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What are the Causes of Depression - factors play a role in depression ?


Like any disease, there is not a single cause for a depression.

Depression is a combination of biological, genetic and psychological factors. At the biological level , depression results from abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. This can be caused by changing levels of hormones, explaining why many people first experience depression during puberty.

Depression is not just a state of mind. It is related to physical changes in the brain, and related to an chemical imbalance in the brain that carries signals in your brain and nerves. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters. Infact all psychological problems have some physical manifestations, and all physical illnesses have psychological components as well.

Some types of depression run in families, suggesting that a biological vulnerability can be inherited. This seems to be the case with bipolar disorder. Studies of families in which members of each generation develop bipolar disorder found that those with the illness have a somewhat different genetic makeup than those who do not get ill. However, the reverse is not true: Not everybody with the genetic makeup that causes vulnerability to bipolar disorder will have the illness. Apparently additional factors, possibly stresses at home, work, or school, are involved in its onset.

In some families, major depression also seems to occur generation after generation. However, it can also occur in people who have no family history of depression. Whether inherited or not, major depressive disorder is often associated with changes in brain structures or brain function.

What Causes depression?

The multiple causes of depression aren't completely understood. Current research suggests possible genetic, familial, biochemical, physical, psychological, and social causes. Psychological causes (the focus of many nursing interventions) may include feelings of helplessness and vulnerability, anger, hopelessness and pessimism, and low self-esteem. They may be related to abnormal character and behavior patterns and troubled personal relationships. In many patients, the history identifies a specific personal loss or severe stressor that probably interacts with the person's predisposition to provoke major depression.

Depression may be secondary to a specific medical condition, for example:

  • metabolic disturbances, such as hypoxia and hypercalcemia
  • endocrine disorders, such as diabetes and Cushing's syndrome
  • neurologic diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease
  • cancer (especially of the pancreas)
  • viral and bacterial infections, such as influenza and pneumonia
  • cardiovascular disorders such as heart failure
  • pulmonary disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • musculoskeletal disorders such as degenerative arthritis
  • GI disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • genitourinary problems such as incontinence
  • collagen vascular diseases such as lupus
  • anemia's.

Drugs prescribed for medical and psychiatric conditions as well as many commonly abused substances can also cause depression. Examples include antihypertensives, psychotropics, narcotic and nonnarcotic analgesics, antiparkinsonian drugs, numerous cardiovascular medications, oral anti diabetics, antimicrobials, steroids, chemotherapeutic agents, cimetidine, and alcohol.

People who have low self-esteem, who consistently view themselves and the world with pessimism or who are readily overwhelmed by stress, are prone to depression. Whether this represents a psychological predisposition or an early form of the illness is not clear.

It is important to remember that all of the depressive disorders are treatable conditions.

Different causes of the depression which taken into account are:

1.Who is most likely to get depressed (SUSCEPTIBILITY)? - There are certain factors that make some people more likely to suffer from certain types of depression than others.

2.What will actually make them depressed (TRIGGER) ? - Some sufferers will say that their illness was triggered by events or changes in their life, usually involving some kind of loss or personal threat.

3.What keeps them feeling depressed (MAINTENANCE)? - There are various factors which can cause depression.

You might also be interested in:

Cause of Major Depression
Cause of Postpartum Depression
What is the cause of Manic Depression?
What causes Teen Depression?
Lets us look at some of the mechanisms of the body and mind and try to figure out- how they affect the depressive disorders.

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