Depression – Causes and Risk Factors

Causes of Depression

What is it that keeps most people depressed and sad? What makes them feeling worthlessness and gloomy?  People are often clueless about what makes them depressed. Actually, the exact cause of depression is yet to be identified.

Depression may result from variety of causes. In fact, finding out the exact cause of the depression is one of the challenges in treating depression. Once the underlying cause is identified, the treatment may begin and yield effective results quickly.

Common causes of Depression

The depression may result from either a single cause or a combination of one or more causes. Also, depression does not depend on age of patient and may even occur in kids.

Genetics and Hereditary:  The genes of depression are believed to be inherited by children from their parents. It is more prevalent in patients whose biological family members have history of depression.

Unfortunate Life events: There are certain unfortunate events that may lead to depression in otherwise normal people. These life events may include heavy financial loss, death of a loved one, high work stress, etc.

Childhood trauma: There are certain sections of people who have had traumatic childhood experience such as loss of parent or child abuse. Such changes may lead to permanent brain changes that make such people vulnerable to depression.

Biological differences: Researchers believe that depression may result from chemical or physical changes in the brains of affected people.

Neurotransmitters: These are naturally occurring brain chemicals, associated with the fluctuations in the mood of the person. The neurotransmitters are supposed to play significant part in causing depression.

Hormones: The hormones may trigger depression depending on the changes in their levels in the body. There are various factors that brought about changes in hormone levels such as menopause, thyroid problems, etc.

Risk factors of Depression

Depression is more prevalent in people with certain specified risk factors. These risk factors enhance the risk of developing depression.

  • Being a woman (as per researchers, women are twice more likely to develop depression than men)
  • Individuals with family history of depression
  • Individuals who have had traumatic childhood experiences
  • Individuals with family history of alcoholism
  • Individuals with biological family members who have had committed suicide
  • Individuals who have faced unfortunate life events
  • Individuals who have few friends
  • Individuals who have had failed personal relationships
  • Postpartum depression in women who have given birth to child recently
  • Individuals with depressed mood as a child
  • Patient suffering from serious illness such as HIV/AIDS, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease
  • Individuals with low self-esteem
  • Individuals who are self-critical or pessimistic
  • Individuals who are addicted to alcohol, nicotine or illicit drugs
  • Individuals who are poor
  • Individuals who take high blood pressure medications, sleeping pills, etc

Apart from these risk factors there are various stressful life events that trigger depression in otherwise normal individuals.

  • Failed relationship such as breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Getting failed in exam
  • Illness of near ones
  • Divorce
  • Childhood abuse
  • Job loss
  • Social isolation

Causes of Depression

What is it that keeps most people depressed and sad? What makes them feeling worthlessness and gloomy?  People are often clueless about what makes them depressed. Actually, the exact cause of depression is yet to be identified.

Depression may result from variety of causes. In fact, finding out the exact cause of the depression is one of the challenges in treating depression. Once the underlying cause is identified, the treatment may begin and yield effective results quickly.

Common causes of Depression

The depression may result from either a single cause or a combination of one or more causes. Also, depression does not depend on age of patient and may even occur in kids.

Genetics and Hereditary:  The genes of depression are believed to be inherited by children from their parents. It is more prevalent in patients whose biological family members have history of depression.

Unfortunate Life events: There are certain unfortunate events that may lead to depression in otherwise normal people. These life events may include heavy financial loss, death of a loved one, high work stress, etc.

Childhood trauma: There are certain sections of people who have had traumatic childhood experience such as loss of parent or child abuse. Such changes may lead to permanent brain changes that make such people vulnerable to depression.

Biological differences: Researchers believe that depression may result from chemical or physical changes in the brains of affected people.

Neurotransmitters: These are naturally occurring brain chemicals, associated with the fluctuations in the mood of the person. The neurotransmitters are supposed to play significant part in causing depression.

Hormones: The hormones may trigger depression depending on the changes in their levels in the body. There are various factors that brought about changes in hormone levels such as menopause, thyroid problems, etc.

Risk factors of Depression

Depression is more prevalent in people with certain specified risk factors. These risk factors enhance the risk of developing depression.

  • Being a woman (as per researchers, women are twice more likely to develop depression than men)
  • Individuals with family history of depression
  • Individuals who have had traumatic childhood experiences
  • Individuals with family history of alcoholism
  • Individuals with biological family members who have had committed suicide
  • Individuals who have faced unfortunate life events
  • Individuals who have few friends
  • Individuals who have had failed personal relationships
  • Postpartum depression in women who have given birth to child recently
  • Individuals with depressed mood as a child
  • Patient suffering from serious illness such as HIV/AIDS, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease
  • Individuals with low self-esteem
  • Individuals who are self-critical or pessimistic
  • Individuals who are addicted to alcohol, nicotine or illicit drugs
  • Individuals who are poor
  • Individuals who take high blood pressure medications, sleeping pills, etc

Apart from these risk factors there are various stressful life events that trigger depression in otherwise normal individuals.

  • Failed relationship such as breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Getting failed in exam
  • Illness of near ones
  • Divorce
  • Childhood abuse
  • Job loss
  • Social isolation