Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

What Exactly is Depression?

Depression is among the most come mental illnesses and effects according to beyond blue approximately 1 million Australians each year.

So what is depression?

Depression is intense feeling of unhappiness that last’s long periods of time, this can also be brought on for no apparent reason. Depression is commonly linked with anxiety, although they are separate issues they often occur at that same time in individuals.

There are a number of factors that can bring about depression. Certain life events, such as difficult circumstances, financial or struggles with relationships, and stress can trigger depression. Other triggers most commonly include, drug and alcohol abuse, which can be either due to depression or cause it. Family history of mental illness, is also a factor as well as the individuals personality. People who tend to have low-esteem, or worry a lot tend to be more susceptible. There has also been research suggesting that there is a chemical in balance with in the brain, however this research is quite complex as there are millions of chemicals that contribute to your mood. Although researches have developed medication to attempt to correct this, not all individuals can be treated the same. Therefore this medication is standardised and does not cater to every patient. There is currently no proven way to fix depression, but a mix of both medical and psychological treatment can assist with the recovery process.

Researches want to find away for the brain to be able to keep an individuals mood constant.  We know that neurotransmitters are the connection between nerve cells, antidepressants increase the concentration of these neurotransmitters to increase communication between cells


If these neurotransmitters are not being received by the receptor or are excessive, the message through the neuron is altered, causing there to be a change in mood. The type of neurotransmitter that is effected in concentration over a neuron also affects reactions in a patient. Some transmitters affect the appetite, or sleeping pattern of an individual. This further explains the inability for researches to develop medication for depression as the concentration and type of neurotransmitter differs between patients.

Genes also play a role in the likely hood of developing depression. Researches are currently aware that some genes are responsible for disorders based on mood. These mood disorder genes are not only passed down through generations, but can be altered over the course of individuals life. Genes are activated and deactivated over someones lifespan based on whats required in the body. Sometimes these genes my fail to activate or deactivate or even be insufficiently replication by proteins, causing there to be imbalance in mood regulations. These changes in genes can also be brought on by other mental illness such as stress or anxiety or could be effected by difficult circumstances such as abuse.

There are many variables, when it comes to treating depression, making it difficulty for professionals to treat patients. However there is currently medication and human resources available for those in need. Therefore spreading the awareness of mental illness allows, those that are suffering guidance in how to regulate there mood, either through connecting with other people or medical treatment

If you know of anyone that may be going through mental illness, you should get them in contact with an organisation that can help.





2 comments on “What Exactly is Depression?

  1. rrupra
    May 9, 2016

    Hi there,
    I was intrigued to read your article because depression is such a serious ongoing disorder in our society. I liked how you began your article by introducing depression, and how you discussed the different factors that can contribute to the cause of depression.
    Depression is something that can happen to anybody no matter how old, but is most prevalent in some age groups than others. In your article you have mentioned how depression affects approximately 1 million Australians a year; and it is unfortunate to see that so many people can be affected. However you failed to discuss which age group is prone to depression, and why this might be? From doing some research I have found that depression is most occurring in adulthood, and females tend to be more susceptible to depression that males.
    You also mention in your article that neurotransmitters are the connection between nerve cells, perhaps you could explain further. I personally think that saying neurotransmitters are “connections” is incorrect terminology, but rather chemical messengers that are responsible for the communication of information between nerve cells (neurons).
    Although your explanation of how antidepressants work, and how particular neurotransmitters are responsible for causing mood changes is very informative, maybe you could possibly mention a few of the neurotransmitters responsible for causing mood change and in turn how that leads to depression in individuals.
    The areas you have focused on throughout your article are succinct, and to the point. Your article flows well and is very easy to read.


  2. nobodyknowzyet
    May 9, 2016

    Dear writer,
    i would like to thank you for the time and effort you have put into writing this blog. I myself suffer from depression and anxiety, i found it really interesting that you outlined how depression and anxiety go hand in hand. I often tend to feel depressed when i am anxious.

    A very well written and structured post, however there are a few spelling and grammar errors that could have been improved. In addition, the use of references is lacking.

    In you post, you clearly mentioned that neurotransmitters are responsible for mood changes, but you did not list these neurotransmitters.You also mentioned that “Genes also play a role in the likely hood of developing depression”, what are theses genes?

    Perhaps you could have included some challenges that individuals suffering from depression face on day-to-day bases. I often find it hard to maintain relationships because of depressive thoughts, and the inability to express my self.
    You could have also included the signs and symptoms of depression.

    You have limited the treatments for treating/reducing depression to medical and psychological treatments only. Alternative treatments that focus on mind-body techniques such as Aerobic exercise, Meditation, and Yoga could have been included. A study that was conducted by Carter & colleagues found that Aerobic exercise is associated with reducing depression in patients with major depression.

    Please consider using the APA (American Psychological Association) referencing style for you references,


    Reference List:

    Carter, T, Morres, I, Repper, J, & Callaghan, P. (2016). Exercise for adolescents with depression: valued aspects and perceived change. Journal Of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing, 23(1),


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This entry was posted on May 9, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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