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Causes of Depression


There are many theories about the causes of depression, but none of them are definitive. In other words, even medical researchers to this day don’t know for sure what causes depression. They continue to study the disorder though and great progress has been made towards narrowing the search. In the final analysis, a person gets depressed because of many causes and not one.

Current medical theories cover the gamut of possibilities. Some doctors believe depression might be an inherited trait. In other words, genetics plays a role in whether or not experience depression. It’s not uncommon to hear people say they have several members of a family who have been diagnosed with depression over the years. There’s not a “depression gene”, but we all inherit certain personality traits. In addition, some genes apparently affect the production of serotonin in the brain and are suspect as a cause of depression.

The possible causes of depression also include possible childhood experiences. For example, if you were physically, emotionally or sexually abused then you might have very well developed your dark thoughts at a young age. It would be easy to see why you view the world as hopeless. Another theory says that parents who are excessively strict and inhibiting raise children who are unable to socialize normally. This can lead to social dysfunction and withdrawal.

Still another one of the causes of depression is related to biology. The body is designed to respond to perceived threats quickly. The brain produces chemicals that enable the body to either take a stand or flee (fight-or-flight response). When these chemicals are not produced at the right time and in the right quantity, the result can lead to a chemical imbalance and depression. But related to this biological cause is the ability of the body and mind to handle stress. If you have suppressed feelings related to stress in your life, depression can ensue.

There are also many medical conditions reported to be causes of depression. Hyperthyroidism can lead to panic attacks and anxiety and affect your ability to cope with life. A sudden tragedy can also cause depression. If someone you love dies, your spouse leaves you or you are fired, depression can develop. Your self-talk and coping skills and ability to handle stress all impact how you respond to grief and tragedy.

Another one of the causes of depression is the use of drugs. Drugs like cocaine and amphetamines over stimulate the brain and lead to anxiety and depression. Some drugs are known to cause brain damage also and the brain is left in a perpetual state of imbalance.

Human beings are complicated and so are the causes of depression. Finding the cause in your life will take a determination to seek the source of your depression through one or more of the effective treatments.

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