The social rank and arrested defenses model for mood disorders bridges between animal and human models of psychopathology. There is increasing evidence that depression is associated with subordinated and loss of social rank, feeling inferior, shame, submissive behavior, and feeling defeated. These stressful states activate threat coping responses of fight and flight. If these are aroused but blocked, feelings of entrapment emerge with a negative impact on mood. The current study builds on previous studies and explores the association between depressive symptoms, social rank variables (of social comparison and submissive behavior), entrapment, and defeat in a sample of patients (n = 106) with major depression and in a sample of healthy controls (n = 116). Results showed that social rank variables, entrapment, and defeat were strongly associated with depressive symptoms in both samples. Entrapment and defeat showed significant association with other social rank variables. Logistic regression analysis revealed that defeat and internal entrapment were significant predictors of the belonging to the clinical or control groups. The present study extends previous research and supports the importance of defeat and external entrapment in clinical depression.