What are the Causes of Depression?

“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.”  Andrew Sullivan, The Noonday Demon

Depression is a complex condition and difficult to understand and identify. Regardless of race, gender, social class or religion, you could be one of the 6.8 million American adults who suffer from depression. What causes depression?

Potential Causes of Depression

Here are some potential causes of depression:

  • Traumatic experiences (Catastrophic loss)
  • Stress
  • Verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse
  • The loss of a loved one
  • Particular medications
  • Conflicts in Relationship
  • Family history 
  • Addiction (or depression can lead to addiction)
  • Major life transitions (new job, moving, divorce, etc.)
  • Other mental health conditions, such as anxiety
  • Chronic pain or illness

Because depression is such a personal experience, there are other situations that may lead to depression. Your mind interprets experiences in a unique way, and that interpretation plays a large role in developing depression. 

Treatment of Depression

There are tested and proven methods for depression treatment, which may include counseling, medication, or a combination of the two. 

Counseling: prompts to discuss experiences from your past to find solutions in the present. You may learn what triggers your depression and how to control your reactions.

Therapy: In therapy you can learn specific techniques that fit your lifestyle. Therapists help you determine the triggers and learn the ways to cope with them.

Medication: Depression treatment at times requires medication. Psychiatrists have a doctorate of medicine, and they are trained to understand the body’s complex chemistry. They use that information to find the right medication and dosages for each person. Some medication-based treatments only last for a few months, while others are designed for long-term depression treatment.

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