FA16-Project 16-Week 6

My population of interest includes anyone with certain misconceptions about depression and who depression targets. It is different for both men and women experiencing it and why is that? All of my subjects are middle aged men and women, my reason being they probably would share some similar stressors as well as triggers as opposed to someone who is a teenager, their lifestyle differs from someone who is middle aged. I know several family members who have experienced depression first hand and still continue to battle with it, I think their insight could be very helpful in shaping my project.

In my project I sampled 2 aunts, my mom and 2 uncles. All of whom are middle aged and different sexes. It will be interesting to see how their genders affected their depression and how it drove them to keep going.  The women in my project were the control groups, and the men were the experimental. I wanted to compare the men to the women, I wanted to test their depression and no only pinpoint the reason for their depression but compare it to the women to see a correlation.

I decided to include subjects who have never been depressed before, I think it is important to have insight in people who depressed for the first time, my reason being is that they have yet to figure out how to control it or deal with it. I also chose people I know so they can be honest and comfortable talking to me as well as relaxed. I feel like if I chose people I didn’t know for this project it wouldn’t have caught my interest, seeing depression as an issue that affects my family is what drives me to do this project.

I excluded teenagers, so this project is strictly for middle aged men and women, and the men/ women are a part of my family. Younger men and women they have different values than someone who is older, someone who is older has experienced life and dealt with the stressors or life.

My subjects are middle aged (40-60), they are all Guyanese and live all over the world. They have not received much of an education but still thrive in life and are all members of my family.

They did not want to at first because this is a sensitive topic but they realized it’s for a good cause. They were not paid they just participated out of the goodness in their heart.

I asked each one of my subjects to describe their depression in one word. I then asked them to write how they felt, kind of like a homework assignment. I think sometimes when you talk to someone they get a bit frazzled so I wanted their thought on this subject to be pure and I feel like I could not accomplish that with talking to them, it had to written or typed and the emotion spoke through the paper I was surprised.

My stimuli was depression, it was the reason actions changed, and why my subjects changed, Each one of my subjects can agree they are a different person today because of what they went through when they were depressed.

It was presented by the wording of some of the essays I read, it was a very emotional topic for some and others were happy to experience it because they feel they had to hit rock bottom before they could get better.

My responses are measured by the level of emotion and not so much the quantity of their writing but the quality, while this work probably had been done before I think it is important that I understand how this affected my loved ones because this could me one day, I do not know what the future holds. However, not much equipment was used, other than a computer, some essays were hand written.

I compared the men experiences to the women’s. I did this because men and women are more similar than they would like to admit and I do see something similar in all the cases, I compared the stages of their depression and how they dealt with each stage and also and probably the most important part are the causes, what led to their depression.

Each one of my subjects were asked to write an essay on their experiences and stages of depression. Some of the questions that were included were the following:

What do you believe is the reason for your current or past depression?

How did you feel during that time? Tired? Angry?

What drove you to keep going?

Lastly, I asked them to compare their character before vs after the depression.

All of my subjects agree that they are not the same person than they were before the depression started.

While most of my subjects are not well educated they fully understood what I was asking of them and realized that this is a serious issue and it’s going to get emotional, I just kindly asked them to push through. I also explained that talking about this hard time can help them cope and make the process of healing better for them and their loved ones. It is not healthy to keep emotions bottles up for so long, especially about a sensitive topic like this

The way I collected data included highlighting key points from each essay that showed emotion whether it was anger, sadness, resentment toward their partner or bitterness because they are not where they want to be in life. I am still in the process of collecting data but it is a hard task reading these essays especially when it something that affects people you know and love.

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About Robert O. Duncan

I'm an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences at City University of New York, with joint appointments in Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuroscience. I also have an appointment as a Visiting Scholar at New York University. My research interests include cognitive neuroscience, functional magnetic resonance imaging, glaucoma, neurodegenerative disorders, attention, learning, memory, educational technology, pedagogy, and developing games for education.

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