Connecting to Humanity When You Feel All Alone
January 1, 2011

What Causes Depression?

Depression often doesn’t have just one cause. It can be caused by a number of things together. You may have no idea why you have become depressed.  Whatever its cause, depression is not just a state of mind. It is linked to changes in your brain.

Some of the more common factors involved in depression are:

  • Family history. Genes play an important part in depression. It can run in families for generations.
  • Painful life events and stress. Painful events, like the breakup of a relationship, or the death of a loved one, can trigger depression. You can also get depressed after big life changes, like starting a new job, graduating, or getting married.
  • Coping Skills. People who have a negative outlook on their ability to navigate stress are at higher risk of becoming depressed.
  • Health conditions. Serious medical conditions, like heart disease, cancer, and HIV, may trigger depression. This may be due to the physical weakness and stress they bring on.
  • Other psychological disorders. Anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and (especially) substance abuse often appear along with depression.

It’s important to seek help if you feel like you’re depressed. Regardless of what’s causing your depression, help is available.