Could the Following Be Causing Your Depression?

All across the world, more than 264 million people suffer from depression. Some people experience this as a chronic condition and others for just a short period of time. Considering how common it is, it’s surprising that many people don’t know much about this condition.

What Causes Depression?

While you might have heard about serotonin levels, chemical imbalances are not the whole picture of depression. There are plenty of factors that all play into how a person’s specific case of depression develops. Let’s take a look at the 10 biggest factors that contribute to depression…

10. Genetics

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Our genetics inform every aspect of our health. Simply put, the raw building blocks of our bodies and our minds wind up dictating so much about our health. Mental health problems like depression can be influenced by genetic factors and family history. 

Why Does It Increase Depression Risk?

If you have a parent or a sibling with depression, you have a greater chance of having this condition yourself. In fact, your risk for depression can as much as double with two generations of family history of this medical condition. This fact suggests that depression tends to follow genetic lines. 

Another factor closely related to genetics and family history are other health problems… 

9. Health Problems

Upset sad young Caucasian woman with hairless bald head suffer from cancer feel depressed crying at home alone, unhappy sick female patient with oncology distressed with bad results, health problems

Other health problems can increase your risk of depression. Specifically, when our health declines, it can drag other aspects of our well-being down with it. Depression is one of these conditions. 

Why Does It Increase Depression Risk?

Severe health problems impact our mental health in many ways. One way is that health problems often raise our stress and lower our quality of life. They can also put us up against extreme conditions like trauma and major life changes. In addition to all of these issues, severe health problems can also be isolating. All of these factors contribute to and worsen depression. 

Even some of the medications we use to treat our health problems can cause depression… 

8. Medication Side Effects

Senior sad man taking a lot of medicines

Every medication has a list of side effects. One of the most significant side effects of any medication is depression. 

Why Does It Increase Depression Risk?

These side effects can either cause depression directly or indirectly. Indirect causes are side effects like tiredness, weight gain, and physical changes that can trigger depressive episodes. 

One specific medical condition that causes depression is substance abuse disorder…  

7. Substance Abuse

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Substance abuse disorder is a serious medical condition, whether the substance in question is opioids, alcohol, or other drugs. 

Why Does It Increase Depression Risk?

Substance abuse disorder can cause depression for a variety of reasons. For starters, this condition can lead to other medical problems that trigger depression. Substance abuse can also be emotionally taxing, which can cause depression. 

Another major risk factor for this condition is suffering from abuse… 

6. Suffering Abuse

psychological trauma
Motortion Films/

An abusive situation is something to be taken very seriously. Whether it is an abusive partner in a relationship or your employer abusing their position, suffering from abuse can disrupt our health and lead to depression. 

Why Does It Increase Depression Risk?

Abuse can cause massive amounts of stress, social isolation, and other difficulties that can trigger depression. When someone you rely on is abusive, your whole life turns upside down. This gets even more severe if the abuser has power over you. All of this tension creates vulnerabilities that depression can take root in. 

The following is one of the most widely known causes of this condition… 

5. The Death of a Loved One

Husband trying to comfort his wife at a graveyard

When someone close to you passes away, it can fundamentally change your life. It’s never easy to lose a part of yourself, and the death of a loved one can lead to depression. 

Why Does It Increase Depression Risk?

We rely on the people closest to us. Sometimes this is a material reliance like parents who provide for us or a partner with whom we share financial responsibilities. This can also be emotional support like a best friend. When we lose someone close to us, it’s like we lose a part of ourselves. That is why the risk of depression is never higher than after a loved one passes away. 

The loss of a loved one is just one major change that can shape your risk for depression… 

4. Other Major Changes

Tired Mother Suffering from experiencing postnatal depression.Health care single mom motherhood stressful.

Throughout the course of our lives, we go through many major changes. And when our lives suddenly shift, we can experience depression. Even happy events, like having a new child, can bring about depressive episodes.

Why Does It Increase Depression Risk?

Even positive life changes can lead to depression. That’s because it’s the change itself that matters. When our lives shift around, we need to quickly relearn how we live our lives. All of the stress from these changes can trigger depression in people who are at risk. 

Many major life changes can also increase your chance of feeling isolated… 

3. Isolation

Sad Muslim woman holds her head while depressed
Dragana Gordic/

Isolation is a difficult thing to experience. This extreme form of feeling alone can also lead to depression. 

Why Does It Increase Depression Risk?

Human beings are social creatures; most of our lives are defined by our relationships with the people in our community. We need to interact with people we care about or we can run the risk of becoming depressed. Any kind of isolation raises some risk of depression.

It’s worth keeping in mind that this usually applies to involuntary isolation. Getting stuck moving to a new town because of a sudden job change poses a risk for depression whereas actively choosing to go camping alone might not. 

Related to isolation is being in conflict with the people we need near us… 

2. Fighting With The People Close To You

Culture war between right and wrong or conservative and liberal political clash of ideas as a 3D illustration style.

It’s never fun to fight with friends and family members. If these conflicts are persistent, it can trigger depression. We rely on more than just raw interaction with the people around us; we need healthy relationships in order to avoid depression.  

Why Does It Increase Depression Risk?

When we are in conflict with friends and family, it can make us feel isolated and unsure of our place in the world. Serious conflicts that cause rifts in groups are much higher risks than smaller conflicts. 

If conflict gets too extreme, it can cause trauma… 

1. Trauma

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Trauma and disorders like post traumatic stress disorder can trigger depression. Specifically, these wounds in our mental health take time to heal. While we are recovering, we run the risk of developing depression. 

Why Does It Increase Depression Risk?

When faced with trauma, we sometimes develop behaviors that help us manage the trauma but hurt other aspects of our lives. Avoiding cars after a crash might relieve the trauma of being in a vehicle, but it could also isolate ourselves from friends and family. Trauma also destabilizes our lives, which can spiral into depression. 

If you feel that you are at risk for depression, there are things you can do to mitigate these risks. 

What To Do Next 

Depression is more than just sadness. It can feel like there is a weight you just can’t lift. If you’ve been struggling with depression, or feel you are at risk, it’s time you reach out. A therapist can help you work through the harshest points of your depression. Connecting with family and friends can also provide you with the critical support you need to make it through. There is hope no matter how difficult the depression feels. 

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