Depression- Causes That You Need to Know

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Depression is a global problem. An average estimate of people suffering from depression worldwide comes to be near about 121 million, with women being twice more commonly hit as compared to men. Every tenth woman suffers from depression after having a baby. Every year, 20% of population is added to this figure. India falls into the category of countries where depression is observed more commonly than other countries. Other similar countries are USA, Netherlands, France. 

Depression is primarily characterized by feeling of complete lack of hope and grief, lack of interest in day to day activities, loss of sleep and so on. There are even various forms of depression. But what is it that pushes a normal person into the pitfall of this much dreaded disorder? Can anyone be afflicted by it? This article covers a few facts about the most common causes of depression.

1. Complex and multifactorials

To begin with, it is not usually a single cause which causes a person to become depressed. It is rather a complex process and involves a number of factors which interplay, genetics, trauma, and life events to name a few. Any age group and category can contract depression, but it is the people who are unemployed and those who have suffered a heartbreak or divorce are those who are more frequently depressed than others.


2. Harsh life

There is not a trace of doubt that life is not all sunshine and rainbows. Shit happens. We all hit rock bottom, and getting over it is a way more hard than it seems. Some do, while others aren’t able to cope up. Following are some common events which can act as a trigger for depression:

  • Death of a loved one- parents, relatives or friend
  • Divorce or break up
  • A difficult/ abusive relationship
  • Unemployment
  • Failing an exam
  • Failed business venture
  • Financial troubles
  • A chronic debilitating illness
  • Illness of kin
  • Childhood trauma in any form.


3. Family History

There have been generations of families which have suffered depression. So it is convenient to say that depression too, is inherited. This however does not imply that those who have not had relatives to battle depression can never get depressed. There are other factors too. But this remains a major one. If no other causes of depression can be attributed, it is usually inherited.


4. The brain

Brain happens to be one of the most complex machines. Its structure and function till date have not been completely deciphered. It has been believed that certain chemical processes in brain result in depression. These chemicals are usually the neurotransmitters- substances which are used to transmit information and signals through nerves. The most common ones are serotonin, nor adrenaline are dopamine which are suspected to be at fault. It has also been believed that a past or recent head injury might also cause certain brain changes, triggering depression.


5. The “self”

It is hard to some people to accept themselves as compared to others. Even if nobody does anything, some people just cannot help feeling bad. Following are the personality traits in people which make them vulnerable to depression:

  • Over thinking
  • Taking personal criticism way too seriously
  • Judging ourselves and others constantly
  • Pessimistic thinking
  • Low self esteem
  • Personality defects as- short, too tall, obese, too lean etc
  • Failure to cope up with difficulty/ stress.


6. Substance abuse

There can be two ways how alcohol and drugs can lead to depression. One is the severe brain damage caused due to excessive usage of these substances. Second being a vicious cycle, where in a person starts using drugs or alcohol to get over some major loss, and thereby falls in to a never ending process of guilt, grief, more abuse and so on. It is not uncommon to encounter people who suddenly become bankrupt or suffer a heartache using these forms of abuse to get over the loss, thinking it might aid. Sadly, it doesn’t.


7. Iatrogenic

The cause of depression is termed as iatrogenic when some treatment which was prescribed for patient’s better health in turn results in depression. Usually this includes certain drugs, most common ones being beta blockers, oral contraceptives, sedatives and hypnotics, corticosteroids, levodopa. It however does not mean that a single dosage of drug would make you depressed. It is only after prolonged usage of drugs that you experience this harmful side effect.


These causes are only to make you aware of the possible things or events which can lead to depression. We do not intend to say that any person who has any of these events as a part of their life is depressed or is going to be depressed. People are different, and so is their perception for things. If you think that you need to consult a doctor, please do not make any delay. Make that call. The only thing it would do is help you.

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