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People usually feel depressed at one time of their lives or another. Such situations occur occasionally and most of the time, they stay for a short period before the person regains his or her normal feelings. However, the short time that a person is depressed, the normal functioning of the individual is affected thereby this condition is termed as an illness. Although depression is caused by a variety of reasons ranging from genetic to environmental and psychological aspects, the major contributory factor is harboring of negative thoughts (Trull, 2006). Therefore, it is acceptable to say that negative thoughts cause people to become depressed.
Depression is a culmination of repetitive negative thoughts. In most cases, when something bad occurs repeatedly, people lose confidence in themselves due to the effect of downgrading thoughts in them. These negative thoughts affect people’s feelings and incase such situations persist, they spiral people down to depression (University of Cambridge, 2011). This concept is applied in cognitive therapy which argues that if people think about something over a long time; it becomes implanted in them such that their feelings are in tandem with their thoughts.
Single-case research design will be applied to investigate the truth behind this hypothesis. The design will involve assessment of the depression condition which will continue through the time for diagnosis and treatment. For instance, an individual who is experiencing symptoms of depression provides a condition for investigation. Afterwards, the degree of the problem is quantified by taking the required measurements. The most common form of single case design is what is known as the A-B-A design. This is where comparison is done on how the situation progresses from the time of diagnosis, during treatment and even after treatment. The design can be elaborated to include the impact of using treatment. In this case, format of this design changes to A-B-A-B. The results from all these scenarios will show how subjection to negative thoughts affected the feelings of these individuals such that they found no good thing in their lives, the situation or even the future (University of Cambridge, 2011). Lack of hope for the future is a major cause of depression and suicidal thoughts. The procedure can then be repeated for several people from different cultural and geographical backgrounds. This research design would help to explain how a problem is diagnosed, the required treatment and its subsequent impact.
On the other hand, people who are depressed find themselves in a situation whereby they think very negative thoughts about what is happening around them. As a matter of fact, people who depressed never hope for better things and improvement of their lives. They always think negatively thereby worsening their situation of depression. It is only after the status of depression is overcome that an individual starts to appreciate what is happing around him and also entertain positive thoughts. Therefore, it can be said that depressed people think negative thoughts (Trull, 2006). It is analogous to a cyclic phenomenon whereby depression harbors negative thoughts and in turn, negative thoughts aggravate the status and feelings of depression.
Multiple baseline research design can be applied in explaining this question. Two groups of people can be used to show the effect of depression on having negative thoughts. It will help to show how depression influences the change in behavior and the way of thinking (University of Cambridge, 2011). For instance, the length of time in the original baseline determination can be varied and then the treatment applied to find out whether the variation in behavior corresponds to prescription of the treatment. Varying amounts of a particular treatment is necessary since it will not allow the determination of best type of treatment used but also its best amount against depression (Trull, 2006). This is a clear indication of how depression causes people to think negative thoughts always assuming that everyone and even the world is against them. This kind of research design is very helpful since it shows the contrast existing between behavior of people who are depressed and those that are not.