Mini Quiz: The Aggression-Depression Connection

September 21, 2018

Besides being sad, patients who are depressed often feel disgruntled, resentful, or irritable. Such emotions can lead to violence in people who are predisposed to such behavior. Consider the questions in this quiz.

When we focus on the depressed mood, we may be ignoring other negative emotions that are closely linked to depression. There is not always a clear demarcation between various emotions. Besides being sad, depressed people often feel disgruntled, resentful, or irritable. Such emotions can lead to violence in people who are predisposed to such behavior, especially when confronted with severe frustration. Consider the following and select your answer in the poll below. Which of the following statements is FALSE?

A. Depressed males (as compared to females) are less likely to experience clear depressive feelings or to be aware of these feelings

B. Depressed children have more difficulties keeping cognitive control over their anger than non-depressed children

C. Patients with MDD and low 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), the main metabolite of serotonin, evidence less hostility and aggression than depressed patients with normal 5-HIAA levels

D. The prefrontal cortex receives a major serotonergic projection, which plays an important role in its executive control over behavior

 

 

 

For the answer, see the next page >

The correct answer is C.

Discussion

Anger has been associated with both depression and violence. This association is more often present in males and in children or adolescents. Depressed males are less likely to experience clear depressive feelings or to be aware of these feelings; instead, they present with increased irritability and anger, which can result in violence. When we assess the risk of violence in people with depressive symptoms, we must consider the specific disorder in which these symptoms exist.

For more on this topic, see Depressive Symptoms Associated With Aggression, on which this quiz is based.