Many studies have been conducted in the field of depression to find out what is the exact cause of the illness. However because of its complexity, experts have not come to any particular conclusion. There are many theories and what they have come up with is there is no single factor but it is a combination of many factors that play a part. Depression happens for various reasons and depends on individuals, the environment, the family, work, genetics, life changes and many other reasons. Some may experience depression after a death of someone close or birth of a baby and others get depressed for no known reason.
Some of the main causes of depression are listed below:
It has always been known that depression runs in the family and it can be inherited. Until recently, it was not known if it was certain vulnerability or some other factors such as the environment that was responsible for the illness. Researchers have come to the conclusion that it is indeed the vulnerability or the weakness which is inherited and which in turn leads to depression. In essence, if a family member or close relative is diagnosed with clinical depression, a person is much more prone to develop the illness. This does not mean that one will suffer from it with certainty but he/she is susceptible to the disease. Just as we inherit other things from our parents such as eye color or height, we also inherit genes that determine which illnesses we might be more apt to develop in our lifetime. Genetics is a big contributor to ones depression and it would be wise to look back into ones family history to uncover other forms of depression, the severity and treatments sought to act as a starting point to treating ones depression. But as with most conditions, depression is fostered through genetics as well as their surroundings or certain life altering events that arise suddenly and without expectation.
Sometimes depression is caused by external factors. This is not related to body or brain functions but to events that take place around us in our daily lives. The environmental factors include death of a loved one, stress at work or within the family, divorce or separation or even natural disasters. These events can be very traumatic to the individual and can affect our state of minds, our thoughts, behaviors, emotions and all these lead to developing depression.
Sometimes depression occurs to patients with chronic illness. It is natural that people suffering from illness such as cancer are consumed with worries. They worry for themselves or for their children and other family members. This constant worrying and feeling of helplessness can eventually lead to depression.
However, it may be true that people with clinical depression may be at a greater risk for developing certain illnesses – the other way round. Treating the depression or the sickness can heal the individual from both diseases.
Any kind of abuse such as sexual or bullying, that one experiences in childhood causes adult depression. Most abused people go through symptoms of depression without knowing the underlying causes. Treatment of such depression requires reprogramming the mind to alter thoughts and emotions. Children who are abused will associate certain objects present at the scene of abuse with the experience. The sight of the object, in adult life can trigger memories or associations which bring about symptoms of depression. To remove these connections of the objects with the actions of abuse, the mind has to be reprogrammed and re-trained.
Medications & Drugs
Certain medicines and drugs do make the patient display symptoms of depression such as helplessness, sadness or sulky behavior. These medicines alter the chemical balances in the brain which bring about the depressive behavior in the individual. Although these medicines or drugs are administered to the patient as part of a treatment process, the side effects cannot be ignored. Let’s take the example of Accutane which is a drug taken to cure acne. This medication is known to cause depression. The best way out of this is to change the medication. The doctor who is treating the patient will be aware of which medicines will cause depression and he can thus avoid this particular medication and try another one. Some of the drugs that cause manic depression include: Corticosteroids, Cyclosporine, Dopar, Synthroid and Ritalin among others.