Describe the pathophysiology of depression

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Peer 1

Initial Post: Describe the pathophysiology of depression.

Depression affects millions of people around the world each year. This disorder is many times masked due to the stigma that comes with depression. Depression is defined as an emotional state, sadness that becomes chronic and uncontrolled. Major depression consist of depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasures, changes in activity, guilty or feeling worthless, wish one was death or having thoughts of suicide, fatigue or loss of energy, decreased concentration and changes in sleep pattern, appetite or weight (McCance & Huether, 2019 p. 605). Major depressive disorder is the most common mood disorder and the leading cause of disability in the U.S. Studies have shown that people with a family history can be more at risk for having depression than someone that has no family history.

Below are factors that can influence depression:

  • Genetic Predisposition and Environmental Influences
  • Neurochemical Dysregulation
  • Neuroendocrine Dysregulation (Stress)
  • Neuroanatomic and Functional Abnormalities
  • The Glutamate system (McCance & Huether, 2019 p. 605-608).

Response #1: Expand on your own post. Discuss the phenomenon of depression effects on appetite. Describe from a pathophysiologic basis why some people with depression experience a lack of appetite resulting in weight loss while others will experience increased food intake and have weight gain.

Depression affects people different; loss of appetite and weight gain are two ways that people cope with depression differently. Increase in appetite with depression are associated with hyperactivation of putative mescorticolimbic reward circuitry (Simmons et al., 2016). Decrease in appetite with depression is associated with hypoactivation of insular regions that support monitoring the body’s physiological state (Simmons et al., 2016). The interaction of the two regions can also change how difference persons appetites change in depression.


McCance, K. L., & Huether, S. E. (2019). Pathophysiology: the biologic basis for disease in adults and children (8th ed.). Elsevier.

Simmons, W. K., Burrows, K., Avery, J. A., Kerr, K. L., Bodurka, J., Savage, C. R., & Drevets, W. C. (2016, April 1). Depression-Related Increases and Decreases in Appetite: Dissociable Patterns of Aberrant Activity in Reward and Interoceptive Neurocircuitry. The American journal of psychiatry.


Peer 2

Describe the pathophysiology of depression.

Clinical depression is categorized as a unipolar mood disorder. It is said that women are at more risk than men. Clinical depression can lead someone to lose sleep, it disrupts their appetite, and it can even lead to suicidal thoughts. Some patients feel agitated and sick (Melinda, 2021). The main cause for depression is a deficit or lack of dopamine, serotonin and Norephedrine. Dopamine is sometimes considered the pleasure hormone because it is release when the brain is expecting some type of reward Pietrangelo, 2019). A lack of dopamine can lead to reduced to alertness, less motivation and difficulties in movement. Serotonin is another hormone that contributes to happiness. It is usually called the “happiness” hormone. Regular levels of serotonin reduce anxiety and depression (Bancos, 2018). Norephedrine is a hormone that controls appetite and certain energies in the body, it increases heart rate and blood pumping.

Bancos, I. B. (2018, December 31). Serotonin. Hormone Health Network.,sleeping%2C%20eating%2C%20and%20digestion.

M. (2021, April 19). Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs. HelpGuide.Org.

Pietrangelo, A. (2019, November 5). How Does Dopamine Affect the Body? Healthline.