Possible Causes Of Depression

Posted on 08 March 2013 by Arlene Johnson

When feeling depress and stressed out, it is probably not easy for you to find out its causes. In most cases though, depression does not caused by a single problem and although the symptoms vary, it is advised for you to sit back and find out what causes your depression. Most of the time, the way to lessen the pain is by knowing what was wrong in the first place.

Some of the factors that influence depression are:

Neurobiology

Studies have discovered that some people that have inflammation in their brains have a higher risk of falling into depression. These abnormalities affected the chemical balance of the brain as brains responding to the swollen tissue by producing glial cell. Neurologist Susana Torres-Platas and colleagues recently discovered that a type of glial cell also shows up in the brains of people who killed themselves.

Neurotransmitters are not the only neurobiological areas active in depression, hormones, most specifically corticotropin, also affect depression.

Genetic

According to the diathesisa stress theory of depression, an individual’s genetic makeup can predispose some people to be more susceptible to depression when they are confronted with negative life experiences. A genetic variation, the brainderived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism, seems to play a role in the development of major depression in some persons

Most of the time, the way to lessen the pain is by knowing what was wrong in the first place.

Most of the time, the way to lessen the pain is by knowing what was wrong in the first place.

Hereditary

If your parents or grandparents have history of being depress chances are you will inherit this as well. Scientists have discovered that a gene named allele 5-HTT which is considered responsible for increased chance of depression, can be passed down through subsequent generations. Normally, people have a full allele 5-HTT, which means that there is healthy communication between the neurotransmitters in the brain. In some people however, their allele 5-HTT is shorter and have weaker connections, which affects mood, sleep and appetite which can leads to depression.

Gender

Women are twice over more likely to suffer from depression than men. There are no definitive studies that can prove as to why this is the case yet, but the general consensus is that it’s possibly related to hormonal change.

In the United States, there are a reported two women for every one man with depression. In the rest of the world, that rate increases to 3 to 1 (2).

Age

The older you are, the higher your risk is of experiencing depression. An age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and depression study has concluded that depression is a major cause of disability among patients with AMD, even when severity of vision loss is considered. Depression in old age can be exacerbated by other factors such as loneliness due to living alone, lack of social support and interaction and general dissatisfaction in life.

Health condition

Depression can also occur alongside other health problems such as chronic physical illness, alcohol and drug problems, and anxiety.  People with chronic (long term) physical conditions are more likely to have depression than those who are physically well.

It is usually difficult for people with a chronic physical illness to improve their health if they are also depressed as they may not have the motivation to make sure they eat well, exercise etc. Having a physical illness can also make it hard to stay connected with family and friends which can create feeling of isolation and make it even harder to recover from depression.

Traumatic Experience

When witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, such as an act of violence, loss of loved ones, contradicting reality etc, a person can be affected mentally and emotionally. Whether they are personally involved in the incident, have their family or friends who are injured or killed, or even the news, they will experience some sort of emotional response. While this is normal, sometimes the sad or upset feeling can last for weeks. When it comes to that, it becomes depression.

Substance Abuse

A statistical modeling study suggests that problems with alcohol abuse may lead to an increased risk of depression, as opposed to the reverse model in which individuals with depression self-medicate with alcohol, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

What is hard to determine sometimes is that whether the substance abuse caused by depression or the other way around.

Many people with depression will get better without treatment. However, this may take several months or even longer. Meanwhile, living with depression can be difficult and distressing for you and often it is also upsetting for your family and friends. Relationships, employment, etc, may be seriously affected. There is also a danger that some people turn to alcohol or illegal drugs or in extreme cases, suicide.

Category | Depression

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