Complex Depression: The Role of Personality Dynamics and Social Ecology

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This book elucidates how personality processes, particularly affect and its regulation juxtaposed against mental representations of self with others, predispose individuals to shape a social context that ultimately not only leads to depression but also complicates it considerably. The author utilizes the social-cognitive nomenclature for the purpose of reformulating key psychoanalytic theories, primarily object relations theory, and then builds on this reformulation to explain how individuals' mental maps lead to the very interpersonal environment that is maladaptive. The book is composed of three parts. Part one presents the various complications of depression and describes the role of personality, broadly defined, in depression. Part two construes personality in terms of newly developed reformulated object relations theory (RORT) and rewrites Melanie Klein's depressive position on the basis of this reformulation. It describes a conceptual position concerning the social context is presented and patterns of person–context transactions, culminating in the ecodynamics of depression. Although there are eight ecodynamic patterns, the book focuses primarily on three that are specifically useful for understanding complex depression: action, immersion, and extraction. Part three describes the ecodynamics of complex depression in depth. First, the RORT and the ecodynamics theory are applied to nearly all manifestations of complex depression. Then, special attention is given to suicidal depression, complex depression's most severe manifestation. Finally, it discusses practical implications of this theoretical position, touching on clinical assessment and psychotherapy. The book ends with a brief Epilogue that reflects on the theory advanced here and summarizes future research and clinical directions. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWashington, D. C
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
Number of pages266
ISBN (Electronic)1433836084, 9781433836084
ISBN (Print)1433836076, 9781433836077
StatePublished - Dec 2023


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