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Depression Basics

Bipolar Depression Symptoms
Major Depression Symptoms
Male Depression Signs
Mild Depression Symptoms
Postpartum Depression Signs and Symptoms
Stress and Depression Symptoms
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms of Teen Depression
Diagnosis of Depression
Looking for a Therapist
Mini Mental State Examination
Steps for Choosing a Therapist
Causes of Depression
Causes of Major Depression
Causes of Manic Depression
Causes of Postpartum Depression
Causes of Teen Depression
Susceptibility to Depression
Triggers of Depression
Facts & Statistics
Bipolar Disorder Statistics
Dysthymic Disorder Statistics
Facts on Depression Statistics
Teenage Depression
Causes of Depression     

Scientific exploration of causes of depression has made us to realize their kinetics on human psychology. But scientists could not establish the exact methodology of the onset of depression. It is possible that there are many causative factors for this disorder and the search is going on.

All the while, medical experts always thought that human thinking process and its effect on human feelings had caused depressive disorders and caused misery to them. They now realize that the incidence of this disorder is due to various causes that are work in tandem. The main causes for depression are based on organic, hereditary, and physiological factors.

Main Causes of Depression

Organic Causes: The human mind, like the body, is a powerhouse full of chemical interactions and reactions. The chemical equilibrium in each human mind is highly individualistic and unique to that person. There are certain chemical compounds through which emotions are governed in the brain. Small time variations get adjusted automatically, depending on the genetic disposition of the brain. When composition of chemicals in the brain alters due to the effect of stress on the working of the mind, then depression sets in.

Research indicates that certain variations of a particular type of genetic material, known as 5-HTT, is passed on to subsequent generations. This genetic material will influence a certain cerebral chemical which is known as serotonin. This serotonin is a natural chemical, a certain type of neurotransmitter, which has the capacity to change moods in persons.

Research shows that a chemical, called cortisol, is produced and secreted whenever a person faces stressful situations, such as fright, rage or anxiety. In ordinary circumstances, the serum cortisol level of a person reaches maximum in the early hours and tapers off during the rest of the day. But the serum cortisol maintains the same maximum level throughout the day and does not taper off in people with depression. Investigators are not saying that high serum cortisol is responsible for depression nor are they certain that depression is causing high cortisol levels. But one thing that they are sure is that depression and high levels of cortisol go hand in hand.

Hereditary Causes: It is established that depression runs through the generations. Siblings tend to carry the genes responsible for causing depression. It is proved with bipolar disorder (manic depression). Research showed that genetic code in bipolar disorder affected family units differed from the code that existed in normal family units. Sometimes, such disorder-causing genes may remain dormant for life without getting activated. But some trigger may activate them anytime. Studies show the affect of bipolar depressive disorder in the cases of twins. If one is affected with the disorder, the other has also a high probability of becoming a victim of the illness.

Physiological Causes: Stress is one great physiological factor. It is a combination of psychological and physical states. One causes the other and is also caused by the other. Depressive disorder may cause acute physical discomfiture and may lead to physical illness. On the other hand, drug treatment to cure some other illness in a person may cause stress which may develop as a depression in that person as a side effect.

Stress in a person may be due to various reasons. People fall prey to stress when they are faced with family problems, death in a family, financial difficulties, failure of marriage, etc. People who feel hopeless and vulnerable will come under stress. These stressful situations further deteriorate into depression when they are not treated.

Many serious diseases which induce stress like AIDS, various types of cancer, renal problems, cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, etc. also cause depression. And the depression may cause further erosion of natural resistance. This, in turn, will further worsen the effects of disease.

Social and Behavioral Causes: The circumstances in the outside world such as office, social gatherings, family get-togethers, parties and picnics etc., will profoundly affect a person when he/she is timid, shy, aloof or arrogant. If the person’s behavioral pattern does not change, it will create conditions for stress. Also, when the person is afraid to face situations in daily life, then it will also create stress. In some, stage fright creates a lot of stress. Facing an interview, getting admitted to school, facing a doctor, appearing for examination, traveling long distances to remote places alone, being confronted by ruffians on a street, staying in haunted houses, etc. are some of the causative factors for stress. When the stress is not properly attended to, it will worsen to depression.

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