Depression Development and Its Causes

Neuroplasticity is a term that describes the human brain’s ability to adjust its structure in response to various factors (Doidge, 2007). Neuroplasticity is an important adaptive mechanism that allows the human brain to learn new information and maintain its function in case of an injury or a disease, and it has to be considered in the context of mental illnesses and their treatment.

Genetic, psychological, and environmental factors all have an impact on an individual’s mental health (Doidge, 2007). Genetic variability is well known to influence some psychological conditions, such as schizophrenia. Endophenotype is a term developed by genetic psychologists to describe the connection between certain mental illnesses and an individual’s genotype. Environmental factors may prompt people to feel anxious or stressed, and if other factors, such as a certain genotype, are present, an individual is more likely to fall victim to a particular mental illness, such as depression. A theory was developed by scholars to describe the relationship between a persons’ behavior and environmental factors.

Such a theory is called the diathesis-stress model. As such, the explanation given by the nurse is more accurate than that given by the pastor. The nurse should further clarify that mental illnesses, such as depression, are complex and require a multifaceted approach. A pill will not be able to tell Michael what is the cause of his condition, and how it is best to address it according to the cause.


Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. New York: Viking.