If you have reason to believe you, or someone you know, may be depressed or are even just curious as to what causes depression, there are some things to consider. Depression is a condition that can have physical effects as well as emotional and can happen to anyone. However, there are some risk factors and causes that are more prevalent than others. There are also very successful treatments for depression.
One very common risk factor and cause of depression is genetics. Although there is currently no known scientific reason for this, depression does appear to be woven into certain family trees. Depression can sometimes occur in generation after generation. One of the issues of depression being genetic is that addiction can often go hand in hand. Families that seem to be riddled with addiction issues often have depression as an underlying problem that has not been diagnosed or treated. This can create a vicious circle of negative behavior and self-medicating.
Significant Life Events
For some, depression occurs after major life events. Divorce and job loss are common causes of depression. Death of a loved one is also very commonly preceded by depression. Although, it should be clear that these events do not lead to depression for everyone. Each person is unique, but sometimes being genetically predisposed can heighten the risk of depression after certain life events.
History of Trauma
Some children that experience trauma have an increased risk of developing depression later on in life. For instance, enduring any type of abuse or death in the family, as a child, can cause depression when the child becomes an adult.
Another risk factor for developing depression is constant or overwhelming stress. Experiencing stress on a daily basis with no relief can cause depression. You may find it hard to keep functioning and find yourself avoiding people, places or things.
Physical illness is a risk factor and common cause of depression. This is particularly true for those that experience high levels of pain or are unable to physically function as they once did. Experiencing chronic pain is a risk factor also. Chronic pain can affect mood, sleep and appetite. Lack of sleep can be a depression risk factor itself, so pain and sleeplessness together just increases the risk.
There are some medications that are known to cause depression in some people. For instance, benzodiazepines and barbiturates are known to cause depression. You should be aware of this possible connection before taking these types of medications, especially if you have other known risk factors.
Just as there are various causes and risk factors of depression, there are various types of depression. For instance, postpartum depression is typically seen in those who have recently delivered a baby. Dysthymia is more of a constant type of lower grade depression. Major depression is a common type of depression and those suffering from it find it hard to function normally.
No matter what type of depression or the cause, it’s important to seek help from a qualified professional. There are very successful methods of treating depression. Seek help immediately if you experience thoughts of suicide.