerations. These include deciding upon outcome measures, regulating therapy quality, as well as “investigating client and therapist characteristics and the therapeutic relationship” (Lennard, 34-38). Lennard (2001) notes that there exist a number of issues that influences the comparison modes, such as side effects, compliance and quickness of action, all of which must be taken into overall consideration.
David (2007) notes that the dynamic psychological composition is that which defines human culture as one with “multiple-worlds theories that link individuals with contexts and conceptualize people as agentic in negotiating cultural boundaries” (p. 430). It can readily be argued that the discipline of psychology is integrally related to social change and how that ultimately influences people’s perceptions and whether or not that manifests into depression. Inasmuch as culture is looked upon as a “set of universally adaptive tools” (Williams, 100), the function of dynamic interaction is essential in order to comprehend the vast differences — as well as similarities — between the material wealth. Social-group processes rely upon the dynamic approach as a means by which to define cultural diversity, as well as address issues that transcend the boundary lines.
According to Lennard (2001), the concept of behavioural therapy for the likes of depression takes into consideration the psychology of rich people, in that it assesses culture as an “indispensable component in the understanding of human behaviour” (p. 38). Because there exists myriad contrarieties in the manner in which rich people behave from culture to culture, such perspectives as relativism and absolutism are integral components in understanding the association with depression. “When all of psychology finally takes into account the effects of culture on human behaviour (and vice versa), terms like cross-cultural and cultural psychology will become unnecessary” (Richard, 42-50).
Scientists have long questioned the process of collecting and interpreting data in order to “optimize the possibilities for cumulative scientific knowledge” (Williams, 102). Many within the field adopt traditional procedures that base their findings upon statistical findings; this particular method is chosen over others because of its ability to decrease the possibility of sampling errors. Meta-analysis, another data collection procedure where psychologists can obtain research results, is one that experts say can solve problems of “erroneous conclusions” (Williams, 103) that other methods might produce. It is a matter of personal opinion which data collection method a psychologist might prefer for wealth-related depression, based primarily upon how accurately that particular procedure produces the desired information. As David (2007) notes: “Unlike physical things, mental life contains no independent elements but different moments mutually implicating each other in the whole” (p.436).
While depression may be an equal opportunity disease, the manner by which it is initially cultivated and ultimately manifested is quite different between the rich and poor people. Scientific research has suggested that a combination of social, cultural and environmental factors is collectively at work to individualize the often covert and sometimes covert wealth responses that trigger depression. The manner by which depression overtakes rich and poor people is a varied as how the illness is ultimately manifested. While rich people may internalize their disease, poor people typically express it through emotional demonstration. There is no concrete equation as to why rich people react differently than poor people to the same stimuli, whether that particular motivational factor happens to stem from external forces or internal distress. Indeed, research has more than effectively documented the obvious and contrasting ways in which rich and poor people exist in order to build a foundational basis of fact.
Clearly indicative of how environmental, social and cultural components reflect a difference in depression is how rich and poor have come to deal with various situations that arise. Indeed, research has shown that while genetic consideration is strong with regard to depression, other outside influences have been known to contribute, as well. That poor people are taught to be strong and fearless adds to their inability to process their emotions, ultimately causing a backup of emotional distress that leads to depression. Rich people, on the other hand, while able to express themselves, often find that they are up against an emotional brick wall nonetheless. Characteristically speaking, depression may affect rich and poor people in the same general way; however, the manner by which it is first cultivated and then manifested is quite different between among wealth levels.
David H. Barlow, Paul M. Lehrer, Robert L. Woolfolk, Wesley E. Sime. Principles and Practice of Stress Management. The Guilford Press, 2007: 421-436.
Lennard-Brown, Sarah. Stress and Depression. Hodder Wayland, 2001: 34-38.
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Leslie, M.D. Kramer, It’s Not Just Stress: Recognizing Depression. Syren Book Company, 2004: 12-15.
Richard O’Connor, Undoing Depression. Berkley Trade, 1999: Richard 42-50.
Williams J. Mark G., John D. Teasdale, Zindel V. Segal, Jon Kabat-Zinn. The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness. The Guilford Press, 2007: 97-103.