Is Depression a ‘Thought Disorder’ or a ‘Brain Disorder’


Is Depression a ‘Thought Disorder’ or a ‘Brain Disorder’

Is Depression a ‘Thought Disorder’ or a ‘Brain Disorder’?

Is depression a ‘thought disorder’ or a ‘brain disorder’? Both. The nature-nurture debate may pose various responses or ideas about depression being a thought disorder or a brain disorder. Today’s basic definition of psychology is that psychology is the science of behaviour and mental processes. Psychological science also has an ‘open-arms’ attitude towards new hunches and theories which are plausible-sounding.

Is Depression a ‘Thought Disorder’ or a ‘Brain Disorder’

There are obviously different theories behind nature and nurture, yet all-in-all, in contemporary science it is recognized that nurture works on what nature endows. Therefore, humans are biologically endowed with an incredible capacity to learn and also to adapt. Nature and nurture therefore correlate with each other or go ‘hand-in-hand’, and therefore depression can be regarded as a disorder of thought and also a brain disorder. Thoughts can be significantly influenced by environmental factors (nurture), and biological disturbances of the brain (nature) can also have a large influence on the development of depression. No wonder psychiatrists told me that the cause of my Major Depressive Disorder years ago was due to situational and biological elements.

Different perspectives need not contradict each other, but rather compliment each other. An example is ‘why do bears hibernate?’ Is it because it helped their ancestors to survive, or is it more along the lines of their inner-physiology? Or, is it because of a lack of food being available? There are different perspectives, but they are complimentary, a little like how the mind and body are now seen as inseparable despite early beliefs originating in ancient Greece where Socrates (469-399 B.C.), a philosopher-teacher, concluded that the mind is separable from the body. The point here is that the mind and body are united and that depression is not necessarily caused only by environmental factors or thoughts, or by biological factors or malfunctioning in the brain, but generally by both. What comes first is a different topic or discussion in itself, but whichever the case, both biological factors (or nature) and environmental factors or thoughts (nurture) can greatly contribute to the development of depression. Everything is related to everything else (Myers, 2005).


Exploring Psychology, p 2-8.

Myers D. G. (2005). Exploring Psychology, (Sixth Edition), Worth Publishers, New York.

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Is Depression a ‘Thought Disorder’ or a ‘Brain Disorder’

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