There are no specific causes as to what causes depression, and several factors usually work individually or jointly to bring about symptoms of depression.
Although grief is part of what causes depression in the brain, depression itself is not synonymous with grief. Self-loathing and low self-esteem are common symptoms that come with depression alongside sadness. Grief is typically characterized by sadness over the loss of a loved one or after a traumatic event. Both grief and depression can last long periods of time, but are characterized by different onsets.
Depression can be classified into different types based on its severity or when it is experienced. Common types of depression will be detailed below.
Major conflicts, such as among siblings or between marital partners, can be a major cause of depression. Hostility, aggressiveness, threats, and other psychological stressors associated with conflicts may cause people to slip into depression.
Like conflicts, physical abuse can cause depression as well. On the other hand, other symptoms from major physical abuse could lead to anxiety as well, which often results in depression.
Chronic pain is another major reason for depression, especially when such physical or emotional pain lasts for long periods and there is no proper supervision.
While the death of a loved one can cause grief, the emotional pain can also cause depression depending on individual thresholds and one’s ability to manage stressful and overwhelming situations.
Brain chemistry is one of the biological causes of depression. Some chemical imbalances in the brain can alter mood, behavior, sleep patterns, and other functions, which can lead to depression symptoms.
Traumatic events are also common reasons for depression. Some disturbing events can affect response to fear, stress, and the ability to manage emotions.
Other causes of depression include but are not limited to unemployment, sexual assault, and unstable family situations.
Risk factors may lead to depression as well, and often differ from specific causes. Risk factors of depression can include:
Low levels of Vitamin D in the body pose a major risk to some kinds of depression such as postpartum depression and persistent depressive disorder.3
Struggling with substance and alcohol use is part of what causes depression in many people. Misusing alcohol and other drug substances hormone and brain chemical levels, which may result in depression and other mood disorders.
Certain medical conditions can put people at risk of depression. Some of these conditions include insomnia, chronic pain, heart attack, cancer, and other chronic illnesses.4
Studies have revealed that certain drugs such as hormonal birth control, beta-blockers, and corticosteroids can increase the risk of depression.5
Another major cause of depression is significant changes in hormone levels. This is particularly common in women when hormones such as estrogen and progesterone heighten or fall during the menstrual cycle, along with during postpartum periods, perimenopause, and menopause.
Exercising not only keeps you fit but also releases endorphins into the body. Endorphins are hormones that help to improve the mood and keep depressing symptoms away.
Needless to say, stress is a major risk factor for depression. It is important to avoid overly stressful activities and other emotionally stressing situations as much as you can.
While depression is a major health condition, it can be treated when the right measures are taken. As there are several reasons why depression happens, a specific treatment approach may be the best option for a certain depressive condition.
It is important to reach out for professional help when dealing with depression. At Iris Healing®, we devote ourselves to helping our patients improve their health using treatment measures that ensure a speedy recovery and are most applicable to the patient’s situation.