What Causes Depression?

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There are many different causes of depression. It has many different triggers and there are multiple reasons it can develop.

Personal Factors are known to trigger depression. Those who have a tendency to worry a lot, have low self-esteem, are sensitive to personal criticism, are severely overweight, perfectionists, or those with a self-critical and a negative mindset all have a higher risk of developing the condition.    


Depression has been known to run in families and some people will be at an increased hereditary or genetic risk. This does not mean that a person will automatically experience depression if a parent or close relative has had the illness though. Life circumstances and other personal factors are still likely to have an important influence.

Having a serious medical illness can trigger depression in two ways. Serious illnesses can bring about depression directly, or can contribute to depression through associated stress and worry, especially if it involves long-term management of the illness and/or chronic pain.

Drug and alcohol use can both lead to and result from depression. Many people with depression also have drug and alcohol problems.  

Symptoms of Depression 

Signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
  • Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
  • Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping.
  • Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  • Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  • Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Reckless behavior.You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
  • Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.




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