1.1 Background to the Study
The incidence of depression especially among the adult populace has increased dramatically in recent years. It is estimated for example that more than 330 million people worldwide suffer from serious depression. It has also been estimated that in 20 years, depression will be outranked only by cardiovascular disease (Awake, 2004). About 10 to 20 percent of all adults report having one or more episodes in their lives that meet the clinical definition of depression (Ashfield, 2010; Baron, 1998). Once it starts, depression tends to continue to worsen over time. This sends a danger signal to depressed adult learners as they may learn with difficulty and helplessly achieve poor academic performance as a consequence. Of great concern is the fact that depression is frequently recurrent and cyclical, or sometimes chronic. Depression is impairing and is associated with many problems, such as learning difficulties in adults (Hammen, 2009).
Depression can have a toll on academic activity and particularly adult learning activity as the depressed adult learners experience inability to concentrate and pay attention as well as difficulty in making decisions. They feel worthless, hopeless and guilty. They develop poor self-esteem and have memory impairment, They experience restlessness and agitation marked by difficulty in sleeping (Beck, 1999). The cognitions of depressed people lose complete touch with reality where they experience delusions and hallucinations. These delusions and hallucinations that depressed people experience are usually negative in content. Undoubtedly, this condition could seriously inhibit adult learning efficiency and undermine their academic performance. Such depressed adults find that they cannot think, concentrate or remember and these are
indispensable variables for effective learning and academic performance at all levels of education (Owojaiye, 2000; Piaget, 1990; Omoruyi, 2010).
Worse still, people who are depressed are disinterested, disenchanted, lack energy and motivation. They are irritated and may not see the point of doing anything as depression takes over the whole person‟s emotions, bodily functions, behavours and thoughts. They become less physically, mentally and socially active which tends to worsen depression. This could have significant bearing on adult learning (Gleitman, 1996). Depression is more than just a low mood but a serious disorder that could make the adult learner find it difficult to function every day where he is reluctant to participate in activities that were once meaningful and enjoyable including educational activities. There is substantial evidence that depression affects people‟s performance in their various learning activities. For example, Beck (1999) emphasized the importance of mood-dependent memory. That our current moods influence what we remember and what we think which has significant bearing on adult learning.
EFFECT OF COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL TECHNIQUE IN REDUCING DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS AMONG ADULT LEARNERS IN BENUE STATE, NIGERIA