Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 8)

Blatt, Sidney J.(2004), Experiences of Depression: Theoretical, Clinical, and Research Perspectives, Washington DC.: American Psychological Association.

Chorpita, Bruce F. & Barlow, David H. (1998) The development of Anxiety: The Role of Control in the Early Environment, Issues in Psychological Bulletin, 124(1), pp3-21.

Coyne, James C. & Whiffen, Valerie E. (1995), Issues in Personality as Diathesis for Depression: The Case of Sociotropy-Dependency and Autonomy-Self-Criticism, Issues in Psychological Bulletin, 118(3), pp358-378.

Farmer, Anne (2004) Bad Luck and Bad Genes in Depression, in Dilalla, Lisabeth F: Behaviour genetic principles: Perspectives in development, personality and psychopathology, Washington DC: American Psychological Association, pp107-121.

Jacobs, Janis E.; Bleeker, Martha M. & Constantino, Michael J.(2003) The Self-System During Childhood and Adolescence: Development, Influences, and Implications. Issues inJournal of Psychotherapy Integration, 13(1), pp33-65.

Jacobs, Michael (2004) The Presenting Past: The core of psychodynamic counselling and therapy, Berkshire: Open University Press.

Little, Stephanie A & Garber, Judy (2005) The role of Social Stressors and Interpersonal Orientation in Explaining the Longitudinal Relation Between Externalizing and Depressive Symptoms, Issues in Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 114(3), pp432-443.

Malinckrodt, Brent (1992) Childhood Emotional Bonds with Parents, Develop of Adult Social Competencies and Availability of Social Support, Issues in journal of Counseling Psychology, 39(4), pp453-461.

Newman, Barbara M. & Newman, Philip R. (2004) Development Through Life, Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education.

Sideridis, Georgios D. (2005) Goal Orientation, Academic, Achievement, and Depression: Evidence in Favor of a Revise Goal Theory Framework. Issues in Journal of Educational Psycology, 97(3), 366-375.

Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 7)

7 Conclusion

While we have two separate types of depression and relate them to the infant attachment with his caregiver, this is only partially responsible on how a person would react to situation. Performance oriented personality tends to fall into depression when they continuously enter into compromising position. Although the influence of infancy is not fully responsible for the character build up, this stage is considerably much more important than others. As a counselor we cannot ignore the need to explore through their relationship with their parents and spouses. It is not only helpful to the client in understanding himself, but also allows counselor to support his client more effectively. It is therefore crucial that we continue to study the infant stage and bring awareness to parents on the importance of their treatment of their children.

Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 6)

6 Questions on Clarifying Depression

When counselling cases of depression, I might ask questions for various clarifications:

(6.1) Duration and Frequency
(6.1.1) How long have you been in depression?
(6.1.2) Has it been often that you feel this way?
(6.1.3) When it happened in the past, how long did it take to go away?

(6.2) Conditions for Occurrences

(6.2.1) When did you notice that you are depressed?
(6.2.2) How did you realized that you are depressed?
(6.2.3) Does your depression involved anyone else?
(6.2.4) Does your depression involve doing something?
(6.2.5) What or who do you think was involved causing your depression?
(6.2.6) How does this person do that cause you to feel depression?
(6.2.7) What happen during this occasion? How does it affect you?
(6.2.8) Did you find yourself a failure
(6.2.9) Is there any occasion when this person do the same thing / the same issue occurred but you did not get depressed?
(6.2.10)What happened on that occasion?

(6.3) Past Experiences

(6.3.1) The last time when depression hit you, what happened?
(6.3.2) Did it involve someone or something?
(6.3.3) What might be one or two things that you find similar between then and this round?
(6.3.4) What was different?
(6.3.5) Who were involved during that incident?
(6.3.6) How did you managed during that occasion?

(6.4) Relationship

(6.4.1) Tell me something about your family.
(6.4.2) Who are you closest to in your family?
(6.4.3) Between your father and your mother, who are you closer to?
(6.4.4) Who took care of you while you were young, may be when you are an infant?
(6.4.5) Were your parents around to take care of you most of the time?
(6.4.6) In terms of relationship with your father and mother, how would you describe it?
(6.4.7) How are they relating with your grand parents?
(6.4.8) Do you get angry with your parents from time to time? What did you do with your anger?
(6.4.9) Are your parents open with their emotion?
(6.4.10) How do you communicate with your parents?
(6.4.11) Can you describe you present or most recent relationship?
(6.4.12) Are you very close with your spouse?
(6.4.13) Do you find your relationship with others helps you to grow?

Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 5)

5 Social Influences

With the society continues to progress especially in developed countries, cost of living continues to rise and it is inevitable that both parents need to work to finance the family function. Leaving the children in the care of others. It is trending to the build up of more personality with performance base in the future and therefore more casualties to depression.

The effect of the change to dual income family started in Singapore during the 70s has just begun emerge itself. Already we are witnessing more people are trending in the direction of Anaclitic and Introjective personality, with much lesser people with homogeneous growth of mastery. The society here has still not understand the significant of the influence of infancy to adulthood and many still unaware that they are in depression due to work.

Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 4)

4 Case Study

4.1 The Story Of Den

Den was a product manager in a distributor company, he was a field application manager before changing to this post due to a re-shuffle. The job scope of product management is different from field application as it needs to work on profit and loss and maintain revenue. Den took on the job during a market down trend and when the economy was not doing well. Pressure built up on Den’s performance due to the drop in sales result in increase in budget gap and inventory. The product revenue kept being scrutinized during the monthly meeting.

Around half a year into his new post, Den’s performance at work deteriorated. He was not very interested in his work and did the bare minimum to survive. He started to be late at work and his time at work was utilized in surfing the internet on items unrelated to work.

At home, his only interest was to sit at the couch and watch television until very late at night. He has lost interest in his hobbies and became very quiet. His wife complaint that he is easily irritated and angered at trivia issues, he would release this anger to his wife most of the time. Den also woke up a few times in the middle of the night feeling very anxious for no reason. He frequently watched out for time to wake up and rarely has a good night sleep.

4.2 Den’s Personality

At work Den has changed through three supervisors, he managed to work well with the first two supervisors in the past who compliment on his hard work and contribution. He is considered friendly among his colleagues and friend and is known to be helpful in attending to their needs. However, he is also seen as someone working alone most of the time while putting in much effort in pleasing and satisfying other hoping to gain their support.

However, he was in conflict with his third supervisor in formulating promotion strategy for the product line that he is holding. The supervisor constantly compared him with product managers from other groups and interfered on how he should work. Although disagree with the supervisor’s opinion, he reluctantly followed the instruction lay out to him. Unfortunately his supervisor kept increasing the standard and he has a hard time chasing after. He also found difficulty in communicating with authority figures in the office and frightened of criticism from others, it may just play in his mind for days of which he constantly feel bad about.

4.3 Past Experiences

Similarity can be drawn on Den’s present emotional experience through two stages of his life:

4.3.1 Primary School
While Den attended primary school, he managed to get into a class consisting students with good grades in primary two due to his result. However, the schoolwork was overwhelming as the teacher prepared the students for competition ahead. Den has problem in catching up the amount of homework needed to complete and started to lag behind. He was frequently punished as a result but his behaviour in class has not improved. He also created distraction in class by being different with the way he sat while totally not attentive in class. He was engrossed in drawings and doodle that he was good at, while his result continued to deteriorate. An exceptional change happened during primary five when there is a teacher who took notice of him, at this point he was observed to have improvement in his schoolwork.

4.3.2 Junior College
Den managed to enter a junior college after his secondary school. During his study at there however, he found that the subject he studied was beyond him and there is a big gap as compare to his secondary school’s work. He was not able to understand well the subject taught to him. He did not stop trying to improve his schoolwork, but his felt bad all the time during all this time. He was reluctant to go to school every morning although in the end he managed to reach there on time. He was increasingly isolating himself from his class mates during lesson and have little communication with others, he considered himself a loner.

There were also time when he managed to have good grades in his study:

4.3.2 Polytechnic and University
He entered a Polytechnic due to an unfavourable result from Junior College. During the two years there his performance continued to improve and he managed to do well in his study. After which he managed to get into a University in England and again he continued to perform well in his studies, graduating with a second class honor in Engineer. It is interesting to note the continuous improvement in his performance as there is a change in his life after Junior College. He is in relationship with a girl during all this while and he continued to look forward to build a better life with her after his graduation. This led to him striving to do better in his work.

4.4 Analysis

The symptoms that Den has experience show various signs of depression as described in 2.1.1. His constant failure in performing at work deprived him of feeling successful in life, the frequent comparison and criticism from his supervisor also contributed to his anxiety. His condition was further worsen with him keeping the issues all to himself.

From the case study, I noted that he is prone to both types of depressions. However, his personality suggests that he trends towards the anaclitic type due to the fact that he needed mandate to progress. It is evident that he can improve in his performance if he enters a relationship. This gives further proof of his constant need for others appreciation.

4.5 Coping Mechanism

While Den continued to be depressed about his work, he coped with the stress at work by leaving his office and drove aimlessly to release the tension. It is also interesting to note that he learned to running away from the factor causing the anxiety in him, which is the work place. Other than that there was no evidence of him trying other method to remove the depressed feelings.

4.6 Influence of Infancy

Den is the eldest son in the family. However, prior to his existence, his mother has a miscarriage. Although both parents came from a large family, they have little experience in taking care of Den. Further to that it was during the 70s that dual income family started. Both Den’s parents needed to work to support the family and Den did not manage to live with his parents except for Saturday and Sunday.

Den was handed over to a neighbour while the parents went to work right after confinement period of one month. Unfortunately Den was contracted with an epidemic flu during his stay there and was admitted to hospital which he stayed for forty five days. Upon discharge his parents decided to asked a distant relative to take care of him, which lasted only a short while when he was moved to a close relative. Unable to cope with the work load of taking care of him, the close relative turned down the job after another short period of time. He was finally settled with his grand mother at the age of one where he lived on for the next four year.

The sequence of events described above have led to Den not having a secure attachment with his parents, the issue was made worse with the constant changing of caregivers leading to Den’s need for comfort and care. His parents feedback that he was crying non-stop every time they left him with the temporary care gives and when reunited with them, he would cling on tightly to them. They have mistook this as closeness when in actual fact he needed their comfort due to the insecurity caused by the constant shift. This led to the strong anaclitic tendency in Den.

While examine the infant stage of Den, there was no evidence of insecure-ambivalent influence on Den, it is assume at this moment that this influence comes much later in his life.

Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 3)

3 Attachment Theory and Origin of Depression

Newman and Newman (2004, pp149) described the attachment system as “caregivers provide protection from potential dangers and stressors while allowing the infant opportunities to learn the skills needed to function independently”, while Mallinckrodt(1992, pp454) mentioned that “The consistency with which caregivers respond to these signals forms the earliest basis for the child’s sense of outcome expectancy and self-efficacy”. Attachment is crucial to the development stages not only as the base to initiate the first step for the infant’s growth but also forms his personality, this is supported by Jacobs (2004, pp58) that “As an adult a securely attached person is confident of those with whom he or she closely related”. Evidence of depression development can be explained by Attachment Theory, which separates into two categories base on the “strange situation” experiment:

3.1 Secure Attachment

As described by Bates, Masling and Frankel (Cited by Sidney 2004, pp192), “Sensitive and responsive caretaking throughout the first year of life leads to secure attachment”. It helps with the process of growth, the person is more open with his emotion and he is able to cope with situations more constructively. He will fit our personality profile of Mastery mentioned in (2.1.2);

3.2 Insecure Attachment

Ainsworth, Bell & Stayton (Cited by Sidney, 2004, pp192) reflected that “insecure attachment seems to be related to parental rejection of the infant’s attempts at closeness or an insensitivity to signals from the infant”. The parents do not respond properly to fulfill the needs of the infant. This triggers the defense system in the infant to react in a certain way to remove the pain of dissatisfaction. There are three sub-groups in this category:

3.2.1 Insecure-Avoidance
The infant in this group does not exhibit anxiety to the caregiver on separation. He also avoids the caregiver upon reunion although he is willing to befriend another stranger.

The caregivers as described by Main & Goldwyn (cited by Sidney, 2004, 194) “dismissed attachment relationships as being of little concern, value or influence”. They are enmeshed with their children and often very critical of the infant’s behaviour. They set high standards and are demanding and can be hostile and abusive towards the infant.

I feel that the reason for the infant to avoid the caregiver is to protect himself from further harm, it feels bad to know that you are not up to standard. However, the prolong influence of the caregiver causes the infant to be unsure of the intention behind the abuse. This builds a strong super ego in the person who sets very high standard for himself. He excessively idealize in the task he performs and success becomes very important to him. He is prone to Introjective depression mentioned in (2.2.4).

3.2.2 Insecure-Abivalent
The infant in this group is constantly wary of the existence of the caregiver and is very unsettled during separation. He cries uncontrollably when the caregiver leaves his side. When re-unite with the caregiver, he is not able to calm down. He seems to have a thirst for comfort and continues to cling onto his caregivers.

The caregivers as described by Main et al ( cited by Sidney, 2004, 194) “seems ‘ preoccupied’ with their dependency on their own parents and often ‘still actively struggled to please them’”. They tends not to take care of their children, they are uninvolved and unconcern about what the children was doing.

Lacking in the attention that he needs, the infant continuously strive to let the caregiver aware of his presence with the limited resources available. Thus it leads to constant crying during separation to externalize his fear of desertion. At the same time, he is restricted in his exploration to the outer world and constantly feeling helpless as he lacks in a secure base. This builds a personality of dependence on others. He has an urge to please others in exchange for affiliation. He is therefore prone to the anaclitic depression as described in (2.2.3) should the expectation is not realized.

3.2.3 Insecure-Disorganised
The infant in of this group tends to be unsure what he does during separation and is dazed in re-uniting with his caregiver, their interaction with their caregivers tends to be “punitive or in a ‘pseudo-caretaking’ manner” (Sidney, 2004, pp194).

The caregiver of this group tends to have lost a significant others such as a sibling or major caregiver before their maturity. The infant becomes a substitute to fill the emptiness in the caregiver, as Sidney (2004, pp195) described “parent to their parents”. This affects the child to become
“the overcompensating, subtly hypomanic, seemingly efficacious type of individual who deals with his or her intense depressive dependent longing through denial and reversal-as compulsive-givers” (Bowlby, Cited by Sidney, 2004, pp195)

This person tends to intrude into others life due to his over caring nature. I feel that the denial of depression cause him to externalize the negative affects towards others. However, it is unclear during this study on the type of depression he might fit into.

Reputation does not mean reality

My new job requires me to travelling frequently and my latest trip led me to Shanghai then Xiamen before returning to Singapore.

The flight that my company book is under the flagship fo Singapore airline. However, because Singapore Airline does not fly to places such as Shen Zhen and Xiamen, the passengers are travelled on Silkair but with SIA ticket.

Before going further, what exactly do you expect on SIA flights? I would say a first class service from the crew, Video On Demand, ready blanket and pillow, snacks, full service of meal (appertiser, main course, desert, biscuit and cheese, with Magnum as after math).

With Silk Air I wouldn't expect SIA standard of service but should at least meeting certain standard. But my experience on the Xiamen's flight shocks me (to some extend).

First of all, its a flight from Xiamen to Singapore! There is a cabin full of Chinese nationals. Yet of the 4 crews assigned for the flight, 2 are non-Mandarin speaker. The poor guy sitting behind me asked for a cup of Chinese tea at the start of the flight and it took the stewardess 2 over hours to bring him one, simply because she could not understand mandarin and did not bother to get the Chinese speaking stewardess to translate for her. The guy was so frustrated until I told her what he wanted.

In the mid of the flight, there was air turbulence, the pilot asked everyone to go back to their seat and buckle up, fair. But it seemed like the pilot conveniently forgotten to swithc off the warning sign when the coast was clear, so passengers were forced to sit in their seat for over 1 1/2 hours. Every time some one stood up to go to the loo, they were asked to sit down. In the end, the passengers got fedup and refused to follow the instruction any more, ignoring the seat belt sign and queue for the toilet.

Seriously, I have never seen such popular toilets on flight. At all time, there were at least 10 people on queue and noone wanted to move even when the next air turbulence happened. the air stewardess could not even get their trolly through to serve food. the queue only ended when the landing announcement was made.

The crews were not working in harmony neither, during food serving, one stewardess tried to ask for help by using the service button, but was ignored by the other stewardess most of the time. meal service was a dragging process.

Food is certainly bad with only a main meal and fruits, I lost my appertite as the noodles were over cooked and felt a little soggy.

Of course, what expected would be no VID and those online games that you could play when you are on true SIA flight.

By buying a ticket from SIA and getting such service, it certainly feels like being cheated by the airline, even when the price is truly that of Silk air. I have travelled on other airlines before such as air India, Dragon Air, Southern China Airline and most recently Eastern China Airline, none of them with bad service as close as silk Air. If SIA is truly concern about its reputation, it better reconsider using Silkair for some of its routes.