The diathesis-stress model

Professor Wayne Drevets introduces the diathesis-stress model, which describes the relationship between biology and stress, particularly in relation to mental illness.

The stress-diathesis model often holds that initially the illness gets instantiated by some vulnerability that’s biological with a stressful event, but that once the illness has become instantiated, then it can take on a more spontaneous and recurrent role or nature. In contrast, there are still some relationships with stress. For example, once somebody develops depression, one of the things I commonly see clinically is that when there are severe losses or stressors they can often lead to a stair-stepping or type of worsening of the illness. So for example, the individuals may have had a start to depression with some stressful event and maybe some additional episodes, but then if they lose a parent or a child or have some kind of a severe stressor, it can contribute to a worsened episode that then leads to a more severe course after that. So we don’t really understand the relationship between stressors and illness course, but we do think that there is some interaction at least in some cases between stressful life events and either precipitation of illness or worsening of illness.

diathesis, stress, model, stressful, life events, stressor, mental, illness, depression, biology, wayne, drevets

Related Content

2076. Stressors and the environment cause depression

Professor Wayne Drevets discusses the ways in which stress can lead to depression. Research into interactions between stress and genes include a mutation in the serotonin transporter region.

  • ID: 2077
  • Type:
  • Source: G2C

2225. Depression

An overview of depression-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.

  • ID: 2077
  • Type:
  • Source: G2C

1982. The diathesis-stress model and bipolar disorder

Professor James Potash describes how the diathesis-stress model can be used to understand interactions between genes and the environment. He refers specifically to bipolar disorder.

  • ID: 2077
  • Type:
  • Source: G2C

2223. Bipolar disorder

An overview of bipolar disorder-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.

  • ID: 2077
  • Type:
  • Source: G2C

2074. The amygdala and depression

Professor Wayne Drevets outlines the amygdala's importance to the neurobiology of depression. He concludes that stimulation of the amygdala can elicit depression-like emotional experiences.

  • ID: 2077
  • Type:
  • Source: G2C

2285. Diathesis-Stress Model and Anxiety

Doctor Daniel Pine introduces the diathesis-stress model for anxiety and depression. The model posits that stress combines with inherited factors to produce disorder.

  • ID: 2077
  • Type:
  • Source: G2C

2082. Depressed learning

Professor Wayne Drevets discusses specific types of learning deficits associated with depression. These may be caused by biochemical impairments in long-term potentiation.

  • ID: 2077
  • Type:
  • Source: G2C

2087. Brain cells and depression/bipolar disorder

Professor Wayne Drevets explains that specific glial cells known as oligodendrocytes may be decreased in the brains of individuals who have bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder.

  • ID: 2077
  • Type:
  • Source: G2C

1991. Exogenous and Endogenous Depressions?

Professor James Potash discusses the hypothesis that there are two forms of depression - one that results primarily from external factors (exogenous) and a second endogenous form.

  • ID: 2077
  • Type:
  • Source: G2C

2083. Dendritic atrophy

Professor Wayne Drevets describes dendritic atrophy, which refers to reductions in the branching of neurons.

  • ID: 2077
  • Type:
  • Source: G2C