This paper explores descriptors of depression and begins by exploring nursing descriptors including the nature of assessment and nursing diagnosis and progresses to underpin these major processes by considering social descriptors such as cultural and spiritual constructs. The role and influence of stigma is discussed and an examination of gender influences and experiences is undertaken. The paper concludes by examining personal descriptors in the literature. The overall aim of the paper is (1) to add to nursing knowledge by depicting the grounded realities of the experience of depression and (2) stimulate discussion on the need to provide holistic care pathways that are responsive to the uniqueness of this lived experience and finally to (3) encourage further research on key psycho-social factors associated with depression and the concurring advancement of nursing care. This paper has been completed in the context of an ongoing study into the grounded experience of ‘Depression’ and the development of a psychiatric nursing theory of connectivity.