The Root Cause of Depression: Biological, Cognitive-Behavioral, or Both?

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Depression is a debilitating mental disorder, which can be detrimental to a person’s way of living. For example, depression can cause an individual to have negative thoughts, experience chronic distress, and hopelessness (Pourbabaee, n.d.). Researchers focus on two causes of depression. Those who support the cognitive-behavioral perspective believe depression results from faulty thinking associated with low self-esteem or learned helplessness, as well as environmental influences such as the loss of a loved one or a job. Whereas, those who support the biological perspective believe depression results from the genes a person inherits, chemical imbalances that change the functions of the brain, as well as damage to the anatomy of the brain. In …show more content…
These inherited genes predispose an individual to inherit certain characteristics as well as illnesses his or her parents or ancestors experienced. Nevertheless, this predisposition does not guarantee that an individual will inherit these medical (e.g. heart disease or diabetes) or mental (e.g. depression or bipolar disorder) illnesses or characteristics (e.g. personality traits or physical feature) (NIMH, 1998). According to the Surgeon General of mental Health (NIMH, 1998), these inherited genes remain dormant until environmental influences such as the loss of a loved one or a job activates the genes related to the predisposed condition. For example, although unknown, evidence points to depressive disorders in the family of this learner. If this were true, when her parents conceived her, she would inherit the genes predisposing and increasing her risk of having depression as well. Nevertheless, the genes lay dormant showing no signs or symptoms of depression until the tragic death of her father. This tragic event activated these genes resulting in the development of chronic depression as well as a bipolar disorder. Therefore, making any children she would have predisposed to develop symptoms of depression as well. (The claim of a genetic blueprint predisposing future generations is evident in the fact three out of four of this learner’s children received a clinical diagnosis of depressive disorders.)…