A Debate on the Causes of Depression

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A Debate on the Causes of Depression

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Before beginning, please read the complete instructions for this debate.

Statement of the Problem

A single cause of depression has not been identified; however, there is evidence to suggest the potential for a variety of causes stemming from different psychological perspectives. For example, the biological perspective suggests that depression is a result of family history (that is, a genetic link), a chemical imbalance in the brain (for example, depletion of the neurotransmitter serotonin), a specific medical condition (for example, underactive thyroid), or even increased levels of hormones (for example, cortisol—a stress hormone). The cognitive-behavioral perspective suggests that depression is directly influenced by faulty thinking such as low self-esteem, negative outlook on the world and the future, learned helplessness (that is, a perceived lack of control that leads to giving up), and influences based on one’s gender, race, socioeconomic status, levels of social support and stress, or other environmental events (for example, divorce).

Based on your research into the causes of depression from your assigned perspective, debate the following:

  • Which comes first: Does a biochemical imbalance, medical condition, or change in hormone level cause changes in mood and faulty thinking, which leads to depression? Or do changes in mood and faulty thinking cause a biochemical imbalance, which then leads to depression?

Discussion Instructions

For this debate, you will:

  1. Post your original position statement.
  1. Respond with counterarguments to the original postings of two other learners.
  1. Respond with a rebuttal to each counterargument offered to your position statement.

Each time you post, you are expected to support your position, counterargument, or rebuttal with evidence from research. Remember to use APA citations and references to give proper credit to authors of information used to support your arguments.

Discussion Standards

In order to keep the discussion focused and clear, everyone will adopt a specific standard for their responses as follows:

  • Position statement: Position statements should include a discussion of the issue, a detailed description of the perspective, and three individual arguments you have developed to support your position. The standard for posting your position statement is as follows:
  • Subject line: Position Statement – Your Name.
  • Message box:
  • Describe the issue.
  • Describe the perspective you are championing.
  • Describe three arguments with evidence from research to support arguments for your perspective.
  • Counterargument: Post at least two counterarguments to opposing learners’ positions. Each argument should include at least one piece of evidence to support it. The standard for posting your counterargument is as follows:
  • Subject line: Counterargument – Your Name.
  • Message:
  • Describe your counterargument to the stated position.
  • Provide at least one piece of evidence to support your counterargument.
  • Rebuttals: After you have posted counterarguments to the opposing perspective, go back to your original post and see who has posted counterarguments to your position and arguments. Provide a rebuttal to each counterargument posed by your classmates. The standard for posting your rebuttal is as follows:
  • Subject: Rebuttal – Your Name
  • Message:
  • Details of your refutation (rebuttal) to the counterargument.
  • Provide at least one piece of evidence to support your rebuttal.

To understand how this discussion will be graded, review the scoring guide.



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