Psychosocial Factors of Depression

Depression is one of mental illnesses people in communities frequently have. Do you know how depression appears? More than 50% of the possible factors at the onset of Depression are due to environmental factors. Then, I mainly studied about what environmental factors lead to depression. I explained the mechanism at the onset of depression, which are grouped roughly into 4 classification, such as (1) life events (so called stress factors), (2) personality traits, (3)social support (friends and colleagues etc.), and (4) coping behavior. Finding the factors at the onset of depression except heritable factors may be applied to treatment and prevention immediately. It is the most important for me to study the personality traits related to depression.

We have reported differential profiles of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) between depression and anxiety. We also verified that Beck’s theory that automatic thoughts and cognitive distortions exist before depressed feeling. In addition, we found that emotion-focused coping behaviours as well as low self-efficacy are linked to depression. Moreover, we consider that interpersonal skills specific to the Japanese culture may be as important as those universally recognized may be linked to depression.

As to the aetiology of the onset of depression in perinatal period, we found in the multicentre study that depression during pregnancy is associated with young age and unintended pregnancy, and depression after the childbirth is associated with poor living environment and emotional abuse. Moreover, depression during pregnancy is one of the risk factors of postnatal depression.

In the collaborative study with Nagoya City University, we developed the scale of marital adjustment, and reported that recurrent foetal loss was related to personality, social support, coping behaviour, and depression after previous miscarriage. After bereavement, depression frequently has comorbid pathological grief reaction. Like this comorbid situation, we found that ruminative coping relates to only the onset of depression, and feeling of anger has important meaning for pathological grief reaction. Researches about pathophysiology in this area are important issues in the future.

Major Achievement

We offer a major achievement as PDF files as bellow.

※ You can get a PDF file of each paper from “Research Publication” section on this web page.