The Great Debate About Depression:

What is depression? And the cause to the Great Debate.

Article 2 of 5

11-13 Minute Read

The Great Debate About Depression:

What is depression? And the cause to the Great Debate.

Article 2 of 5

11-13 Minute Read

It is very likely that you or someone close to you will ask, “What is depression?” at some point in your life.

In fact, if you’re in the U.S., the probability is that 6.7% of you reading this could have been formally diagnosed with depression during 2015 (this rate ranges between 5% and 8% depending on the study and year(s) of the study). Also, depending on which country you live in, possibly +/- 15-20% of you could be diagnosed with depression during your lifetime.


Setting aside the affects that the issues of overdiagnosing and misdiagnosing have on the data for now, the odds are very high that the question, “What is depression?” will enter your mind at some point in your life. (By the way, this is an interesting book on overdiagnosing in the name of “health”.)


On the surface, that may seem like an easy question to answer. Many people think you can just google it, or go to a doctor or a mental health professional and they’ll be able to tell you what depression is.


However, the answer to the question of, “What is depression?” is actually a heavily disputed and debated topic in the mental health industry.

Pause to Clarify. . .

A quick pause to clarify that this article is not about what the symptoms of depression are, or what it is like to experience depression. There are plenty of great resources for that including this video What It’s Like Living with Depression and this written summary of the symptoms of depression.

Okay. Back to the regularly scheduled programming.


The Three Core Questions

The question of, “What is depression?” is actually one of the three questions that helps create The Great Debate on depression. The other two questions are, “What causes depression?” and “What is the best way to overcome depression?”. (“CMDT”) prepared an Article Series on these three questions and The Great Debate about Depression (or “Debate” for short). This article is a portion of that series. Throughout the Article Series, these three questions are referred to as “The Three Core Questions”.


The Debate that Really, Truly Matters

As fascinating (and frustrating) as The Great Debate about depression can be to some, the most important debate is the one that may occur in your very own head. Researching depression, what it is, what causes it, and what are the best ways to treat it can be a very confusing, complex, and frustrating journey. There are a lot dangerous influences on the depression industry, and misleading and inaccurate sources of information.


Regardless of how frustrating this journey can be, the debate that really, truly matters is the one that goes on inside your own head.


Like any conflict, debate, and/or problem (including the “problem of depression”); you must know the source and/or cause of the problem in order to eliminate it.


That is why the question of, “What is Depression?” is a great place to start, simply because this question will lead you to the cause of The Great Debate. Thus, if you learn the source and cause of The Great Debate in general, you also can eliminate the source and cause of the debate in your own head too.

Go Away, Whatever You Are!

As you are introduced to the varying parties, influences, and theories that fuel The Great Debate, please remember this:


“Depression”, whatever it is, is something that most people want to go away, and go away for good. Large organizations, (public and private, for-profit and not-for-profit) are devoted to figuring out how to make this happen. Globally, millions of mental health professionals (conventional and traditional as well as alternative and complimentary) treat it every day. And as the data shared at the beginning of this article highlights, hundreds of millions of people across the globe are affected by it and very likely want it to go away.


Last, possibly most important of all; whether it is for yourself and/or others close to you, maybe you are personally determined to make (your?) depression go away once and for all.


Again, depression, whatever it is, is something that many, many people want to go away. So before showing you how the question of, “What is depression?”  will lead you to root cause of the Great Debate; seeing as so much time, money, and energy is devoted to making it go away (maybe including yours?), let’s just call it a “problem” for now.


Sound good?


So. . . How do we solve it?

So, how do we solve this problem?


Or maybe a much better question to ask is, “What is “the best” way to solve this problem?


Well, like any problem, we want the problem of depression to go away and go away for good, right?


Focusing on the best solution to the problem should get us the best results, right?


That means asking, “What is the best way…?” is a pretty darn good goal, if not the best goal anyone could possibly have, including yourself, right?


One Quick Detail

As exciting and inspiring as thinking about what “the best” solution is, “the best” is also a rather broad and undefined. The Truth is all human beings each have their own personal understanding and expectation of what “the best” is. I elaborate on this wonderful topic of “the best” in this post. For the purposes of discussing, “What is Depression?” and The Great Debate, we need to get specific. So, let’s all agree that:


The best” solution to the problem of depression is whatever solution is the 1) Fastest, 2) Generates the biggest impact (IE: maximum results),  3) Most sustainable, 4) Most thorough, 5) Safest, AND 6) Efficient solution.


Ideally it is all six of those things (hence “AND”). It is a case-by-case and problem-by-problem basis as to whether it is realistic or not to actually attain all six of these things. Nevertheless, if all of those things are possible, that is truly the best possible outcome and therefore the best possible goal to target, right?


So let’s shoot for all six things and find out what reality says along the way.


Sound like a plan?

Side Note #1:

Whenever “the best” or “best” is talked about throughout this article, that means whatever is being talked about is the fastest, most sustainable, most thorough, etc.

The Cause of The Great Debate

Let’s now get to the cause of The Great Debate.


The heart of what causes this debate has to do with a few questions and concepts that have been pondered, theorized, argued, and disputed by human beings throughout the history of mankind.


These are the two questions of:


Why do we humans behave the way we do?”

. . . and . . .

What causes humans to behave the way they do?”


Asking “Why?” is slightly different than asking “What causes [XYZ]”. Like many things in life, it is the small subtleties and nuances that make a big difference. So it is worth thinking about both of these questions separately. They’re also highly related, so it is also good to consider them together and at the same time too.


Slight Tweak

One more dynamic to realize about these two questions is that they can be re-written slightly to be more all-encompassing.


Actions are behaviors, right?


Also, both of these questions are also commonly asked by saying “do what we do”. IE: “Why do we humans do what we do?” or, even more commonly Why do we do what we do?”.


Ultimately, I shared these dynamics so you understand that these questions can maintain the same intention while being rewritten to as follows:


Why do we humans behave and act and do what we do?

What causes us humans to behave and act and do what we do?


I reference these as “The Two Big Questions” throughout the articles on “The Great Debate” about depression. I find this sentence structure to be more thorough and therefore closer to the best way to think about these questions.


As was shared above, the human race has contemplated The Two Big Questions throughout the history of our existence. Philosophers, tribe leaders, religious and spiritual leaders and the like have all had their beliefs about the answer to these questions. Energy workers, Neuro-Linguistic Programming professionals, hypnotherapists, life coaches, and countless other professionals with varying experiences, credentials, and training have their perspectives too. More recently and more commonly known, psychologists and neuroscientists have entered the mix too.

Side Note #2:

The landscape of professions and titles and certifications and degrees and licenses and what these professionals actually do in field of psychology can get very, VERY confusing- especially if you do not work in the field. Please read this guide created to help with that.


Wide Variety

As I am sure you can imagine, the answers to questions regarding human behavior, the actions we take, and the things we do (think, say, feel, etc.) create a very, very broad range of answers and belief systems. It also creates a very broad range of perspectives, philosophies, theories, and mindsets and related skills, strategies, techniques, recommendations, guidance, and experiences. It has been this way for most of the history of mankind.


Thus, it is these two questions that are the cause of the debate about, “What is Depression?”. Well, more specifically, it is the wide variety of answers to these two questions:


Why do we humans behave and act and do what we do?

What causes us humans to behave and act and do what we do?


Why is this the cause to the Great Debate?

Why do the answers to these two questions cause a debate about, “What is Depression?”


Well, as you can see in the previous sections, there are countless theories and belief systems about why we humans behave, act and do the things we do, and what causes these things.


And when a wide variety of theories and belief systems exist, that very quickly creates a debate, right?


It is also true that when humans are experiencing what is commonly called depression, there are a certain set of behaviors and actions and things that human beings do (thoughts, feelings, sayings, etc.) that occur.


Therefore, seeing as there is a debate about human behavior, our actions, and the things we do; the behaviors, actions, and “doings” of depression are also debated too.


Yes, this is the cause of the Great Debate

Remember how it was shared earlier in this article that showing you that the question of, “What is depression?” is debated will lead to the root cause of the entire Great Debate about Depression?


This is how it leads to the root cause.


Basically, you simply apply the same logic above to each of the Three Core Questions.


IE: The Two Big Questions about human behavior, actions, and “doings” are debated. There are certain actions, behaviors, and doings that are common to depression. Thus, any question about depression will be debated too. This includes all Three Core Questions.


The Three Core Questions are the root cause and “core” of the Great Debate about Depression. Seeing as these three questions are debated, you also have the root cause of the Great Debate too.


This may be too detailed for some while others may have said “wow!” or “whoa!”.


The main point to remember is that:


The question of, “What is depression?” is debated.

The question of, “What causes depression?” is debated.

And the question of, “What is the best way to overcome depression” is also debated.


The logic described above explains why.

One More Thing

There is one more thing that is in your best interest to be aware of.


Hopefully you can now see why a debate about, “What is Depression?”, specifically, exists.


There is one unique dynamic about this debate about, “What is Depression?” as well as The Great Debate itself that is worth being aware of.


In many ways, many people involved in The Great Debate have pure, goodhearted intentions, and are fueled by a desire to create the best possible solution to this “problem of depression”.


Let’s set aside the fact that some people’s intentions are not pure. I think you will agree that some human beings do things without the purest of intentions, from time to time. This is true for any problem, industry, organization and pretty much everything that involves human beings. So let’s set that aside for now.


Returning back to the “pure of heart”- first, it must be acknowledged that many, many people in the mental health industry and in this Great Debate have truly have the purest intentions in the deepest part of their hearts.


This is one of the most admirable and moving things about the mental health industry- many, MANY professionals in this industry are genuinely and wholeheartedly in the profession to serve, and help others.


Remember, we are talking about a certain type of profession.


Thus, it is also important to remember that good intentions are a great start. However, in a professional environment, they are only the start. There’s a whole race to finish after you get to the starting line. (I’ll let you decide whether this race is a marathon, sprint, ironman, or something different).


Again, good intentions only do so much, no matter how pure and genuine they are. The Truth is some things generate the best results. The Truth also is that:

Some perspectives, philosophies, theories, belief systems, and mindsets and their related recommendations, opinions, guidance, skills, strategies, techniques, and experiences generate better results than others, and are safer and more thorough and more effective and more empowering than others too.

Said differently, some things are good. Some things are better than good. Some things are the best.


This is true for many things in life including (and especially) depression, and the various beliefs about what it is and how to best overcome it.


Please keep this in mind as you explore the debate about, “What is Depression?” and also learn more about The Great Debate about depression in general.

 End of Article #2

That is the end of Article #2.


The next article in this article series will introduce you to possibly the Greatest Debate of All that occurs in the Great Debate about Depression. It will do this by sharing a spectrum of belief systems in the Great Debate about depression.


The third article also shares a powerful tool that I learned about after I completed my pretty-extensive time in psychotherapy. For me, personally; learning, embracing, and celebrating this concept really took my enjoyment of life to a whole new level.


Fully embracing this concept can save everyone a ton of time, money, and energy in their journey to conquer depression once and for all.


Learn more about these things in the link below.


Enjoy Article #3 for the Great Debate about Depression.

65 Tall PNG
How to conquer depression

How to Conquer Depression

Free eBook

Receive a free copy of's eBook on How to Conquer Depression by registering below. In this eBook you will find proven methods to generate a Breakthrough in your depression, and practical skills and strategies you can start using today to conquer your depression once and for all.

How to Conquer Depression

How to Conquer Depression

Free eBook
Receive a free copy of's eBook on How to Conquer Depression by registering below. In this eBook you will find proven methods to generate a Breakthrough in your depression, and practical skills and strategies you can start using today to conquer your depression once and for all.

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