What Are the Causes of Depression?


causes of depressionAs a student of psychology, I have always been fascinated with the causes of depression. Depression is a serious mood disorder characterized by prolonged periods of sadness, hopelessness and feelings of despair, or at least it is by my definition, and I always feel compelled to try to help people who are depressed. Here is what I learned about the causes.

One of the major causes of depression is abuse. Whether it is physical, emotional or sexual abuse, an abused person can exhibit symptoms of depression that manifest themselves in a number of ways, from secluding themselves from others, to low self-worth to physical violence, and it is not always easy to see the signs of abuse.

Another cause is the death of a loved one or a major loss. It is completely natural to have a difficult time dealing with the loss of a loved one, and most people experience some type of depression. When it carries on too long, however, and a person cannot seem to recover from their grief, that when it becomes full-blown depression.

On a personal note, I have observed that one of the causes of depression can be a prolonged illness. My father passed away a year and and half ago, and before he died he had been suffering from a serious illness that lingered for a number of years. We could all see how it affected him and were all concerned that he was depressed. My father was old-fashioned, however, and refused to acknowledge this.

Something that a lot of people don’t even think about that can be counted among the biggest causes of depression is a major life event. The sad part about this is that it does not even have to be bad. Getting a promotion at work or moving to a new house can lead to depression, because one is leaving what is familiar and therefore comfortable, and trying something new, which in some ways is challenging. It seems almost paradoxical that a good change in someone’s life could cause such a problem, but it certainly can.

Of course, some of the causes of depression can be attributed to a chemical imbalance or substance abuse, but these are the things that most people already know. This is not to diminish them in any way, but it is important to focus on causes that are not as obvious.

Causes of depression vary greatly, and can have many roots. I am very fortunate that I have never really suffered with depression, but I have known people that have, and from what I understand, it is not something I ever want to feel.