What is depression?

Did you know:

  • 16 million people in the U.K. experience some form of mental illness
  • 3 in 4 mental illnesses start in childhood
  • 10% of school children have a diagnosable mental illness
  • 75% of young people with a mental health problem are not receiving treatment
  • Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the U.K.
  • People with severe mental health illnesses die between 10-20 years earlier than the average life expectancy
  • 51% of young people fear receiving a diagnosis due to public humiliation
  • Only 6% of the UK’s health research spending goes on mental health

Some people say it’s a chemical imbalance in the brain, some say it’s a side effect of severe trauma, some say it’s a feeling of severe sadness or feeling extremely overwhelmed majority of the time.

I’m sure if I asked you what depression is you’ll have an answer of some sort, and I bet there’s hundreds of people who’s definition will be different to yours but to them their answer is right.

If I’m being totally honest, there is no right or wrong answer, depression isn’t the same for everyone and that’s why people’s opinions vary. But one thing is for certain and that’s what I’m about to say next.

“Depression is simply when the reality of your life does not fit your blueprint.” – Me

Let me say that again.

You have a blueprint in your mind, a blueprint of how your ideal life is supposed to be. Whether that’s career-wise, whether it’s what you look like, your relationships, your health, everything. We all have a blueprint of what we want our lives to be like. When your reality does not fit your blueprint and you do not have the knowledge to know how to get there, you experience a severe feeling of sadness which then leads on to depression.

What does that have to do with chemical imbalances?

According to health-line, “a chemical imbalance in the brain is said to occur when there’s either too much or too little of certain chemicals called neurotransmitters”.

What is this in reference to?

Both of these are chemicals/neurotransmitters that are released when we experience positive feelings such as happiness, love, joy, excitement etc.
If your life does not fit your blueprint, how will that make you feel?


These are all negative feelings right? So the more negative emotions run through your body, the less positive ones there will be. This means there won’t be active releases of the ‘happy hormones’ in your brain which, if a regular occurrence, will most likely lead to a severe downwards emotional spiral leading to the state of depression.

There are many things that can cause depression such as trauma, relying on external validation, on-going experiences of abuse, need I go on?

There are far too many things which can lead to depression so for me to sit here and type every single one would be a bit much, so all I’ll say for now is let’s be mindful not only of how we behave towards others, but of how we behave towards ourselves.

Thankfully we live in a world where consciousness is increasing and people are becoming more aware, so let’s use this to our advantage and start treating people with unconditional love and understanding, just like we would want to be treated ourselves.

Despite the fact more people are being open about their mental health than ever before, there is still so much that is yet to be done.

Prevention is better than cure, so let’s educate ourselves enough so we are able to do as much as we possibly can to prevent depression from firing up in the statistics more than it already is.

If you are currently going through these emotions yourself, don’t forget that you are not alone and there’s always people and organisations there to provide help and support.

UK (Samaritans): 116-123
U.S.A (National suicide prevention): 1-800-273-8255
Australia (Lifeline): 13-11-14

For suicide prevention lines in other countries please visit:


4 thoughts on “What is depression?

  1. Fantastic and educational read about depression. Well done Haleema. This can be very useful for everyone but mainly the older and younger generation who dont have enough knowledge, you break it down very effectively. Thank you for this ❤👏🏽


  2. You explained the chemical imbalance nice and simple- but is it an event (ie trauma) that causes the imbalance in receptors or the chemical imbalance that creates the event to therefore stay unhappy = depression?


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