Glossary On Causes of Depression

The exact cause of depression cannot be pin-pointed; however a combination of genetic, biochemical, and environmental factors has been understood to play a role in the development of the same.

  • Genetic factor: People who have any of their blood relations suffering from depression are more prone to develop this condition and it has often been seen to run in families. Research is still going on to find out which particular gene is responsible for the same.
  • Biochemical factors: Levels of chemical substances in the brain, especially serotonin and norepinephrine, are linked to depression. However, its still not clearly defined whether the change in their levels is the cause of depression or caused due to depression.
  • Environmental factors: Certain situations in life such as loss of loved ones, major financial loss, difficult relationship, immense disappointment of any kind in life, physical or sexual abuse, etc. can trigger off depression. History of persistent deprivation in infancy is also associated with the development of depression at a later stage in life.
  • Gender: After puberty, women are twice as likely to develop depression as compared to men. Before puberty, the incidence largely remains the same for both the sexes.
  • Hormonal imbalance: This could be one of the causes for developing depression especially as seen during menopause, after childbirth, during premenstrual phase, etc.
  • Suffering from physical ailments especially chronic ones like heart disease, cancer, HIV can be the cause for developing depression.
  • Drugs: Depression can occur as a result of certain drugs especially corticosteroids, anti-parkinsonism drugs, levodopa; hypotensives like methyldopa, reserpine; cytotoxic drugs like vincristine, vinblastine, etc.
  • Certain personality traits are more prone to develop depression as compared to others.
Depression