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Causes of Depression

Causes of Depression


Have you ever wondered
what are the causes of depression?

Have you ever questioned why people get depressed, and what are the causes of depression? Perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with serious depression and are wondering why some people experience depression while others do not.

Depression is a complicated illness. Nobody knows what causes it, however, it could be caused by a number of factors. During a significant medical illness, some people experience depression. Others may experience depression as a result of life changes such as relocating or losing a loved one. Others have a history of depression in their family. Those who do may be depressed and experience feelings of melancholy and loneliness for no apparent reason.

What Are the Main Causes of Depression?

Many factors can contribute to the causes of depression, including the following:

  • Abuse. Abuse of any kind, whether physical, sexual, or emotional, can make you more susceptible to depression later in life.
  • Age. Elderly people are more likely to suffer from depression. Other circumstances, such as living alone and lacking social support, can exacerbate this.
  • Certain medications. Some medications, such as isotretinoin (for acne), interferon-alpha (an antiviral medicine), and corticosteroids, can raise your risk of depression.
  • Conflict. Personal conflicts or disagreements with family members or friends might cause depression in someone who is biologically vulnerable to it.
  • Death or a loss. Though natural, sadness or grief following the death or loss of a loved one might increase the risk of depression.
  • Gender. Depressive women are around twice as likely as depressed males. Nobody knows why. Hormonal changes that women go through at various stages of their lives could be a factor.
  • Genes. A history of depression in the family may raise the risk. Depression is regarded to be a complex trait, implying that there are likely many separate genes, each with a minor effect, rather than a single gene that contributes to disease risk. Depression’s genetics, like those of most psychiatric disorders, isn’t as uncomplicated as those of purely hereditary diseases like Huntington’s chorea or cystic fibrosis.
  • Major events. Even happy events like starting a new job, graduating, or marrying might trigger sadness. Moving, losing a job or money, getting divorced, or retiring can all be stressful events. Clinical depression, on the other hand, is never merely a “natural” reaction to stressful life events.
  • Other personal problems. Social isolation as a result of various mental diseases or being rejected by a family or social group can all contribute to the development of clinical depression.
  • Serious illnesses. Depression can occur in conjunction with a serious disease or be precipitated by another medical condition.
  • Substance misuse. Nearly one-third of people who abuse substances also suffer from significant or clinical depression. Even though drugs or alcohol make you feel better briefly, they will eventually worsen your depression.

How Is Biology Related to Depression?

Researchers discovered differences in the brains of those with clinical depression and those without. For example, in some persons with a history of depression, the hippocampus, a small portion of the brain important for memory storage, appears to be smaller than in others who have never been depressed. There are fewer serotonin receptors in a smaller hippocampus. Serotonin is one of many neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals, that facilitate communication across circuits that connect the brain regions involved in emotion processing.

Scientists are unsure as to why some patients with depression have a smaller hippocampus. The stress hormone cortisol is produced in excess in depressed patients, according to certain studies. Cortisol, according to these researchers, has a harmful or “shrinking” effect on the hippocampus’ development. Some specialists believe that sad people are just born with a smaller hippocampus, making them more prone to depression. There are numerous other brain regions and pathways known to be linked with depression, and no single brain structure or pathway is likely to entirely account for clinical depression.

One thing is certain: depression is a multifaceted disorder with numerous causes. Antidepressants may have “neurotrophic effects,” which means they might assist maintain nerve cells, keep them from dying, and allow them to establish stronger connections that can endure biological stresses, according to the newest scans and studies of brain structure and function. Health providers will be able to make better “tailored” diagnoses and, as a result, prescribe more effective treatment programmes as scientists get a better knowledge of the causes of depression.

What Role Does Genetics Play in Depression Risk?

We are aware that depression can run in families. This shows that depression has at least a partial hereditary component. Children, siblings, and parents of people with severe depression are more likely than the general population to suffer from depression. Multiple genes interacting in unusual ways are likely to play a role in the diverse forms of depression that run in families. Despite the evidence of a family link to depression, it is doubtful that there is a single “depression” gene, but rather a number of genes that interact with the environment to contribute tiny impacts toward depression.

Can Certain Medications Make You Depressed?

Medications can cause depression in some people. Barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and the acne drug isotretinoin (previously known as Accutane, currently known as Absorica, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, Zenatane) have all been related to depression, especially in the elderly. Medications used to treat stomach cramps, such as corticosteroids, opioids (codeine, morphine), and anticholinergics, might also produce mood swings and shifts. Beta-blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure, have also been related to depression.

Is There a Connection Between Depression and Chronic Illness?

A chronic condition can lead to depression in some people. A chronic ailment is one that lasts for an extended period of time and cannot be totally cured. Chronic illnesses, on the other hand, can often be managed via diet, exercise, healthy living practices, and the use of specific drugs. Diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, HIV & AIDS, lupus, and multiple sclerosis are some of the chronic disorders that can induce depression (MS). Depression is another symptom of hypothyroidism.

Researchers believe that treating depression can occasionally improve co-existing medical conditions.

Is there a link between depression and chronic pain?

Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for weeks or months. Chronic pain not only hurts, but it also affects your sleep, your ability to exercise and be active, your relationships, and your work productivity. Might you see how chronic pain can lead to feelings of sadness, isolation, and depression?

Chronic pain and depression can both be treated. A multimodal treatment plan that includes medicine, counselling, support groups, and other options can help you manage your pain, alleviate your depression, and reclaim your life.

Does Grief Frequently Lead to Depression?

Grief is a typical and healthy reaction to loss. Death or separation from a loved one, loss of a job, death or loss of a cherished pet, or any number of other life upheavals, such as divorce, being an “empty nester,” or retirement, can all cause grief.

Not everyone will experience clinical depression, which differs from grief in that depression includes a variety of other symptoms such as low self-worth, negative thoughts about the future, and suicide, whereas grief involves feelings of emptiness, loss, and longing for a loved one, along with an intact capacity to feel pleasure. Each person’s reaction to these emotions is different.