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Rowan Cabarrus Community College Communicating with People with Depression Essay

This assignment is intended to help you learn to do the following:

  • Describe the influences on emotional experiences and expressions.
  • Research the issue of depression.
  • Identify ways to communicate with those who suffer from depression.


The university recognizes that you are not a psychological clinician, nor will you be one once you successfully complete this assignment. Clinical depression is just one type of disorder that can severely impact communication. The most important outcome of this assignment should be a better understanding about how you should and should not communicate with those suffering from depression.

Note: Your points of advice regarding depression should not come from your own experiences or common sense, but from credible sources such as mental health professionals and academic research.

Action Items

  1. Research the causes, symptoms, and treatments for depression.Note: Depression is similar to, and different from, sadness. This is especially important for interpersonal communication because the behaviors that would help a sad person would not necessarily help a depressed person, and vice versa.
  2. Research the constructive and destructive ways of communicating with those suffering from depression.Note: Research sources should include a combination of books, journal articles, Internet searches, and/or discussions with mental health professionals. Using a variety of sources is important because you are likely to find disagreement among sources on some of these issues.
  3. Prepare a 2-3 page paper that answers the following questions:
    • What is depression, and how is it related to sadness?
    • What are the causes of depression?
    • What are the common symptoms of depression?
    • What therapies exist to treat depression?
    • What are the most constructive and destructive ways of communicating with a depressed person?
  1. Include an introduction and a conclusion.
  2. Include citations from the text where necessary.
  3. Submit this assignment by the due date indicated.

REMEMBER: You want to create a fully developed paper with a logical flow rather than a list of responses to the set of prompts. You may or may not want to respond in the order they are listed here.


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