What Causes Depression? A Helpful Guide

Updated on March 18, 2021

Did you know that depression is one of the most common mental illnesses people suffer from? It’s estimated that over 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression around the world.

Depression is a serious illness, and if you want to protect yourself and loved ones learning about it is key. We’re going to give you a quick rundown of what depression is in this post and what causes depression so you’ll have the tools you need to help yourself and others. 

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that can drastically affect the way people think, act, and feel. A lot of people tend to think that depression is merely feeling sad. The truth is that depression can manifest in a lot of different ways. 

Some people that suffer from depression may feel anxious and have difficulties making decisions. Other people may find that their depression makes them feel angry and overly sensitive. 

Depression is different from feeling things like grief or sadness. Negative emotions and moods can feel intense but they’re usually able to pass. Depression is a persistent state that can be difficult to break free from. 

What Causes Depression? 

There are a variety of things that could cause depression in people. Certain events can trigger depressive episodes, but there are a variety of things that can cause chronic depression.

Often, it’s rarely one thing that causes depressive episodes in people. There are a variety of things that could cause depression, but there are some common causes. 

Family History 

Does your parent or sibling have a history of depression? You may be at a higher risk of developing depression if someone in your family has had it in the past.

There has been some research on how genes can affect depression. It’s estimated that if your sibling has depression your personal risk of developing the mood disorder is 2 to 3 times higher. 

Early Childhood Trauma

Things that happened in your childhood can affect you far into the future. If you experienced childhood trauma, you may develop depression as you grow older or fall into depressive episodes. 

Brain Structure 

As scientists look into the link between genetics and depression they’ve also researched how brain structure can affect the disorder. Some scientists have linked slow frontal lobe activity to depression.

Chemical imbalances in the body and brain can cause depression. You can read more about how one compound can affect depression by clicking this link!

Medical Conditions 

Depression has been linked to a variety of disorders. Chronic pain, ADHD, heart disease, and stroke have been linked to depression. 

Drug Use

Do you drink heavily? Do you use drugs or other substances? Substances can affect your mental health in a variety of ways, and there are ties between substance abuse and depression. 

How Can I Treat Depression? 

Now that you know what causes depression it’s time to learn potential ways to treat it. 

Some people find that going to therapy helps their depression, others find that exercise and physical activity helps. Regardless of what works for other people, you should talk to a doctor if you suspect that you have depression.

Do you want to learn more about mental health? You can seek the help of a reputed psychologist or psychiatrist. We also have a lot of helpful content on our website. Be sure to browse our articles so you can learn more about the mental health topics that matter the most to you. 

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